Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography at the New Mexico History Museum
I was thrilled a few years back when I received a mysterious package in the mail. It was a pinhole camera which I had sent to Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer the year before. They of course are the co-directors of Pinhole Resource and incredible pinhole photographers who have published many books on pinhole photography of their own work and the work of others, among many other accomplishments. They had placed the pinhole camera in one of the galleries for the exhibition Poetics of Light, at the New Mexico History Museum, an exhibition they had curated. The camera was up for six months – the duration of the show but the galleries were very dark with no actual daylight directly coming into them. I did not have much hope for the exposure and frankly, forgot all about it. When the camera came back, I did not think the image was worthwhile enough to send to the Museum or to the Pinhole Resource. But now I am looking at it and it did record something of the show and the show was so important to Pinhole Photography in general that I decided to write this blog post about it. So glad that I resurrected the image and apologies for not posting it right after the show. Here is a great link to the Poetics of Light show .www.nmhistorymuseum.org/calendar.php?&id=1946\ and a book about it, Poetics of Light.
The Pinhole Resource with Nancy Spencer and Eric Renner in charge has inspired me for years. I am lucky enough to own and use two of their Leonardo cameras (8 x 10 and 4 x 5 pinholes) and a Zero 2000 (a 120 pinhole) all of which I bought from them. I was also published by Eric Renner in Pinhole Photography: From Historic Technique to Digital Application. It was the first recognition of my pinhole photography and it was incredible to be in the official history; the image I sent to him for the book became a part of the Pinhole Resource collection which in turn was donated to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. The featured image for this post is the one Eric Renner published in Pinhole Photography (link previously mentioned).
on deaf ears is another book of Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer’s that I highly recommend. It is a book of still lifes made over many years and then photographed with a pinhole camera. Incredible art. You should go to Pinhole Resource and buy a copy. Renner and Spencer also published the Pinhole Journal for twenty-two years and collected a vast number of images from photographers they featured in the Journal. That archive made up the Poetics of Light exhibition and was donated to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, Pinhole Resource Collection, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, NM. You can see it here: Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, Pinhole Resource Collection
So while thinking about pinhole photography which is 95% of what I do these days, I have to pay homage to the Pinhole Resource and the history of this medium. I love shooting film in the pinhole camera. I am grateful that I found such a wonderful thing to do with my life.