Pinhole Photographers, Unite!

When we decided to showcase some of the images and cameras in the museum’s Pinhole Resource Collection, we knew that thousands of visitors would become enchanted. Little did we know how the photographers themselves would react.

When Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography opened April 27, 30 photographers from around the world arrived in Santa Fe, eager to see their work included in the exhibition. And, it turns out, eager to meet one another. They met the evening before at a private reception generously hosted by Verve Gallery. And by the time the opening rolled around, their camaraderie had an old school reunion feeling to it.

Some of them purchased copies of the Museum of New Mexico Press book, Poetics of Light: Contemporary Pinhole Photography, then passed them around for signing almost as though they were yearbooks. Here’s astrophysicist Ed Fenimore signing someone’s copy:


And here’s some of the gang gathered in the museum lobby after shooting a group photograph (yeah, they took lots of photographs) in the Palace Courtyard:


Guest curators Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer founded the Pinhole Resource in San Lorenzo, NM, and donated its 6,000 photos to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives in 2012. Upstairs, in the exhibit area, Renner (at right) greeted old friends and photographers:


And out in the Palace Courtyard, photographer Donald Lawrence sat on a chair surrounded by photo-developing chemicals, carefully working on a new negative the traditional way:


“I always thought of myself as a loner,” said Lawrence, who lives in Camloops, British Columbia, and whose underwater kayak camera is on display in the exhibit. “Being here shows me that I’m really part of a community.”

We’re especially grateful to all the other folks who showed up on Sunday, yet another part of our community, people who are just learning that they may want to be part of that Pinhole Photography Fraternity, too.

Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography is on display at the New Mexico History Museum through January 10, 2016, so there’s plenty of time to come and …. check out how a pinhole camera works:


…test a simple camera obscura device:


…and learn how camera obscuras work: