Dirk Fletcher: Pinhole Photography

In 1888, the Kodak Corporation established the phrase
“You press the button, we do the rest” – leading to the beginning of
photography as a hobby for the average American. Interestingly, the Kodak name
was born for the sound the shutter of the camera would make, trying to mimic
the word Kodak.  Finally, the power to
capture clear frames of time was attainable. Still, some – like Dirk Fletcher –
strived to redefine what a picture was. From an early age, Dirk altered his
father’s cameras to mimic the rise of pinhole cameras. Light passing through a
camera’s aperture produced an inverted image expanded the realm of photography.
What is now its own subfield of photography started with a deviant trend among
photographers to use lower quality cameras for capturing moments.

Despite all the advancements
made in photography in recent history, such as the ability to capture 4k
photos, Dirk stated people were attracted to the idea of using lo-fi cameras.
Such low-quality cameras not only presented a challenge for everyone but also
created different results: Out-of-focus, sun-flared, and pronounced vignette
photos captured the eyes of not only amateurs but professional photographers as
well. Even with cheap Russian knock-offs, the lo-fi photography following
exploded not only on social media but also on the commercial market; stores in
places like New York and San Francisco stocked their shelves with
less-than-average cameras for sale. This astonishing development influenced
Dirk and others explore more different methods for capturing moments. With his
father’s old cameras, Dirk delved into pinhole photography.

Dirk stated that his fascination
with photography really began with his father developing photos in a dark room
on paper and film negatives. From that time forward, he would explore multiple
outlets to expand his knowledge of pinhole photography, but a lot of his
knowledge came from first-hand experience, such as Dirk’s time with the Fuji
300, a modified Polaroid 200 with adjustable lenses for optimum quality of
images. In the present, he found that modern cameras, such as Canon’s DSLRs,
for pinhole photography gave the photographer a few advantages over previous
models: Faster capturing and digitally inverting the image led to not only
better photos but an overall better experience for most users. With modern
technology, pinhole photography is now more popular and easier than ever
before.

Pinhole
photography has become an ever-growing art form among photographers all over
the world. It is, in a sense, a way for photographs to keep up with the
“motion” of a person’s endless imagination. To learn more about pinhole
photography and Dirk Fletcher please visit Dirk Fletcher’s website or his
talk at Lenox here.
If you need pinhole caps for your camera, you can find some here.