Pinhole photography is not a new concept, it is in fact where photography began so many years ago. This is my pinhole bullet time project, a combination of traditional photographic practices and modern technology to create something that explores new ways to look at sports photography.
The way the exposure worked was difficult. I shot in a studio and the entire shoot was done in complete darkness. All of the light sources had to blacked out, this included little LED’s on smoke detectors! Because even though they are small they produce a lot of light. To get the images I used 6 Bowens 500R studio kits all set to maximum power, and because everything was shot in complete darkness the flash worked as the shutter. It was incredibly difficult to get the right timing with my model, because I could not see where he was during the action sequence. However a lot of practice with the lights on and remembering key timings meant that we got it right in the end.
After exposing onto the 35mm film it was removed from the pinhole rig and put straight into developing tanks ready to be developed. After developing, each individual frame had to be scanned in; this took forever! Once scanned the film in I was able to put a rough sequence together and even though I had labelled everything to ensure the film was all scanned in the correct order, there were some sections that ended up in the wrong places which created hours of headaches trying to sort it out. When you stare at the same sequence over and over again it is incredibly difficult to figure out what is wrong with it, you know there is something wrong but actually finding it and sorting it out proved very difficult.
As well as that I also had to line each frame up with the previous frame, because as you know pinhole is not perfect however it is the imperfections of pinhole photography that ultimately make it perfect. So in Photoshop I had files with hundreds of layers. This was the best way to get everything as close to perfect as possible, and get rid of extreme jumpiness in the sequence.
The film I used was Ilford HP5 Plus 400 ISO. I used a 400 ISO film because there is very little grain to it and I just really like the HP5 film, I have used it for a long time and will continue to as long as Ilford is around! I could have used a 3200 or even an 800 film but that would have increased the graininess of the final images and I had access to a lot of very powerful light, so why not use it!
Here is the behind the scenes video of the Pinhole Bullet Time Project:
Because there were so many different elements that went into this project I created an infographic to sum up some of the main points.