U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: pinhole negatives without electricity?

Re: pinhole negatives without electricity?


Could she bring lith film and use that for negatives? Cover the windows with Rubbylith and you have a darkroom.

Or use photo paper for the pinhole cameras and not worry about reversing the tonalities - there's a Chinese pinhole artist who sells large paper pinhole negatives to museums for as much as $35,000. No reason they have to be printed as positives.

For cyanotype, I would just use found objects: leaves, hands, snakes, etc. and not worry about negatives.


On Oct 18, 2007, at 8:53 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

A friend of mine who has taught many workshops on pinhole and camera obscura, now contemplates something trickier: teaching in the countryside of South America, in places without electricity. For the prints she'd use the same precoated cyanotype squares she's used in children's classes all along-- they can be exposed by sunlight and developed in water.

The catch is making the negatives. In the US, even if she's not in a lab or regular photographic setup, it's easy to turn a room, a closet, or other space into a "darkroom," and expose & develop black & white photo paper to make a paper negative by pinhole camera.

But "in the field", that is, literally outdoors, not. Friend asked me if I knew of an emulsion "fast" enough to make an image by pinhole camera that could be coated in, say, heavy shade, ie., without a darkroom. That struck me as a contradiction in terms. (Yeah, I thought of Terry K's vaunted "rex" emulsion, but didn't recommend it.)

I figured a pinhole neg wouldn't be feasible by handcoating, but negatives from a digital camera could be printed on a "portable," that is, battery-operated inkjet printer. True, that requires some access to electricity for recharging and more expense for the printer than, say, a shoe box and a piece of tin foil, but odds are she'll have some access to electricity at night, even if not "in the field."

In any event, I promised I'd "ask the list," where there may be better knowledge or experience. Suggestions would be very welcome, also any experience or advice about battery-operated printer for negatives.

(One suggestion I got already was "take spare batteries." Definitely!)

with thanks in advance for info or advice,