Eucalyptus on Merino
Pinhole Stories II
I started taking pinhole photographs soon after the London nail bombs exploded in Bricklane, Brixton and Soho back in 1999. Perhaps this wasn’t the best time…
People were understandably anxious and wary of “things” they did not understand. Angry people demanded explanations about my suspicious pinhole camera - a biscuit tin - I was asked to leave public places by security guards and threatened with police calls. In the end, tired and disillusioned by the lack of progress producing any work, I started taking photographs in my home in spite of the much longer needed exposure times.
I kept the photograph above solely as a memento to a particular incident. I had taken my pinhole camera to a small park near my university in order to test it. I taped it to a tree with gaffer tape and sat on a bench, not far, reading a book. I clearly remember lifting up my head from the book and seeing the old man trying to take my pinhole camera. He held a dog’s lead in one hand while he furiously fought the sticky gaffer tape with the other hand.
He thought there was a bomb inside my pinhole camera and insisted in taking it to the nearest police station. After an exchange of very heated words I finally rescued the biscuit tin that would become my favourite pinhole camera.
This was my second pinhole photograph. It has no artistic merit and only the peculiar incident with the old man walking the dog saved it from ending in the bin.
I still wonder who could possibly think that someone would place a bomb on a tree in an empty park.