Peter Caronia.

Peter’s work is breathtaking. It is undeniably stunning. I have never seen such extraordinary representation of colour - let alone that which has been captured using a pinhole camera.

He has a spectacular way of allowing us to forget that even he, as the photographer, is present in the image. Within his photography, we are the only beings present as he manages to isolate each of his audience and convince them that it would be impossible for anyone else to exist within that world other than them.

By comparison to a lot of other pinhole photography, his photographs are very factual. Each location, combined with the impeccable clarity of what he chooses to photograph, is incredibly immersive. I find my gaze immovable as my mind attempts to absorb as much detail as possible.

I have driveled on enough. Please explore Peter’s photographic mind over at his website - www.petergcaronia.com - and please do take the time to read through the words below he has so kindly spent the time writing for us.

“In 2003 I bought a Zero 45 pinhole camera.  I started shooting and storing the images archaically until 2015 when I began the process of scanning and posting images.  The process of making images is as important as the image itself.  I am a traveler and an explorer and I love having a record of those travels via pinhole photos.”   

In your own words, what do you do?

I will see an environment that makes certain gears click into place and I feel an uncontrollable urge to capture it, particularly using camera obscura.    

Why do you do what you do?

I have always made images my entire life.  When I started to shoot pinholes in 2003, the results were exciting and encouraged me to make more, after 2006, it became an obsession.

What is integral to your practice?

Trying to become as educated as I can about the locations I photograph.  I don’t just want to make an image and move on – if I can – I want to learn as much about the area as possible.  

Why pinhole?

I fell in love with the Zero Image 4x5 system because it seems so perfectly matched with the practice of slowing down, concentrating on one single frame.  

I make a living as a cinematic camera assistant and in that world, before switching to digital, we used to expose 20-30,000 feet of film – if not more – on any giving shooting day. The contrast from that world to making images using pinhole cameras is so totally opposite it is  therapeutic for me to shoot.  Image making is very important to me and I’ve created a positive world where I can be in control, while relinquishing it at the same time, due to the nature of camera obscura.  That alone is a huge contrast to my everyday life, where the image making process is part of a team effort, in a very controlled manner, with a lot of moving parts.  

The images I make feel like they eclipse the work I do in real life and it only takes one frame for me to be reminded of that.

Are there any particular themes you pursue with your practice?

At first making pinholes was a past time between snowboarding and surfing.  I was already traveling to remote places, so it was natural to shoot during down moments.  But then slowly little by little, the need to shoot was as strong as the need to be in the ocean or riding a mountain.  Now the escape provide by each of these is equal in my mind.  The themes developed because of those trips have remained a constant – the ocean and the mountains - I cannot photograph each enough.

Has your practice change over time? If so, how?

I am looking at the world a little differently now, I notice more details - particularly when I revisit a place I’ve once shot.  I find that I am open to witness things I might have ignored in the past.  Once I got into the practice of making photos, I started trying to see beyond the obvious.  

Is there a specific piece you’re especially proud of? If so, why?

There is one shot in particular that really brought me into the pinhole world and I call it “Kim’s Raft”, it’s the only image I have formally named.  A friend’s family member made a swim platform in Lake Michigan.  Arriving at night, we made camp on the shore, I was told that Kim’s platform was out there, but couldn’t see it. I woke up the next morning took one look and grabbed my cameras.  I printed the image and sent it to my friends - the day it arrived, by chance, was the anniversary of his Kim’s death.  From then on, I knew I had found a camera system that peaked my interest and never looked back.

From whom do you draw the most inspiration?

Inspiration comes from witnessing others owning whatever it is that they are doing.  I love to see someone lay it all on the line for anything – music, sports or the arts etc… When someone has put their life and soul into a moment, I appreciate it and I get inspired by seeing that – it makes me want to put 110% of my effort into my own projects.  

What is your dream project?

A dream project would be to live 3 months at a time anywhere just to make images.  In that amount of time, I can slip into an existing culture and really get the vibe.  Learn how the locals operate, live in the moment, see the changes around a new place as they occur daily.  It is then I notice subtleties that are screaming to me to be photographed.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Someone in college once gave me a quote by Vince Lombardi:  The quality of one’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.  To me, this means to always try, to never give up, even during the unpleasant stages of life, because if you continue to try to do your best, only good things can come.


Dan @ The Pinhole Society


Darren Rose.

Darren’s work actively leaps out at his audience and physically pulls them into each of his remarkably unique photographic realms. I mentioned in my Instagram posts that “each frame is a glimpse into an alternate dimension”, and I say this because every exposure hosts its own narrative.

Compared to a lot of other pinhole photography, I find Darren’s to be very visually ambiguous - his photography embodies a sense of fiction akin to the atmosphere held by a short story. It allows his audience to become lost in his world, or at least lost in the world Darren has created for them.

Below is the result of a quick Q&A session between myself and Darren that he was kind enough to pour so much effort into. Please do take the time to have a read through his answers and head over to winterrosephotography.com to bask in his recent work.

“Darren is a landscape photographer whose photographic journey began whilst completing a Fine Art Painting Degree, and despite a prolonged break from producing artwork, this background in painting still influences his approach to photography today. Darren prefers to work with Film and using pinhole and ‘toy’ cameras, allowing the medium of the film and choice camera to be an active participant in the result of the final image.”

In your own words, what do you do?   

I’m predominantly a landscape photographer, who over the last year or so, has probably become a bit more recognised for using film rather than digital, and for using pinhole cameras.   

Why do you do what you do?   

I’ve always been a creative person, and studied fine art at University. It was at 6th form college that I first started photography and learning how to develop and print in the darkroom. This developed (no pun intended) further throughout University, and I ended up working part time in a college darkroom after graduation. However, over time I allowed photography, as well as drawing and painting, to slip out of site and it wasn’t until 2015 that I picked up a camera again.   Photography gives me the opportunity to be creative, a skill to learn and continually improve at, as well as getting outside and meeting new people.    

What is integral to your practice?   

Using the right tool for the job to match your vision. I’m not someone that will pick sides in the Film VS Digital argument. I use both depending on what I want to achieve. Modern cameras allow you to do so much, but I think they can also be extremely limiting - there is no digital equivalent of a 6x17 pinhole camera. So for me it’s about finding a format and method that matches what I want to achieve. If that’s my Mirrorless Digitial Camera, or my £20 Holga, it really doesn’t matter.    

Why pinhole?   

Primarily, I think is about letting go and allowing chance and serendipity to play an active role in creating the final image. No matter how much you try to apply control to the process, chance will always play a part. There is also huge variety of formats and camera available to work with. I have the options of shooting 6x6, 6x9, 6x12 or 6x17 panoramic formats. I can choose to do double, or multiple exposures, as well as deciding to use B+W, colour of Infrared Film if I wanted. There are so many creative options available, even though pinhole photography has been around since the 1800’s. I have an Ilford 4x5 format Camera Obscura which I am looking forward to using at some point too.     

Are there any particular themes you pursue with your practice?   

‘Everywhere and Nowhere’ is a recurring theme in my landscape photography, and not just my pinhole work. Landscape photography is often about a location. Recognisable landmarks, natural and man-made, are often the reason for the photo. However, I have never been hugely drawn to that aspect of landscape photography and would prefer to remove discernible landmarks or points of identification. Without a point of reference to identify with, we are invited to explore the landscapes depicted more freely, and connect with them on a deeper level. Movement also plays a big part in my images – whether it’s me or the subject that’s moving. Sometimes both! Due to the small apertures, you are always working with longer exposures. Even on the brightest of days, an exposure will be a second or two at least. This means that my pinhole works are rarely static, frozen moments in time.    

Has your practice changed over time? If so, how?   

Definitely. Some of my earlier pinhole work included taking pictures of the Southbank and Westminster in London, and they certainly helped me get started, but moving away from photographing landmarks or traditional locations has been key to me developing my own style and vision. There have also been incremental technical improvements over time which has also helped improve my work. I nearly always only work with Fuji Acros 100 when using the pinhole, and I feel like I am really beginning to understand how to expose for this film in a way that works for me. Working with a single film stock, also allows me to refine developing process, including stand development which I have also had some success with.   

Is there a specific piece you’re especially proud of? And why?   

I’m really pleased with how ‘Rapture in the Rain’ (below) came out. This was one of those shots where I was having to react very quickly and I had very little control over the final image. It was taken with a DianaF+, using the pinhole setting. I had time to take one meter reading before work very quickly in a busy environment. I nearly used up a whole roll in about 2 minutes, and although I had about 4 shots I was happy with, this one just work for me. It’s also a rare picture of mine that includes a figure as the central subject. The image image was also published as part of my Readers Portfolio in Amateur Photographer Magazine earlier this year.    

From whom do you draw the most inspiration?   

Coming from a fine art background, it’s probably no surprise that many of my inspirations come from the painting world. The abstract expressionists had a big impact on me as a young artist, and a Francis Bacon Retrospective exhibition I saw when I was 16 left a lasting impression on me. Even to this day. On the photography front, the early work by Alexy Titarenko continues to captivate me, and Forms of Japan by Michael Kenna never fails to inspire me to pick up the camera and head outside. I also draw a lot of inspiration from those that I have discovered through social media – Valda Bailey, Doug Chinnery, Chris Friel, Lee Acaster and Russ Barnes to name a few. Russ’ ‘Backwater’ series is one of my favourites collection of images, and Valda’s multiple exposure work is exceptional.    

What is your dream project?   

I’d love to work with large format cameras, so being dropped in a remote location surrounded by mountains, water and trees, with an 8x10 and unlimited film would be a dream project for me.    

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?   

Surprisingly, it doesn’t come from another photographer or Artist, but Richard Branson. “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” This might seem an odd choice, but sums up my approach to most things. It doesn’t focus on failure or success, but on the act of learning and seizing any opportunities that present themselves. I like to think that I am continually learning and experimenting. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you have to put yourself in the best position to succeed. Sitting on the sofa, missing the sunrise because it’s early, or saying ‘No, I don’t think I can do that’, will not lead you to realising your full potential.



Michael Sturgess.

I’ve found myself admiring Michael’s work for sometime now. I recently shared a few images of his on the Instagram page, dubbing him the “King of Composition” - and with good reason!

His imagery displays such a keen, persistent and unique perspective. I am obsessed with the way he guides my eye in each of his exposures. Michael actively directs his audiences eye, achieving a sense of symmetry that I’ve not yet come across within the pinhole realm. 

It is rare to find such visual precision within this medium - a medium built on experimentation. This accuracy I feel is especially evident in the exposure below.

I asked Michael if he wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for me. He kindly obliged…

Why pinhole?

I’ve been shooting with a lot of different cameras all my life and I’d never tried pinhole before. I’d seen images produced by the Ilford pinhole cameras which I liked but I didn’t think I’d be able to use one, as I didn’t have access to a darkroom.

A couple of Google searches later and I found you could shoot pinhole with 35mm and 120 roll cameras. The first camera I tried - just over a year ago - was a Holga 135PIN and I was massively disappointed with the results. Next came the Vermeer 6x6, which was an improvement on the Holga, but I still wasn’t really hooked.

Then I got my first RealitySoSubtle pinhole camera and that was it. The otherworld / weirdness feeling from images produced by the RSS6x6 was what I wanted.  I also bought another RSS6x6 with a filter attachment so I’m currently experimenting with different combinations of filters and film stocks.

Are there any particular themes you pursue with your practice?

I’ve always liked strange angles, reflections and double-exposures in my photography so I’m now trying to incorporate this with my pinhole photography.

I also really like images with no people or traffic in them, and living in central London this can be sometimes an impossible task.

I’m still learning with pinhole so the experimenting is great.

From whom do you draw the most inspiration?

The people who have inspired me with my pinhole work are Moni Smith, Corine Hormann and Burkhard Bierbaums.

Moni really helped me with advice when I first started my pinhole journey and I really enjoy seeing her work.

I find Corine’s work just amazing, so beautiful and dreamy.

And I love Burkhard’s double exposures, which is something I’m keen to try myself.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Don’t be scared to try, as trying is the best way to learn.

You often see on Twitter people asking something like “has anyone has tried this camera, with this lens and with this film… .”

I’m often tempted to reply “Try it your bloody self!”

You’ll learn a lot more by giving it a go yourself.

Also, I keep a photo memo book where I record which camera, film and accessories I used and also the time, weather and location of my photographs. This has really helped me with my pinhole photography.

Please have a look through Michael’s imagery below before visiting his blog and heading over to his Twitter to shower him with love.

Until next time,

Dan @ The Pinhole Society

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