An Interview with Wenda Salomons

Wenda Salomons has worked in pinhole photography– analog and digital– for over 30 years. Her current body of digital work explores how movement can reveal an essence of the subject.

Her photograph, Sunflowers I, is published in the April 2023 issue of Pinhole Poetry.

What can a pinhole photograph convey that another photography medium might not?

Due to a number of distinctive characteristics, pinhole photographs have the capacity to convey mystery and emotion in unique ways. The infinite depth of field combined with general, overall soft edges suggest an otherworldliness, even as the subject is familiar and perhaps common.

How did you first decide to begin taking pinhole photographs and how long have you been practicing?

In a university photography course I took many years ago, students were invited to make and play with a pinhole camera. I instantly fell in love with the medium. It seemed a perfect fit for the ideas I wanted to explore: emotion, memory, mystery. My love affair and partnership with pinhole photography has lasted decades, although what I explore now has shifted a bit.

I find that some pinhole photographers are interested in the art of the form while some are more interested in mastering the technical aspects. Where do you fit on that spectrum?

I think I have shifted over time from concentrating very keenly on the technical aspects of making pinhole photographs (especially when I was working in a darkroom) to lately being more interested in the way pinholes broaden the field of what photography can be.

Can you tell us a little bit about the technique you most often use to take your photographs? What is it that appeals to you about this particular technique?

At the moment, I am using a DSLR with a homemade pinhole lens. I intentionally don’t use a tripod or any other support while I’m making an image, beyond the stability of my body. This creates intentional camera movement, as the exposures for pinhole photographs generally take longer than standard photographs. This intentional movement pairs well with my interest in pushing the boundaries of what makes a good photograph. I’m interested in exploring forms in dynamic and non-static ways.

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