Pinhole swap 2008
Some of the envelopes received during the annual exchange of pinhole pictures.

Since 2001 some pinhole photography lovers created the Pinhole Cards Exchange, which means exchanging pinhole pictures or more generally pictures realized without any lens (that is zone plate, pinhole slits, multi-holes, etc…) in occasion of the new year. In practical terms, the members add their address to a list, they can send one or a dozen of pictures, for free and without any specific rule, apart that the picture must be obtained without the use of a lens. Christmas and wishes are not my problem, but I gladly participated, and I must say that I was pleased to receive almost a letter per day, when everything arrives on the net and spot or bank bills are the only thing inside the mailbox. No way to explain the pleasure to see different envelopes, letter or print paper.

I sent a picture shot in 2005, a self-portrait made with a cardboard box, hole done by a pin in a beer tin can, negative on 13×18 cm ilford paper. I photographed with backlighting because I don’t have a good scanner, I create a digital negative and printed a cyanotype on 9x11cm Bristol Paper, followed by tea toning. 25 exemplars editions and two artist-test, signed and numbered. The toning part is one of the most excellent of the last times; I had deep black, almost black, and not the classical cyanotype blues. The high lights have been tainted by tea in warm reddish yellow that I find very nice.

I will post here some of the pictures I received, my favorite ones. The first place goes to the Eric Mitchell’s, fine subject and amazing print on Foma FB basic paper. The best print is the Ingo Guenther’s, an amazing photogravure on a beautiful textured paper, with wonderful deep blacks and classic ink aspect, with lovely grain. Earl Johnson’smust be mentioned among the particular cyanotypes, perfectly realized and by the interesting matter and grain; shame for the stain in the sky. I find Adrien Arles’ double exposition perfectly fulfilled, as the two images totally blend to each other, as they’d be one. Moreover, I do appreciate panoramic pictures right now; therefore I’m happy to have received many of them. Finally, I do appreciate the particular soft and delicate view of the pastel colors in the curious rounded pic by Matt Neima.