It's easy to fall in love with digital cameras.

That immediate pleasure in seeing your results on that little screen and then not much later (most likely) in social media. However for me I've started to see a problem with this: an inclination to think less about what one does and instead 'spray and pray' (an old expression I used to use during my photojournalism days).


I found a British maker, Walker Cameras, who makes a classic 4x5 pinhole camera that's perfect for light film work. Of course this isn't your average film camera. 4x5 film is rare and your choices limited. In this case I've started with something a bit more closer to digital: direct-positive film. Essentially it's light sensitive paper that after exposure you place in your developer bath. Instead of 'film' it's the actual photograph that's being developed. It's a slightly simpler process but a good introduction into analog work. Oh, and everything is upside down and flipped around!



It's a far slower process. The photograph exposures take easily 100x longer, the changing of film to create a new photograph - also far slower. Getting your pictures 'out of your camera' takes hours rather than a split second. I've only made a few brief exposures to learn how the camera works but I'm pleased with the initial results.

There's no way to 'compose' your photographs as there's no view finder so a lot of guess work and visualization is required. Still, a good start.