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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 19th, 2010 : David Nordstedt
My name is David Nordstedt. I currently reside in Gainesville, Florida where I have spent most of my life. I have a Masters degree in Computer Engineering and am currently working as a software developer. Art and music still play a big part in my life and always will.

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 built my first pinhole camera in early 2006; almost four years ago. I created it using an old cardboard box I had from getting a roll of 220 film developed. I took a sewing needle and poked a hole in a piece of pie tin for the pinhole. I then taped a piece of 35mm b&w film inside. From then on, I've been hooked! I've built and bought quite a few different pinhole cameras since then. I became interested in this art form after getting involved with Flickr and seeing what other artists were doing with film photography. Even though digital photography was really taking off, helped along by the advent of cheaper digital cameras and internet sites such as Flickr, I found myself more and more intrigued by the unique images created by chemical processes. The images that really caught my eye, and still do, were the ones with a sweeping view and the entire image in focus.

David Nordstedt
david.nordstedt@gmail.com
Follow me on Flickr 
Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?
The pinhole characteristics that really attract me are the near-infinite depth of field, extreme wide angle and edge distortion with a short focal length, light flares, and a unique perspective that is obtained when juxtaposing subjects near and far. I enjoy images from artists who create a blurred and dreamy image with their pinholes, but I really strive to produce images that focus on particular subjects where the image is sharp and usually with perspective lines that lead towards a vanishing point.

Copyright © 2010 David Nordstedt
Chopstix
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?
I have a lot of ambitious plans for 2010; nearly all of them involving pinhole photography in one way or another. First, I'm going to work on producing focused projects with a theme. Second, since I do mostly black and white pinhole photography, a natural step for me will be to work more with red filter and infrared pinhole photography. Third, I'm currently working on building a custom pinhole camera to fit my growing needs (I've been working on plans for a year or more). Finally, something I probably won't get to this year but I'm extremely interested in doing is building a digital camera device to capture the same type of pinhole images I get using medium format film. This will have to be something different than just a DSLR with a pinhole body cap. I have some ideas, but nothing firm yet. I really enjoy the film process, but there are many occasions when I wish I could experiment more and push out more work. Digital would help that effort tremendously, although I have my doubts as to whether it can produce pinhole images as well as film.
What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?
For most of my work I use my own custom modified Holga camera with a Lenox Laser 200 micron stainless steel pinhole aperture. I chose a 20mm focal length on medium format film to give me a wide field of view. I mostly use Fuji Acros 100 b&w film because its characteristics work well for long exposures. I typically use Diafine for my own b&w developing. I like it because of its compensating abilities that work very well for the long exposure times using pinholes and the high aperture numbers. On those projects where I use color, I very much like Kodak Portra 160NC.
Why is pinhole photography important to you?

I like the analog aspect of pinhole photography and using only very basic elements to create an image, but more than that I enjoy the unique perspective a pinhole camera produces. The image may look a little strange to some viewers at first. I find it interesting to note that if you close one eye and really take a look at the world around you, you will find it actually looks a lot like a pinhole image; including the angled lines of buildings and other structures. More than anything, I love being able to create the "true image" of our world created through the eye of the pinhole.

 
Final Thoughts: David's work experimental work is refreshing. He is unafraid of incorporating elements such as lens flare, vignetting, and photo lab mishaps into his work. He seems to be pushing himself to try new techniques and within his Flickr stream you can witness some interesting ideas in early blossom. Learn more about his work at www.flickr.com or on his website www.alternatephotography.com.

- BJK, February 2010.