Still wondering what to do on WPPD?

With WPPD less than one month away I thought it would be worth a final little reminder in case you’ve forgotten the most important day in the pinhole calendar. If you still don’t know what WPPD is then please check out the website…and then come back here. If you should pinhole you really need to be one of the 3000+ photographers who contribute year on year. But of course you could take that a stage further and join a group, after all everything’s more fun with more people…right?

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First up, is the workshop held by Cagliari Stenopeica, set (as you might expect) in the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy. I know there are cheap flights from the UK…what could be better, sun, sea and pinhole. There is a fee (60 Euro) but this includes materials you will need and, lets be honest, its a bargain for a two day workshop with some really talented pinhole photographers. The workshop is aimed at all comers so even if you’ve never shot pinhole before you’ll be welcome and this could provide the perfect opportunity to take the plunge into this incredible medium. There’s some really good, detailed information on their website, which I have conveniently plugged into Google Translate (other translation engines are available) in case your Italian is not so good (basically if you’re like me and English!).

The second plug is for the London Pinhole Festival, at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston. As you’ll see, this is a three day event with an exhibition, a workshop and talks. Information is a little scant at the moment but there is a call for submissions for the exhibition on their site, and it will definitely be worth keeping updated on that one if you’re London-based.

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Finally of course, there is a little event going on in Amsterdam. We now have about 15 people signed up including from the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the US! We’ve got the plans laid out for the day and lunch is booked. If you do want to come please let us know ASAP, it will be a blast (I hope).

Berlin – new city, new experiences

Brandenburg 2

As I have mentioned previously, I took a short trip to Berlin to the opening of the Obscura Book show in Berlin. Of course, no trip to a new city would worthwhile without some time to shoot some pinhole. As well as that wonderful experience I also did something new (at least to me). I interviewed some of the Pinholistas that I met for the Pinhole Podcast.

That episode has just been released (and should be on iTunes), I’d really like to know what you think (with apologies in advance for the audio quality in places).

Spree in ice

I really should first of all thank the photographers I met in Berlin, those who I was able to interview and those who I just had a blast with. You really need to check out the work of these guys:

Kreuzberg canal

I should also name drop the other folks that I met (who may or may not also take photos…it was a bit of blur)…so many thanks to David and Petra. Finally of course the Obscura team deserve high praise for what they have achieved, thank you Mila, Larissa (again…and her sister for the lift), Fine, Eli, and Nadine. If you haven’t got the book yet then why not head off and get a copy now.Closed for winter

Mila and Eli were kind enough to take many of us on a photowalk despite the late hour and partying after the vernissage. That’s when I made some of the images shown in this post and also when I made the recording for the podcast. I have to say the recording was an interesting and new experience. I really didn’t know how it would turn out, and I certainly have a lot to learn about getting good sound (a new microphone is on order). Fortunately though, everyone I interviewed was kind enough to spend some time with me, and really enthusiastic about pinhole photography, which made the process really easy.

Pinholistas with coffee

Fuelled with coffee, spaetzle and beer the interviews were a blast to make and I really hope that the enthusiasm and skill of the photographers will come across when you (I hope) listen to the podcast. I also hope you like the images I managed to make in between all the other excitement. I can definitely recommend a trip to Berlin, but to make the most of it you need to hook up with some awesome Pinholistas…honestly, it was a truly wonderful few days. Thanks again to all again who made it possible, and to A for her patience in letting me jet off again. Happy shooting!

North Norfolk

I love Norfolk with a passion that’s hard to explain. Actually I think Norfolk is hard to explain if you’ve not visited and spent some time soaking up the place. Norfolk has an atmosphere unlike anywhere in the UK. Its and atmosphere that, for me, is born of isolation. Norfolk is not on the way to anywhere, you don’t go through the place you go to it. I think that means that most people here want to be here, either through birth or through choice. We have our own dialect which seems impossible for those outside of the county to emulate. Most who try end up sounding like they’re from the West Country. The accent is superficially similar but the Norfolk dialect has a softer tone and its own words and phrases. I’m sure every place claims this but I’m biased towards Norfolk.

Sea Palling Tracks

So, what have I posted here to try and tempt you towards sharing the love I have? Well I’m going to show you North Norfolk, beloved of the rich set from London and beyond. Firstly a couple of shots from the beach at Sea Palling. Sea Palling has a sandy beach and is mobbed in the summer because it has good, safe swimming. Norfolk’s beaches can be plagued by steep shelves just back from the shore and very strong currents. I wouldn’t advise swimming anywhere without getting some local knowledge. Sea Palling is safe because of the man made reefs (that are sea defences) just out to sea. These create shallow, calm pools behind which are a joy to swim in. There’s also a lifeguard, a lifeboat (with ex-Crass singer Steve Ignorant as part of the crew) and a pub. What else would you need?

Eccles Groyne

The next shot I’d like to share is one of the many groynes (another form of sea defence) at Eccles-on-Sea. Eccles is just down the coast from Sea Palling and shares the same sandy beach. There are so many sea defences in this are due to the constant threat of erosion. Eccles itself barely exists compared to its heyday. The church disappeared into the waves in the early 20th century and all that’s really left now is the Bush Estate, which will need to be the subject of a separate post.

Salthouse Marshes

Next we have a shot from the marshes at Salthouse. These are freshwater marshes that create a unique habitat for plant and animal life, and are a well known haunt of migratory birds (and their attendant twitchers). Salthouse is closer to my heart than most places as it is where my father lived up to his death in the early 1990s. The marshes are fantastic, the beach is beautiful as well but in a different way to Sea Palling and Eccles. Here the beach is made of shingle (lots of pebbles in other words) and is home to some really interesting plants. There are also remnants of the war to be found here, from pillboxes to old tank roads…along with the occasional unexploded bomb (don’t throw pebbles at anything metal). Salthouse suffered a little in the last storm surge and it will be interesting to head up to the coast soon to see how the repairs are coming on.

Baconsthorpe Castle

Finally, a shot from Baconsthorpe Castle, near Holt (just inland from Salthouse). This is a magical place that seems little visited, perhaps because its a little way from the main road. To get here you head down a farm track and are greeted with a ruined castle, with a moat and no entry fee. There are a few walks around and if you’re feeling frisky you can enjoy a picnic and a game of hide and seek. The site is open at all reasonable hours, what could be nicer.

I guess I need to show you more of my home county, after all if I can’t persuade to love this place like I do what can I do? Happy shooting!

Denmark Part 3 – More Bornholm

There are some days when you realise you have so much stuff to post, today is one of them. Really I’ve been a little slack in posting here, I’m not sure why…so there it is. Regardless, here’s another set of images from our holiday back in September last year on the beautiful island of Bornholm.

Baltic 2

I realise that I have already posted a set of seascapes from Bornholm (and the odd standing stone) and I still have a few more to share. I’m conscious that I basically took the same shot a number of times but then you would…wouldn’t you?

Dueodde in the grey

I’ve also, I believe talked to you about the very windy time on the beach at Dueodde…it was also very grey. In that same post I showed you Hammeren and its resident sheep…it also has trees and a distant lighthouse.

A tree at Hammeren

…and wouldn’t you know it, a fence to keep those sheep in.

A fence at Hammeren

At some point soon I’ll get caught up and share some pinholes from trips to Scotland, Berlin and Sea Palling…but by then I’ll probably have shot more and will get even further behind (and I’ll still have more Denmark to share). Such is life…Happy Shooting Pinholistas.

Of Competitions and Cameras

16744_002-0006Hey Pinholista, want to share your work with the world? You do, here’s how!

Curious Camera

The 6th annual Curious Camera competition is open, with a submission deadline of April 6th 2014. This is not a pinhole specific competition but the prizes are good and its great to see that the winning entries will be well printed and hung (to museum standard). There is an entry fee of US$10, which is not too bad considering the prizes and standard of display.

Pinhole Photo Contest

This one is being run out of Australia, and again has an entry fee (AUS$45) with a guarantee prize pool. Your entry fee gets you three entries, with images needing to be in one of three categories (Urban, Nature, Fine Art). I’d say check the T&Cs carefully as there are limits to what you can enter (no digital pinhole, limited post-processing). The closing date to enter is 31st May 2014, with all image submissions having to be made by 5th June (and this is in Australia!).

Pinhole London

There’s not much information about this on the website, other than details of the gallery where the exhibition will be staged, an e-mail address and a submission deadline (22 March 2014).

Charity Camera

There is a beautiful hand-made wooden pinhole camera being auctioned (on that auction site) for charity. The closing date is 14 March 2014 at about 16:45 UK time. The camera is made by a guy called Steve in Brighton and is being auctioned in aid of a Manchester hospice (a great cause). There are some example images taken with the camera in the listing, it really is a beauty.