Cougar Mountain (Holga Pinholes)

Old railroad tracks and river at Cougar Mountain

Pinhole photograhy always fascinated me. To strip down all he bells and whistles and simply be left with a container that is otherwise light tight, apart from the light that enters through a hole that was made with a pin, and to be able to make images from such a primitive apparatus, is pretty effing cool. We don’t need lenses to make a photography, we just need patience.

See, because the hole a light must pass through in a pinhole camera is so small, patience is a must when shooting. Exposures in bright light can take 4-7 seconds, low light can take up to 20-60 seconds, ad night photography? Well, that’s whole other ball game. If you are lucky, your pinhole might be comparable to an f-stop of 64 (you can generally achieve this by using a beading needle if you are making your own pinhole camera) and you could use a light meter to get a estimate on your exposure time. Sadly, that’s not often the case and exposure times can be a bit of a guessing game.

Perhaps later we shall discuss the mechanics of making a pinhole camera, but today I simply wanted to share my latest adventure. I finally took the plunge and started shooting color in my Holga pinhole. Don’t ask me why I’ve only been shooting black and white film all these years, I really have no answer… but when the first really nice day of late spring hit the Pacific northwest, my wife and I went out to Cougar Mountain to hike the old railroad, which has long since fallen back into natures clutches, and is barely discernible. We hiked for 3 hours, and went less than a mile. That’s patience.

Waterfall at Cougar Mountain. The orange is from the iron in the area left over from the railroad work.

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Treasure Trove

When I left for Virginia 6 years ago, I left about 6 boxes in my mother’s garage. Now, after spending so many weeks going through my grandmother’s belongings, I am starting to go through my storage boxes; sorting and purging. Here’s some of the recent items I have found:

Kodak Brownie Holiday. This was my mother's camera, and since I just found a few rolls of 127 film, I've loaded it up and am ready to shoot!

My very first SLR, which I got when I was 14.

My first fully manual SLR. I got when i was 17. I also found my telephoto lens that goes with it.

Polaroid Super Shooter Plus. Unfortunately, it no longer works, but that's ok, as I plan to hack it and make it into a Holga back

Film to go with my "holgaroid" once it's done. No idea if it will work, but we shall see...

Many rolls of colour, B&W and slide film.

I also found an old Polaroid Joycam (which I promptly disposed of), and a ton of slides and pictures from 2000-2003. Fun stuff. But mostly, I’m excited to hack the Polaroid, see what comes out of the Kodak brownie, and use up some film. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest today (It’s foggy now, but hopefully that fog will burn off), and I’m looking forward to a little hike at Cougar Mountain, and you know I’ll be taking a few cameras and some film with me.