From the darkness of a former morgue, a team of digicam fanatics on Western Australia’s south coast are reviving the historic artwork of pinhole images.

Associates of the Albany Digicam Fanatics (ACE) converted the compact, windowless setting up into their darkroom a couple of a long time in the past.

Exactly where useless bodies were once laid out for publish-mortem investigations, there are now photographic enlargers and bottles of film developer.

ACE committee member Bob Symons explained the conversion took some function but was really worth it.

“When we initially opened the doorway, there was a curtain of cobwebs that hadn’t been cleaned for quite a few yrs,” Mr Symons said.

“I experienced to get in here with a water blaster … but, fortunately, the scent experienced extended gone.

Albany’s Bob Symons develops a photograph in the previous morgue that now functions as the digital camera club’s darkroom.(

ABC Great Southern: Tom Edwards


Stress-free respite from digital dramas

Pinhole photography is one particular of the oldest and most fundamental types of images, the roots of which can be traced again to the mid-1850s.

A pinhole digicam can be as simple as a gentle-sealed box punctured with a very small pinhole, by way of which gentle passes and tasks an image on to photographic paper.

For the reason that the dimensions of the pinhole – its aperture – is so small, it requires several minutes to make an exposure, earning static topics this kind of as landscapes and architecture the most apparent choice for pinhole images.

Relying on the style, pinhole cameras can deliver images that have a distorted, fisheye effect.(

Supplied: Bob Symons


It has emerged as a traditionalist market within just the film pictures revival that is in full stream in Australia and abroad. 

Mr Symons reported component of the attraction was its soothing speed, a aid in an increasingly rapid-paced electronic period.

“The issue with digital is that it’s prompt gratification, whilst this slows you down,” he mentioned.

“You might go out and take just a handful of shots, but you you should not know what you’ve obtained until you go residence and get it into the developer.”

Pinhole cameras can be built from a range of unique components, offering each unique characteristics.(

ABC Fantastic Southern: Tom Edwards


Experimentation at coronary heart of pinhole magic

Nestled in the silent confines of the ACE studio are a couple of illustrations of the distinct pinhole cameras that members have created around the many years.

The constructing materials array from low-cost and cheerful cardboard, correct up to elaborate, handcrafted metal concoctions with names like “lunchbox cam”.

A person of the associates even built intercontinental headlines 5 a long time back when he manufactured a operating pinhole camera out of a potato. 


It is this experimental ethos which Mr Symons says will hold pinhole images alive for long term generations.

“You can make a pinhole camera out of just about something if you truly want to,” he stated.

“The far more experimental you get, the extra fascinating the results … for me, that’s the serious magic of it.”

A replica of the Brig Amity docked in Albany, photographed with a pinhole camera.(

Supplied: Bob Symons

Exit mobile version