Direct Digital Imaging

2016 is DDI’s ten year anniversary, totaling 18 years as a Phase One specialist
We have updated our Privacy and Cookie Policy in line with the new EU privacy regulations. Click on the security camera on the top right-hand side to learn more.
You are Here: > Home > Photographers Reviews > Chris Ireland

Chris Ireland

Exploring digital pinhole photography

  • by Walter Borchenko.
  • I love the soft feel pinhole photography creates whilst still retaining detail. There are no camera or digital filters that I am aware of which can produce this wonderful feel.

PinHole Photography with Phase One Digital Backs

chris ireland

Photography as a non-commercial pursuit can evolve technique and method to new levels. The lack of pressure to create a profit drives techniques and results that can change our perceptions and add new creative tools to our community. The limit is usually the pocketbook, time or both. On rare occasions, it all comes together as it has for Chris Ireland through his evolution of pinhole photography to digital capture.Chris has been selling and supporting Phase One digital backs for over ten years as a Phase One dealer. Based in Leeds, UK Chris has been providing equipment, seminars, installation, and training through his company Direct Digital Imaging DDI UK Ltd. The high level of knowledge and education offered is only possible because Chris is also a passionate photographer!

pinhole p65+

Shot on Buldog with P45+

The first time I saw Chris’s work was with his long exposure hand-held photography that was completely abstract and brilliant in tone and feeling.The work was inspirational and a celebration of the possibilities of digital capture. Shooting these serene subtly colored images took advantage of the unique look produced by the Phase One backs. The final results were silky smooth. Most would think a point and shoot would produce the same results yet nothing could be further from the truth. Since then,Chris has chosen to explore the pinhole camera with digital capture.

“ In the last few years I have experimented with digital capture in unusual ways.

The question has been

“What can I do with this and how does it affect the end results”. I have always loved landscape photography and my experiments had a landscape feel. It was about that same time I realised how much could be done with a Phase One back for fine art Landscape photography. I started to pursue some of the established and respected landscape photographers as clients and met two wonderful photographers, Joe Cornish and Steve Gosling.I was inspired by their work and I realised that it was important for me to capture some of the landscapes I loved but not as abstract art.

pinhole p45+

Shot on Horseman SWD Pro Mk II converted to pinhole with P45+ (stitched)

I went out in to the wilds with the Horseman SWD II camera and 35mm lens. This is a brilliant solution. I captured some excellent images, including super panoramic shots, by stitching several images together using the Horseman’s movements. As much as I had fun, I really didn’t feel I was pushing the process enough but I just couldn’t figure out how to push it further.At about this time Steve Gosling ordered a Phase One P+ back and I visited his latest exhibition of stunning images using film with a Pinhole camera. I loved the feel these images created by using a pinhole lens and that brought about a eureka moment! An exciting idea came in to my head. Could I build a pinhole camera that would work with the new P+ backs? Ifso, this would combine the oldest original image creation technique with the most cutting edge capture technology in the world. Could it actually work?

Although pinhole photography may seem like a incredibly simple process, the development of Chris’s pinhole camera solution became a labor of love that took a lot of time. From concept to final working product took over twelve months.“I needed to choose a camera body that I could have easily modified for digital use. I decided to use a self-build 5x4 field-camera kit called the‘Bulldog’. Working with the manufacturer, I had the back portion modified so I could easily adapt any camera platform mount supported by Phase One. The design takes seconds to switch between Phase One, Mamiya, Contax and Hasselblad V or H mounts and no tools are required.

I really like the classic field camera design of the Bulldog! Assembly is required, mostly with glue. The camera kit comes in a flat pack with all of the parts cut out ready to assemble. All the hardware for the camera is included. The final camera is solid and very sturdy. The bellows are compressed taking up very little room in the camera bag.

The Phase One sleeping architecture proved to be the first challenge for pinhole photography. I had to find a way to wake up the back before taking an image. Pinhole cameras are usually just a box with a hole in it. A shutter is required to activate the P+ back. I then found in some of my old camera kits an old Copal 0 lens shutter. Problem solved.

achromatic pinhole

Shot on Horseman SWD Pro Mk II converted to pinhole with Achromatic Plus

Next, I needed to create a pinhole lens and a converter for the Copal 0 shutter. I worked with a camera engineering company and manufacturer capable of precision cut pinholes in metal. We collectively designed an adaptor to fit a Copal 0 shutter in which I could easily change the pinhole metal lens to figure out what size the pinhole should be. Finally I had a single piece built that simply adapts to the Copal 0 shutter.After some experimentation I was able to wake up the P 45+ with a Phase One wake up cable and then fire a copal shutter and it worked!Too often today, creative photographers fall into the trap of doing what has been done before without really pushing the medium into new directions. So much effort is taken to create looks and feels that are not part of the capture experience today that in too many ways photo illustration has replaced the tradition of capture. Experiencing capture through the limits of a particular process can be a terrific way to create a unique look. Better yet, this approach makes it much easier to recreate a particular look consistently and with virtually no post-production time.

leath

Shot on Horseman SWD Pro Mk II converted to pinhole with P45+

I love the soft feel pinhole photography creates whilst still retaining detail. There are no camera or digital filters that I am aware of which can produce this wonderful feel. The fact that it is impossible on a pinhole camera to look through the lens is more inspirational than difficult. I cannot see myself using a camera with optics for some time, as digital pinhole photography is just so creative and exciting! The results I get are different from the results of film in a surprising and positive way.

Surprisingly, dependant on the time of day, the exposures are not that long ! The focal length I have achieved is like using the 35mm wide angle on a medium format system. Typical exposures are from 1 second to 9 minutes dependent on the time of day. The effective f-stop is f 180. The hole in the metal is also the lens so the aperture can be a lot smaller than those that are possible with lenses.In the past the combination of being unable to see through the lens with film as the recording medium made it a challenge for photographers to experiment with pinhole photography. The P+ series back now supplies an excellent depiction of the image captured on its new enhanced screen. It creates the opportunity for you to think about the subject composition. You can experiment to your hearts content to achieve what you want as your final image.All of these images have been processed with Capture One 4/5/6 software.

Published: Feb 22, 2011
Share this article

Latest Deals

Phase-One-IQ3-100-Trichromatic Call for
latest prices
Click to view

Phase-One-IQ3-100-Trichromatic

IQ3 100MP Trichromatic
The art of expression. The science of colour.

  • IQ3 100MP Trichromatic
  • XF IQ3 100MP Trichromatic Systems
Phase One XF IQ3 kit 80mm Blue Ring Upgrade Call for
latest prices
Click to view

Phase One XF IQ3 kit 80mm Blue Ring Upgrade

Order any XF IQ3 system kit and get an 80mm LS upgrade.

To any Blue Ring Prime lens

  • 35mm Blue Ring f3.5 LS
  • New 45mm Blue Ring f3.5 LS
  • 55mm Blue Ring f2.8 LS
  • 110mm Blue Ring f2.8 LS
  • 120mm Blue Ring f4 Macro LS
  • 150mm Blue Ring f3.5 LS
  • New 150mm Blue Ring f2.8 LS
  • 240mm Blue Ring f4.5 LS
Phase-One-XF-Feature-update-no.4 Call for
latest prices
Click to view

Phase-One-XF-Feature-update-no.4

Phase-One-XF-Feature-update-no.4

 

  • Autofocus & Recompose
  • Zoom to Focus
  • Focus Trim Tool
  • Focus Nudge
  • Automatic Focus Stack Calculator
  • Profoto Remote Trigger
  • Vibration Analysis
  • Infinite Vibration Delay
  • Control for visual displays with Capture Analysis Popup control
  • The ability to trigger the Electronic Shutter using an external shutter release
Phase One Certified Pre-owned IQ3 100 Call for
latest prices
Click to view

Phase One Certified Pre-owned IQ3 100

Phase One Certified Pre-owned IQ3 100

  • Worlds best image quality 101Mp
  • Flash Sync up to 1/1600s
  • Up to 15 f-stops dynamic range
  • full 12-months warranty
  • DDI Product Lifetime Technical support
Factory-Refurbished-XF-IQ260-with-80mm-SK-LS-f2.8-lens-plus-free-XF-V-Grip Call for
latest prices
Click to view

Factory-Refurbished-XF-IQ260-with-80mm-SK-LS-f2.8-lens-plus-free-XF-V-Grip

Factory Refurbished IQ260 with 645 DF+ & 80mm SK LS f2.8 lens

 

  • Free XF V-GRIP
  • Flash Sync up to 1/1600s
  • 60 minute exposure
  • Up to 13 f-stops dynamic range
  • WiFi to iPad
  • iPad Remote Control
  • full 12-months warranty
  • DDI Product Lifetime Technical support
New Phase One XF - IQ3 100 System Call for
latest prices
Click to view

New Phase One XF - IQ3 100 System

The New Phase One XF - IQ3 100 SYSTEM

  • Phase One Color Perfection
  • 16 bit analogue feel
  • 15 stops of dynamic rang
  • Clean ISO from 50-12800
  • 60 minute exposures
  • Output via Wi-fi, USB and NOW HDMI
  • Live View with 30 frames per second
  • Electronic First Curtain Shutter

 

 

Latest Photographers Reviews

Scotland from the Air XF IQ3 100 Click to view

Scotland from the Air XF IQ3 100

Scotland from the Air  Shahbaz Majeeb & Chris Ireland Airal XF IQ3 100 shoot

 

Steve Gosling with his A series IQ3 50 System Click to view

Steve Gosling with his A series IQ3 50 System

Steve Gosling upgrades to the A series IQ3 50 and gets a new prospective in his photography.

Shahbaz Majeed Click to view

Shahbaz Majeed

Shahbaz Majeed with his New XF IQ380

Joe Cornish Testing the IQ3 100MP back Click to view

Joe Cornish Testing the IQ3 100MP back

Joe Cornish tests the New IQ3 100MP back

From DSLR to Medium Format, William Barrington Binns Click to view

From DSLR to Medium Format, William Barrington Binns

From DSLR to Medium Format, William Barrington Binns.

After only just getting his XF system he went of to Thailand and came back with gold.

Richard Osbourne Click to view

Richard Osbourne

Richard Osbourne gets the Phase One P45+ and now expllains why Medium Format is better the 35mm

Cookies in Use