For Brian Krummel, almost anything can be a pinhole camera
A trained photographer and professional Web designer, Pittsburgh area-based Brian Krummel takes full advantage of his Flickr account. He has posted more than 70 sets of photographs in the past three years, their subjects ranging from the architectural remains of Pittsburgh’s industrial glory days to the homemade cameras with which he shoots many of his pictures. Though some of Krummel’s unconventional cameras have cobbled-on optics (everything from crisp, large-format glass to “simple” plastic lenses), the work featured here was shot with his many pinhole cameras — built with everything from pumpkins to Starbucks coffee cups.
The long-exposure images the photographer makes with his pinhole cameras appear to be less about the real world than glimpses into dreams. “Wonderful things happen when you relinquish exact control over your pictures,” he says. “Pinhole images remind us that creativity doesn’t depend on bigger or faster equipment.”
His pinhole pictures are made either on film or by directly exposing sheets of printing paper inside the camera. Darkroom processing turns the latter into paper negatives. If chemical improvisation contributes to the low-tech quality of his images, says Krummel, digital post-processing gets the photos ready for prime time, when he scans and Photoshops his paper and film negatives to create final inkjet prints — or Flickr-ready files.
Krummel has made and discarded more pinhole cameras than he can count. (He details his working methods in The Pinhole Camera, a how-to book available through thepinholecamera.com.) If his approach has a guiding philosophy, it is that technology is not the point. “It doesn’t make you an artist,” he says. “Pinhole photography removes the obstacles of camera and lens, making more room for enthusiasm about your art.”
Hometown: Bethel Park, PA
Cameras: Homemade pinhole
Flickr member since: 2007
Flickr page: flickr.com/photos/forgottenpittsburgh