Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zeb Andrews

I recently came across the work of Zeb Andrews on Flickr.  I've added a link to his web site to my list of outstanding pinhole photographers, and I wanted to say a few words about him here.

Zeb clearly has a good eye for landscapes and waterscapes.  Any viewer of his images is going to be struck first by the intentionality of his compositions.  They are not accidental or serendipitous, but rather carefully considered and rendered.  

The next thing to be noted is Zeb's medium of choice: color film exposed in a pinhole camera.  What sets his work apart from the crowd is his unusual and thorough grasp of the unique qualities of the pinhole image.  While many of his pinhole pictures are uncommonly sharp, a close examination also shows subtle departures from normally perceived reality in regard to color and tonality.  Dramatic intensity is provided by the pinhole's extreme depth of focus, and time and space are rendered elastic by the extended exposures required to register an image on the film.

I asked Zeb if he would mind sharing some comments on the techniques and equipment he uses for his pinhole work:

"I don't mind sharing info at all. Photographers who aren't confident enough to share technical info is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Anyhow...

Most of my pinhole work is done with the Zero Image pinhole, either the 2000 (which is 6x6cm) or the 6x9cm model. So there are a couple of the variables right there. 1) I am using medium format and producing large negatives so the images look crisper and more detailed because they are enlarged less. 2) The Zero Image pinholes are exceedingly well made in terms of how clean and precise the pinhole is. It is almost sort of ironic I know, to be using such a primitive means of photography and producing images that others often don't realize are pinhole at all because of how sharp they are.

Other than that, all the usual stuff, low ISO film for finer grain, work usually from a tripod for stability. Cannot really say I have any "secrets" other than that. If I think of any other good additions I will let you know. The fact that they are Zero Image cameras is well worth mentioning though. The cameras are absolutely gorgeous in hand... all hand made at that. And they perform wonderfully, as my images exemplify.

Oh, I said most up there, didn't I? The other pinhole camera I use is the 6x12 pano made by Holga. Black, plastic, no where near as elegant looking as the Zero Image, but the pinhole in that is surprisingly good too."

This blog entry provides only a brief glimpse of what is available at Zeb Andrews Photography.  His Flickr photostream is also well worth a visit; recently, he has been posting some delightful pinhole views of Paris there.

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