I have longed viewed pinhole photography as the happy accident. One never knows what will happen. These long exposures are not immediate like digital photography. Though one can get a digital pinhole cap to replace the lens on a DSLR, the image can still not be seen before it is made. What I love about Pinhole Photography is the unpredictability and innate creativity. The pinhole, like the lens, focuses light rays on to a light senstive emulsion or sensor. Unlike the lens, it does not always see exactly the same way one thinks it is seeing. For me as a public school teacher, pinhole photography has been a way to get teenagers to think outside the box (no pun intended), slow down and hold an image over time in their minds instead of on their screens. It harkens back to another time, when the world was slower and people were eager to be amazed.
So here's to the happy accident. I have always said there are no bad pinhole images. Each one teaches something about what is seen and the person who made it. During the long exposure process, cameras often fall down, get put back up the "wrong" way, get rained or snowed on, get taken by the pinhole bandit. But all the while, they do what photography does best: focus and gather the light and make an image. The image is not perfect, just like the people who make it. And that makes it all the more valuable.
Below are nine images that all illustrate the Happy Accident in some way. Some of my personal favorites done in conjunction with the Pinhole Project.