Did you know this picture was taken without a camera lens?! Today we feature The Captain's Bathing Place in Skerries County Dublin taken by George Sheils with a pinhole camera. The first pinhole photograph was taken in 1850 by Scottish scientist David Brewster. As the name implies, a pinhole camera is just a light-proof box with a pinhole on one side (of varying aperture) that allows an image to be projected onto the opposite side of the box. It is amazing that such detail and clarity can be captured using such rudimentary equipment. However as the aperture lets in such a small amount of light, exposure times range from five seconds to several hours to capture a scene depending on lighting conditions. George grew up in Skerries. He explains the significance of the location:
"I used to swim a lot here when I was younger.
I placed my tripod low with my 5x4 pinhole camera mounted on it about 50 cms above the surface of the slipway. The waves were rushing up and down the slipway - although, because of the long exposure (1 min 36 secs) the water has blurred into a mist."
I really like the sharp crisp lines of this composition and the curved handles of the ladder that disappears into the water. The evidence of water lapping over the edge of the pier is visible in the form of clouding around the ladder. The rich centred line of the horizon provides great contrast between the darkness of the water and lightness of the sky.
George's prints are available to browse or buy here from €39.
- Mark Sheils
Founder, Picture Ireland