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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.

June 25th, 2010 : Diane Peterson
My name is Diane Peterson and I live on the prairie in North Central Idaho. I am the park secretary at Winchester Lake State Park in Winchester, Idaho. My travels throughout the world have given me a perspective on my humble surrounding where I now live, creating the need for imagination in finding subjects for my photography.
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.

My interest in pinhole photography happened about 4 years ago. I had picked up an issue of the British publication "Black & White Photography", they had a huge section devoted to pinhole work. The images were amazing, so of course I wanted to know more about this art form. What surprized me were the various types of pinhole cameras that were used...everything from a vintage Kodak Brownie to a "Zero Image" beauty. I immediately went to work to try and make my own pinhole contraption. But being a novice photographer at the time, I had a lot of questions. I was able to locate one of the artists featured in the article and found a phone number and email address for her. I quickly contacted her and she gave me a few hints on creating a pinhole camera using one of my large collection of Kodak Brownie Hawkeye's. I was immediately smitten with the entire process.

Diane Peterson
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Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?
I am always delighted with the results of my efforts with pinhole cameras. I especially like that you don't know how your images are going to transfer themselves to film. I have made pinholes cameras from many things including a paint can and a cigar box and the results are fascinating. The wide angle and slight curve to your photo create some interesting comments from viewers.

Many times I walk through the park where I am employed with one of my "creative pinhole cameras" and invariabley someone will stop me to ask what I am doing. I do take time to explain pinhole and the entire process but 95% of the time someone will say "yea, but what's in the box?". So I start over. I end up thinking they don't really believe there is nothing "in the box"!

Copyright © 2010 Diane Peterson
Using my pinholepolaroid camera. Wind softly blowing makes more interesting shot.

View it on Flickr!
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?
I've just begun to explore some new oncology film and I hope to build a camera for it and see what it has to offer. I'd like to continue to explore infrared film in pinhole applications, long duration exposures on photo paper, and altering film planes for specific effects.
What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?
Up til now most of my pinholes are usually of stationary objects, not a lot of movement. I want to do a series of pinhole images with movement as the theme. A bit longer exposure will be needed so I must figure out how to have movement without over exposing my shots. My submission to "World Pinhole Day " was suppose to be of an apron hanging on the line but the wind was blowing so hard that day it was hard to get anything close to what I wanted for the image. So, I suppose I have achieved this in a very small way.

My first pinhole camera, other than those I had made myself, was a gift from Randy Smith at He created a beautiful little purpleheartwood beauty that uses Fuji Instant film. Using this camera really helped me understand about exposure in pinhole work. Randy has helped me so much with doing pinhole as well as other aspects of photography and I am thrilled to be able to call him my friend. He has since made a larger 4x5 wooden pinhole for me (the Davinci Pinhole) which uses either Fuji instant film or 4x5 sheet film! This camera has a pinhole aperture of f/261. It is gorgeous!

I have also learned to develop my own black and white film which is great since I am way too impatient to wait to have my work developed by a lab!
Why is pinhole photography important to you?
Probably the thing I like most about pinhole photography is the lack of a viewfinder with my work. You have to really think about what your results will be based on how you set up your shot. It requires a bit of thinking and pondering, but I am never disappointed!
Final Thoughts: Diane's work has a typical classic, vintage feel to it that is enchanting. View more of her work in greater detail at or

- BJK, June 2010.