Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2013

On the 28th April 2013 it was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and I had been building a camera over the last three weeks to take part in it. As it turned out, I was quite busy on the actual day but managed to make a still life exposure with my creation as well as some self-portraits with the Holga 120WPC.

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With my pending fatherhood, I decided that I would make a still life based on my wife and I's past, present and future. Fatherhood is something I'm looking forward to and marks a big change in our life together. The exposure took about an hour but I cut it short by 15 minutes as we were leaving to see friends.

Later that night I set up my trays in the bathroom and developed the paper. It was looking great but had a slight mottling effect across the image. I mulled it over for more that a week as to what this could be with the prime suspect being the filter I was using. What didn't make sense was that the image was fine - distortions in the filter would cause the image to be distorted too and I couldn't see any in the still life. A couple of people suggested the paper and that is when it hit me - during the developing stage I had forgotten to click the bathroom door shut. This usually isn't a problem as our hallway is quite dark but on this occasion my cat had decided to see what I was doing in there and pushed the door open to stick his head is. Bingo!

Earlier in the morning I made a few exposures with the Holga 120WPC pinhole camera to make sure I had something with mark the day. It was a lot of fun. I played primarily with double exposures and movement within single exposures but, again, my cat was making this difficult as he walked around my statue pose so here are the best.

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This roll of film represents the last of my Fomapan stock. Fomapan is a cheaper brand of film from the Czech Republic and is really good for playing around with. It's major downside is how easy it is to scratch. As sheet film I can imagine it is far more forgiving as the film is not moving but pulling a roll through cameras like the Holga is something it doesn't handle well. The entire roll from this session was scratched badly from a small imperfection in the moulded plastic. For that reason, as well as others, I am glad to see the back of it and would only consider it again when I dabble in large format photography. I'm an Ilford man at heart and will be returning to them with my next bulk buy.

Abandoned Televisions

Abandoned TVs started as a bit of fun on Instagram but has become an obsession for my walk to and from work. Rarely a week passes where I don't spot a TV at the roadside or beside a bin so I thought I'd share some of my favourites and talk a little about where I see the project going.

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The first photo I ever posted of an abandoned TV is above but it actually started before that when I spotted a TV sitting on a table with a lamp beside it at the roadside. I became interested in the idea of urban still lifes like this - objects gathered together (usually on bin collection day) at the side of the road outside of their usual surroundings - but what I actually started to notice were more and more TVs of different ages and styles.

As I said, it was a bit of fun - I started off spotting two or three a week and posting my favourites on Instagram but I have never stopped seeing them and it is fast approaching a year since I started. I don't post them all as some of them are just not interesting but I've included some of my favourites of what I do post below.

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As the project has grown I've made plans to move it into my film work - specifically my Holga as it matches how much I enjoy shooting with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone. I've taken a few on my 35mm camera  as well which I enjoyed as it allowed me to play with depth of field but there aren't many at this stage.

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There is part of me that really likes having this on Instagram though so it will remain there for the time being, but to have this join my film work would probably please me more and I hope to have that happen in the future. Until then, if you're not following me on there already and would like to see more of this random project of mine then please feel free to add me (my username is "iainkendall") and let me know what you think.

A Machine called B.E.R.N.I.E.

I took this photograph last year whilst walking through a residential area of Edinburgh. I had actually spotted it the night before and snapped a shot on my iPhone as it was incredibly bizarre to see a bingo machine dumped on top of a waste bin. It got me thinking about who had it in their house and what events had taken place to for them to suddenly throw it out. The next day, praying it was still there, I returned with my Pentax SP500 to take a better picture.

Fast forward to earlier this year and I receive a message from Adam McCrory on Flickr, "my dad used to make these". I immediately went back to him to find out more.

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Charles McCrory started as a TV engineer back in the seventies and made a device called a Stage Safety Unit after a friend of his was electrocuted on stage. From there he ventured into raffle machines called Spinners and then finally into bingo machines and creating the BERNIE (Bingo Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment). It was very successful but unfortunately the recession of the eighties worked against Charles and he eventually stopped production around 1984 and closed his business. He was the millionaire that should have been.

"What I love about your photo is it captures one of his greatest achievements (creating the BERNIE) and the subtle irony that it's ended up in the bin - it sums up his life in a strange sort of way"

I was touched that Adam shared the story with me - it turned a random object that I thought was "kind of cool" into something that mattered. After I first saw this bingo machine, I started to take more photographs of the random things I pass everyday, but hearing the background of it makes me look at them differently and consider the history of what I'm taking pictures of. It is proof that no picture is pointless as it will always mean something to someone.

Sadly Charles died on the 17th February 2011 and when looking at the iPhone photograph that I took the night before I noticed that it was dated the 16th February 2011. The next day, when Charles died, was when I returned to take the photograph above.