Photo Gallery

Penumbra Exhibit Space at Genesee Community College

Lensless Photography

By Zachary Hellwig
November 20, 2020

Lensless Photography is a show that was exhibited in the Penumbra Exhibition Space between B205 & B207 at the Batavia Main Campus. The show is comprised of student works compiled from a PHO103 project done on lensless photography. Students worked with limited lab time in the dark room and came together to produce this show.

I have always been fascinated by photography and this year it has been especially enjoyable. With all of the events of this year it was therapeutic to get back into the dark room and make some art. It has been great to be back in the classroom and getting to meet and work with new people. I loved working on the lensless photography assignment.

The goals of the lensless photography assignment were to create at least two prints using one of the methods we learned in class. The methods we learned were contact printing (photogram), lumen printing, and pinhole photography (first and second generation prints). I have made some contact prints in the past but making lumen prints was new to me. It was very interesting learning how the flora interacts with the silver immolation on photographic paper. The process of making lumen prints was especially unique from other mediums I have worked with. It involved a lot more patience as it takes about 30 minutes of exposure to the sun to create the print. The process was also different from other types of analog print making as the first two chemicals when printing normally (developer, stop bath), are not used in the process. Overall there were a lot of beautiful results.

Using a pinhole camera was also new to me and a bit more complicated too. There was a lot of trial and error working with the pinhole cameras. Unlike other forms of analog photography, when using a pinhole camera it uses a piece of photographic paper instead of film. This means that the print comes directly out of the camera and is a first generation (negative). A second generation print can be made using the first generation by placing the first generation over a piece of photographic paper and using an enlarger to expose the paper before running it through the chemical process. Using a pinhole camera was also unique because the exposures are much longer than if you used a film camera. I think my favorite of the processes that we learned for the lensless photography assignment was how to use the pinhole camera and print from it.

The overall experience of the project was very enjoyable and I would love to create more art using the techniques we learned in class. Participating in a show has been very rewarding too. Through putting together shows like this one we are learning a lot of practical skills that an artist needs to be successful.