I love pinhole photography because of the complete lack of technical gadgetry. I’m out shooting with a cardboard box, how much simpler can it get? When I started, I wanted to understand light, to be able to take a good look around, think about the level of sun, cloud, haze and reflection, and figure out the exposure time without using a light meter or other tools.
The learning curve was steep. Eventually I got the hang of it, but I also discovered that portions of the scene in front of me would vanish due to overexposure, resulting in a photo of a landscape that didn’t actually exist. I liked that!
Here’s what I mean. All of these photos were shot in Central Park, which of course is surrounded by buildings. This is the Lake, looking toward the skyscrapers beyond Central Park South. Really? It looks like upstate New York to me.
Here’s the Lake again, shooting north from the opposite shore. Such serenity! Look, a building has appeared… but only as a reflection.
Here’s a favorite, shot on top of Umpire Rock after a heavy rain. The buildings of Central Park South seem to have jumped into the puddle.
This photo is shot in the Ramble, one of the Park’s thickly wooded areas, but you wouldn’t think so, from these sparse tree trunks. All of the trees in the background disappeared. That’s the Gill, an artificial stream that feeds the Lake, frozen during the winter.
This next one is completely blasted out, and has taken everything with it — the lake, the opposite shore, the buildings — leaving this lone tree in its wake.
And to finish, the photo that showed me this phenomenon in the first place. We’re on the Lake again, and only one of the tall residential buildings on Central Park West has appeared, with the illustrious towered buildings surviving as mere reflections.