Exploring movement through a lens-less camera / by Jana Uyeda

This photo is a black and white take on the color pinhole shot I posted about earlier.  The landscape perspective was a favorite, but I didn't like the blown out sky so I decided to try the shot again.  I also wanted to see this in black and white.  So - voila!

One of my good friends often refers to my style of photography as 'shitty photography.' To explain her description, she refers to the 2008 movie Yes Man with Zooey Deschanel whose character teaches a 'jogging photography' class. If that doesn't make sense to you, here's a YouTube video to illustrate.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIYlasVsJ_M&w=420&h=315]

I've gotten a lot of questions from passengers while taking pinhole images on-board the West Seattle Water Taxi. They often ask what kind of camera I'm using, praise me for continuing to shoot film or wonder how old the hardwood Zero Image camera is. I think one of the most important questions I get is why I prefer to shoot pinhole.

The easiest answer is that I shoot pinhole because it doesn't look like most photography I see online. I'm inundated with sharp, saturated images everyday and the softness of a pinhole camera combined with the tonality of film are pleasing to my eye. The Economist recently posted an article about the growing trend towards analogue photography called Difference Engine: Digital disillusion. There is a definite sense of satisfaction when a roll is exposed correctly and developed properly which I don't get from shooting other cameras.

My pinhole series, specifically the Water Taxi and Shopping Carts series, are about exploring movement through a lens-less camera. Though a pinhole is not as sharp as modern glass lenses, it captures a great amount of detail without the harsh edges. While those details are important and can help to draw the eye of the viewer, paradoxically it's the blur that focuses my imagination. I'm not interested in freezing subjects, like the flag on the water taxi, because the boat and my city are constantly moving.  I want my pictures to be more than just a snapshot of the day.  My idea here is to capture the pace of my city as it moves, changes and evolves.

So there you have it. My attempt at explaining my own 'shitty photography' and I hope it was an enjoyable read. It's certainly helpful for me to write these blog posts as I don't always understand what I'm doing unless I type it out.

Have a great week and happy shooting. Mahalo!