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Take 5 Interview
The Take 5 Interview series is a continuation of featuring selected pinhole artists from around the planet. Each artist is asked a set of five questions that will shed light on their persona, their portfolio, and their creative take on this intriguing art form called pinhole photography. All questions are derived by Brian J. Krummel and answered by the respective artist in their own words.

February 5th, 2010 : Cathy Lehnebach
My name is Cathy Lehnebach. I've been living in Paris for several years and I have a passion for photography. I started to practise it in the 90's when I was a student at the university of arts and cinema in Nanterre near Paris. My interest for this discipline is growing each day and I'm always glad to share my work with others.

When did you first get interested in pinhole photography and how long have you been practicing this art form? List any creative influences that have shaped your own personal style.
I've known pinhole photography for several years but I thought it was very difficult to practise it. Then I discovered a pinhole group on Flickr (the match box pinhole group) and I saw it was very easy to make a pinhole camera with a match box. I have built my first one in March 2009, so I can say that I'm a beginner in pinholing...!

My influences are various: Robert Frank, Raymond Depardon, Larry Clark and many others... and I also like very much some filmmakers as David Lynch, Gus Van Sant (especially the film "Gerry") or Jonas Mekas.

Cathy Lehnebach
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Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?
The first important thing to me is that pinhole is the essence of photography. The mechanism is ancestral and very simple... In a few words, it's just Magic...! The second thing is that it's a very experimental way to practise photography. There is no automatism, it's always different according to the light, the weather, the moment, etc... and it's always a surprise.

Copyright © 2010 CATHY LEHNEBACH
This image is a triptych I took in the harbour of Cherbourg this summer. It's a boat wHIch is leaving France for Ireland; in the past the boats went to New York... I think those photos tell us a story, and I like it VERY MUCH.
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?
A lot of ones...! I'll try to experiment the pinhole with my SLR camera, and I would very much like to try several pinholes by Zero Image: the 35mm, and the 4" x 5". And if it would be possible, I'd love to combine it with an alternative print process such as the cyanotype.
What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?
The pinhole I use is a match box pinhole one, with a pan F black and white film and also with the Velvia 50 that is perfect for this pinhole. Then the exposure time is quite short, between 1 and 2 seconds. Otherwise I enjoy using my first camera, an old one, it's a Minolta XD7 with a 50mm lense combined with the Kodak E100G film which is great for cross processing.
Why is pinhole photography important to you?
Pinhole photography can give some very attractive results in a very simple way. And because there is no viewfinder we have to imagine the final picture, and this is very exciting!
Final Thoughts: Cathy's matchbox pinholes are gritty, full of defects, and softly focused, in other words, PERFECT! Learn more about her work at or on her website

- BJK, February 2010.