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Flower Trade

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Pinhole Portraits: Gerberas
Photograph by Sisse Brimberg

To make this eerie image of a gerbera, Danish-born photographer Sisse Brimberg did something she’d never done before: She took the lens off her 35mm Minolta and covered the aperture with a lens cap that had been pierced with a tiny hole. She placed the doctored camera an inch or two away from the flower and shot. “At first,” she recalls, “my hand instinctively reached up to focus a lens that wasn’t there.” Brimberg soon got the hang of the so-called pinhole technique and used it to create this and the following floral portraits.

Camera: Minolta LLE
Film Type: Color negative film
Lens: 35mm
Speed and F-Stop: Very long exposure (8-10 seconds) through pinhole
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: Bright sunshine coming in through window

Special Equipment or Comments:
Color negative film is more forgiving, so I shot with it using a tripod to accommodate the length of exposure. The film was processed into prints, from which transparencies were made. The transparencies were then processed through a Polaroid machine. Once the Polaroid was removed, it was opened after about five seconds. The chemical side of the Polaroid was then pressed on a wet piece of handmade paper. Pressure was applied by rolling across the Polaroid. After 15 seconds, the Polaroid was lifted and dipped in a warm bath of vinegar and water to stabilize the image.

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