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Pinhole camera-making leads to exhibit

30 March 2017


Above, images taken using the pinhole camera.

By Cris B. Cayat

Photographs by nine Filipino migrant women are currently on display at the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Yuen Long in an exhibit organized by HULU Culture, which opened on Mar. 23 and will last until Apr. 18.

The exhibit is a collection of photographs taken with a pinhole camera – created through a partnership between HULU Culture and Lensational, a group that empowers women through photography.

Back side of the camera,
with the film cartridge.
Among the exhibitors is Joan Pabona, who developed her love for photography when she was still in college, and who has now reinforced her passion by joining Lensational. She said that being with the group has developed her skills in taking great images.

Pabona recently won the grand finals of the photo competition organized by Christian Action in celebration of Women’s Month this March.

Another exhibitor, Ruby Timtim, said she was amazed by the simplicity of creating a camera, let alone the materials used. Timtim said taking pictures with digital cameras now don’t come near the process involved in creating the pinhole camera.

To make the pinhole camera, Timtim said they used a camera film box for its main body, a strip of cardboard to cover the tiny hole, black electrical tape as camera lining, aluminum foil to protect the film, and another empty camera tube to roll the used film. She said the process of  capturing image was very delicate but the results were unbelievable.

The workshop was run for six Sundays in four stages, starting with an introduction to photography, then pinhole camera making, guided community tour to expose them to the local Chinese culture, and finally, the completion of their project for the public exhibition.

Pabona, who’s been in Hong Kong for only four years, said she keeps herself busy reading and watching youtube videos to enhance her photo shooting skills.

She has become quite good at her hobby that she now gets commissioned to do works for charity. She does not get paid anything for this.

She explained: “It’s not how much money you have but how willing you are to help others.”

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