Julian Flynn's Pinhole Photographs of the Gardens of Bédarieux
I have been sporadically photographing with pinhole cameras for quite a few years now, tempted by the freedom from compositional rigour imposed by the lack of any viewfinder, and by the larger format negatives one gets and their infinite depth of field one gets with a pinhole.
But I'd never produced anything I was happy with. The angle of view always seemed too wide, too 'omnivorous'. The resulting photographs lacked structure.
In June 2010 I bought a Holga 6 x 12 cm camera. My early attempt with this camera were also disappointing. I was using it in horizontal format and the same problem arose - I was capturing too much. Also there was the temptation with this format of always photographing long subjects - 'daschunds and stretched-limos'. I only started to get interesting results when I worked against the natural format of the camera, turning it 90° to give an elongated vertical format.
In doing this the horizontal plane lost its extreme wide angleness. The increased vertical coverage somehow didn't seem so much of a problem. The camera vignettes at one end. There appeared to be nothing I could do about this so I kept this vignetting end at the top of the frame to reproduce the look of an arch - which looks more natural than having the vignetting at the bottom.
I have been concentrating on photographing gardens with this camera - seeking certain moods of melancholy and abandonment, especially in gardens which are unkempt and returning to nature, and have been photographing mainly in the Winter months.
There are plenty of big, wild, beautiful gardens here in Bédarieux and people have been very co-operative and welcoming when I've knocked on their front door asking if I can take some photos of their garden. Many of the pictures in this gallery were taken in my parents' garden by the river Orb.