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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.

March 12th, 2010 : Michal Malkiewicz
Michal Malkiewicz is a web and graphics designer, working and residing in Lódz, Poland.

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.
It started two or three years ago, from giving up almost entirely on my digital camera. The reason was I haven't been able to process all the photos I've been taking. It may sound weird, but the easyness of taking photos with a digital camera and the high level of control over the image got me feeling kind of discouraged with the whole idea of digital photography.

I decided to go back to my last film camera (good old russian SLR) and carefully started taking photos again. Not being able to look at the LCD screen gave me a chance to think more about the idea or subject. This way I felt like I was closer to the process.

Various imperfections of film material and the manual camera made the photos look kind of rich and natural. I got more interested in the analog subject again and eventually started to experiment with photographic paper in a simpliest pinhole. My first photos were more like a game of chance, but as I got more experienced the effects gave me satisfaction.

Michal Malkiewicz
Photo by W.Kurowski
malkiewicz@gmail.com
Follow me on Flickr
Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?
I like the element of suprise— spontaneus and unpredictable effects can make pinhole photos unique and strong. Softness and grain are also the characteristics that I'm after, as they often make the photos look very moody. As for the pinhole itself, the best part of it is its simplicity. A pinhole camera can be made of almost anything and doesn't require sophisticated materials or accessories, maybe apart from a tripod. Did I mention about being a little bit closer to the process itself?
Copyright © 2010 Michal Malkiewicz part of the Solargraphy 6x6 Project
exposed thru 27.12.2009 - 27.01.2010

See it on flickr
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?
Currently I'm experimenting with solargraphy. I was inspired by the Solaris project by Pawel Kula, Slawomir Decyk and Diego Lopez Calvin and The Global Project Of Solargraphy by Tarja Trygg. The idea of expanding exposure times intrigued and pushed me to attempt it on my own. Right now I participate in Diego's new project within Flickr solargraphy society called Solargraphy 6x6 Project. Its aim is to collect photos showing reference points in the Earth's journey around the sun and also to compare information about the atmosphere from around the world.
What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?
I use both negative film and photosensitive paper in various types of homemade cameras. I was inspired by online publications of some neat camera designs, like the matchbox pinhole camera or the domino box panoramic pinhole. Also the solargraphy method is taking over my photo interests. I'm trying new kinds of pinhole cams that would withstand a couple of months in outdoor conditions and yet be as much stealth to human eye as possible.
Why is pinhole photography important to you?
Pinhole photography gives me an opportunity to be closer to the whole photographing process. I build the cameras myself, so it is a part of me, that I leave in the shape of the pinhole or in the camera's design. The exciting part is that my work can bring some unexpected effects, as the camera construction itself can greatly affect the image.
Copyright © 2010 Michal Malkiewicz editor's choice:

pinhole/digital photo collage

See it on Flickr
 
Final Thoughts: Michal mixes paper negatives and film stock to create a photographic portfolio that any artist would be proud to claim as their own. His images invoke a collection of feelings and a combination of emotions. Form your own opinion about his imagery at www.flickr.com.

- BJK, March 2010.