Janet Neuhauser, From the Home Series (Between the Screen and the Front Door)



The Pinhole Project began as a way for digital photography students without access to a darkroom to experience the wonder of the long exposure pinhole image. Long exposure images  are made in metal tins exposed outside onto semi-matte surface black and white paper;  a negative is formed over time which can be seen when the paper is removed from the tin.  If this paper negative were to be developed in traditional darkroom chemistry, it would blacken due to overexposure.  Instead, the negative  is scanned, inverted and saved as a tiff or a jpeg.  The light from the scanner fogs the paper negative which is then discarded.  The final  image only exists digitally after it has been scanned but of course can be printed.

 Over three thousand images have been made for the project over the last four years. Because of the long exposures, the trail of the sun is visible arcing across the sky and water flattens out and becomes still.  People move too quickly to be recorded.  For some reason, the black and white photographic paper records oranges, yellow, blues and greens.  These colors are propbably due to the polycontrast dyes which are washed out usually during development. This paper is not developed.  Many different types of tins have been used including ones with multiple holes. The basic premise always  remains:  images are made in simple homemade tins with a tiny pinhole instead  lens that records light over time.  Simple and incredible and everyone one can do it!