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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.

November 13th, 2009 : Eric Engelhard
My name is Eric Engelhard. I am a computational biologist, husband, and father of two children. I live in Davis, California, which is a university town in the middle of a very large agricultural area.

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 first pinhole camera was part of a group science class assignment in junior high school. Although I enjoyed using it, I did not spend a lot of time with it and placed it on my mental "to do" list. Twenty seven years later I came across a pinhole image, Pig on a Manhole Cover by David Pugh, that really knocked my socks off. I started reading about the technique and shopped around for a camera and expired film on eBay. Honestly, I am completely ignorant of most art history, including photography. So my style can best be thought of as experimentalism. I take long walks with my camera and point it at subjects that look as if they may be interesting. I develop film with coffee, music, and a note pad.

Eric Engelhard
srfb@comcast.net
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Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and applicable to your work?
The near infinite depth of field is wonderful and something I look to use the most, but I also enjoy capturing movement with long exposure, and well as using multiple exposures.
 

Copyright © 2009 Eric Engelhard
you shall not make for yourself an idol
Pebble Beach, Ca
Zero Image69 in 6x6, Fuji 160NPS, DIY color with the Tetenal C-41 kit
Which new techniques would you like to experiment within the year?
I now have a pinhole board for my field camera. This set up will make it easier for me to experiment with alternative focal lengths and non-parallel film planes. That said, I would like to go back and make some simple cameras and shoot on paper again.
What creative tools and techniques do you use, such as any specific cameras, film, development, or printing processes?
I enjoy using expired film. My experience is that only the most abused black and white film shows any significant changes from new film, but shifts in color negative and instant peel film can be spectacular. Most of my experience is with a Zero Image 69 camera, which shoots 120 size film with masks for 6x4.5, 6, 7, and 9 frames. This is my main camera and had been my first choice for a long time. My first venture into large format was with a simple 4" x 5" box pinhole and the format has slowly become my favorite, especially for black and white. I don't have access to a dark room, so I develop my film in daylight tanks and scan them for posting online or printing. I also send out my negatives when I want a really nice optical print. I do have plans, however, for a dark room.
Why is pinhole photography important to you?
Pinhole cameras are simple little boxes that capture dreams in high fidelity analog.
 
Final Thoughts: Eric's work is entertaining and insightful. He routinely transforms the commonplace into the monumental, exploiting the characteristics of pinhole. To check out more of his work, review his Flickr stream today.

- BJK, November 2009.