Pinhole/Cyanotype

The idea from this first exploration was to try something “new” for me within the photography field. I have been interested in trying pinhole exposures in negatives for a long time, I considered building my own camera for this project, but that would have slowed down my process. I got a camera from a friend, it uses medium format film and has a set aperture of f120. I made myself a chart that would allow me to translate the readings from the light meter to get the proper exposure time for the pinhole. So that being said, shooting pinhole wasn’t as freeing as one would think, I was still attached to a light meter and still depended on a proper exposure time to acquire my images. I decided to carry the camera and shoot my everyday life as days went by, because I was still learning how to use the camera and was unsure about the results I would get.

I created the following chart that would serve as a reference for approximate exposures.


My idea was to shoot colour film, but when I took my first roll to develop, I realized that the shop that developed 120 film- close to OCAD -had went out of business and closed. OTher places take more than a day to develop, so in order for me to have more control I had to switch to black and white, and do the developing myself. AS I got better with the exposures, I began thinking about how I was going t,o present the images? I had approached a very friendly and helpful photo technician, Hugh, when I first thought about the pinhole idea, so I went back to him and organized a demo for Cyanotype. Just a day before the presentation, he taught me how to contact print the negatives that I showed in class. I am satisfied with the cyanotype as a method, but I am still thinking about ways to improve my print. Is it possible to bring more contrast to the images? is it possible to darken the blues even more? is it possible to enlarge the image? I want to try to make a better print than the one I presented, perhaps switching papers, coating it more times, adding more chemicals to the washing mix, and even masking my paper with tape to have a small frame rather than coating the whole sheet of paper.

As for the concept of the work, I was able to read two ideas from the images I got. The concerns of life as a mother are always present,
and the idea of dying or loosing someone you love is not unfamiliar to me. Questions of what happens after death? What if I die? what if my children die? these are thoughts that wonder my mind constantly and I was able to reflect them by capturing these images. The other idea is a conversation between my images and my son Mateo. We learn a new language together (him English, me pinhole) as he experiences the world around him, exploring the city, new objects, new words.


Coating the paper for exposure


Just like in other printing processes, Cyanotype uses a lamp similar (if not the same) to the one used in the Screenprinting workshop.

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