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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.

August 27th, 2010 : Etienne Groepl
I am Etienne Groepl, a passionate pinhole photographer and I live in Basel (Switzerland). I work for a pharmaceutical company, doing basic research in neuroscience.

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.

The first contact to pinhole photography was via Flickr, when I first saw some breathtaking pictures of the panoramic (6x12) pinholecamera Holga 120 WPC. A month later I had the chance to buy this holga in a small shop in Paris. Now five months have past after testing a variety of medium format films and I am getting a feeling for the rather long exposure times. The Holga and I are an inseparable team. I take it with me, wherever I can.

Etienne Groepi
  Email me
Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?

I like the simplicity of a pinhole camera. For me pinhole photography is a reduction to the essential things in photography: the art of implementing the sense of shapes, light, and perspectives on a piece of film. Beside this, pinhole photography, especially the panaoramic pinhole camera, offers me a simple system to capture daylight scenes with a long exposure time with an extreme angle of view of 120 degrees.

Copyright © 2010 Etienne Groepl
barcelona coast III
Holga 120 WPC, HP5.
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?

I would like to adapt the medium format camera to a 35mm camera to get
an even wider angle of view. Futhermore I plan to use more filters for the pinhole photography with b&w films and to save some money and to push
the originality of my b&w negatives. I'm going to develop the negatives by myself.

What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?

At the moment I only use the Holga 120 WPC for pinhole photography. My preferred color film is Kodak Ektar 100 and Ilford HP5 for the black and white film.

Why is pinhole photography important to you?

Pinhole photography to me is a challenging adventure to sharpen my senses, in photography in general, and to experience pleasant surprises in a world full of electronic control mechanisms.