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.

Richard Johnson: Pinhole Photographer
Steven Sasson, Inventor of the First Digital Camera