UK-based photographer Martin Henson has recently published a video showcasing his pinhole photography process. An experienced film and digital photographer, Henson combined a 4×5-inch pinhole camera with Ilford FP4 film to capture a photo of flowers in his back garden. The result will show that one doesn’t need to travel far to capture beautiful images.
With his pinhole camera laying in the undergrowth and pointing toward the sky through the flowers in his garden, Henson also used an orange filter to darken the blue in the sky. The pinhole camera captures a wide field of view, so Henson must look down from above through the flowers to get a sense of how they will be arranged within the frame. After settling on the location for his camera, he must then determine the correct exposure.
When determining the correct exposure, Henson must consider that the Ilford FP4 film he’s developing is rated at ISO 200, but with the addition of the orange filter, he must compensate for an additional stop. Henson then places his light meter on top of his pinhole camera and meters at ISO 100. The reading states a 1/15s exposure at an F22 aperture. For Henson’s pinhole camera, he then had to convert this exposure time to an F216 aperture, which results in an exposure time of 6.5 seconds. Further, accounting for the reciprocity of Ilford FP4 film, the final exposure time is 12 seconds.
As you can see in the video above, after making his captures, Henson then slid the dark slide back in and developed the image. As he states, his video shows that the pinhole camera is a versatile photographic tool. It can be placed in positions and allow for compositions that would be ‘virtually impossible with a normal camera.’
The finished image, Chaos, is up for auction on eBay. There’s much more to learn about pinhole photography and analog photography in general. Henson has additional excellent resources. You can visit his large format photography forum and his black and white photography forum. He has recently published another pair of videos about pinhole photography on his YouTube channel, which can be seen above.