31st May 2002





Photography student Andrew Simpson raises a few eyebrows when he tours Lincoln taking pictures… with a black plastic dustbin!


Andrew (19), who studies Graphic Design and Lens Media at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, has spent the last semester researching pinhole photography.


After trying various methods he found he got the best results with a black dustbin, and now he’s produced a range of unusual images of Lincoln using pinhole technology.


“I was curious about pinhole photography and got the chance to turn my interest into a university project, so I started reading up on it,” said Andrew, who comes from Stevenage.


“The basic principle is that you can use almost anything to make a picture so long as it’s light tight. You literally make a pin-sized hole in it and use the light that enters through the pinhole to record the image on film or photographic paper.


“The pinhole acts like the pupil in your eye, letting in only a tiny amount of light which is projected onto the back of the camera, upside-down and in negative form and with infinite depth of field.”


The Chinese knew of pinhole photography in the 5th century BC and it was used by the ancient Greeks a century later. During the Renaissance period painters used pinhole as an aid to sketching their works of art.


Andrew experimented with shoes boxes and a Pringles can before settling on his black bin – though the size of his camera sometimes gives him problems. “The camera has to remain perfectly still for the duration of the exposure, which is about half an hour,” he explained.


“The first time I used my bin I put Blu-Tack underneath it and stuck it in the middle of the road. For my shots of Lincoln Cathedral I gaffer-taped the bin to a pole because of the wind and then found a tight corner where I could lodge it in.”


Andrew has experimented with pinhole ‘joiners’, where he shoots a picture on several different pieces of photographic paper at the same time, each individually bent to distort the sections of the picture and then puts them all together like a puzzle.


He attended a workshop on National Pinhole Day at the Usher Gallery in April and hopes to set up his own dark room and continue to work on pinhole photography this summer.


Lincoln Cathedral

Steep Hill, Lincoln


Visit  www.pinholeday.org or http://uk.geocities.com/andrewjohnsimpsonuk/Pinhole.swf


For more information contact Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)                     email:    jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk