Digital Pinhole

Ferry Departure, Port Townsend
Fort Worden Overlook

I recently bought a pin hole lens for my Nikon D850. It has a variety of sizes of pinholes with a ring to rotate to switch between them. (see below for a look at the lens/camera) The pinhole concept predates photography … going back for its roots to the camera obscura. One of the interesting features of pinhole photography is that the depth of field is “infinite”…. everything is ‘in focus’. Of course, the focus isn’t as sharp as one gets with a lens camera and high resolution sensor (or film). Longer exposure times are required… since the size of the opening is so small. You are effectively using a very large “f-stop”. Therefore, a tripod is necessary. The top image of the ferry is a 5 second exposure, for instance.

I had a couple of different pinhole cameras that I had made in the past. One was an assignment for my high school photography class. These days you can buy various pinhole cameras … and spend up to several hundred dollars … some are very nicely made wood boxes. With those, you use either sheet film or photo paper and then have to deal with the development, etc. Since I don’t have a darkroom, I opted for trying out the pinhole lens that was designed with the Nikon F-mount.

Because the pinhole leaves the camera interior open to the environment (even if the opening is very small), I opted to put on a UV lens just as a method of keeping out dust. What I found afterwards is that the ‘infinite depth of field’ of the pinhole means that all the dust particles on the filter are also in focus (or nearly so). Interesting learning process! So, if you look carefully at the enlarged image, you will notice all the specks of dust in the sky areas.

Nikon with pinhole lens

Fort Worden State Park

Overlook of Fort Worden main complex
Bunker
Rusted Door

Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington is one of my favorite locations for walking, biking and for taking photographs. The old bunkers have been left to the weather, and the weather has worked it’s magic to make the heavy metal doors into visually appealing artifacts. A good use for an abandon Fort that overlooks the entrance to Puget Sound … and that never fired a shot (except in practice).

Memory Vault

Entrance to the Memory Vault
Entering the Memory Vault
Seat of Contemplation

The Memory Vault is an installation at Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington. The plaques on the pillars are poems relating to the feeling of the environment at the Fort. It is a pleasant spot to reflect on our place in the natural world and our impact on it.

Oh Boy, New Toy

Point Wilson Lighthouse — slightly cropped

Photographers generally enjoy getting new equipment. I always find that a new lens or camera will inspire me to go experiment and try to find new ways of seeing. One of my favorite subjects for photography is the moon: very thin crescent moons, full moons near the horizon or eclipses (lunar or solar). I have used different lenses for these shots, but didn’t really have a long lens … so I would end up cropping a lot.

I recently treated myself to Nikon’s 500mm f/5.6 PF lens. This lens is a Fresnel type … and I tried it out shooting the Point Wilson lighthouse … which I thought was appropriate, since the lens in the light of a lighthouse is a typical use for Fresnel optics. The advantage of a Fresnel lens is that it is shorter than a standard lens design, and typically lighter weight … plus (big advantage here) cheaper. (not to say ‘cheap’ … but at least somewhat cheaper … the Nikon standard version runs nearly 3 times the price of the Fresnel version)

I’m looking forward to shooting some moon shots … just as soon as we have some clear weather here in Western Washington.

Point Wilson Lighthouse — full image *
Point Wilson Lighthouse detail — cropped at 1:1

Beach Walk

Beach Walk
Beach Detail

I like the panoramic format even if the subject isn’t a scenic panorama. Of course, it depends on the subject. In the top image here there are a lot of horizontally running lines … something that a panoramic crop can emphasize. In the lower image, the crop turned into a panorama when I cut away the pieces that were distracting. In this image, I liked the wet rocks just above the surf line … and the rocks in the distance become increasingly out of focus.

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