First trip with my New Harman Titan Pinhole Camera

On a late Saturday afternoon, I set out to test my new Harman Titan 4x5 pinhole camera. Typically a morning photographer, this time I seized the first chance after a busy family morning. Arriving at Crowlink car park on the South Downs, heavy rain forced me to wait in the van for a bit. With just under 2 hours until sunset, I anticipated a challenge with the diminishing light. 

Using Fomapan 100 film, I pushed it to iso 400 for shorter exposures times in the low light conditions.

I fitted the camera with an "L" bracket to make switch from portrait to landscape easier and also added my light meter which attaches to the cameras cold shoe mount.

A few spec on the Harman Titan 4x5
  • Focal length: 72mm (2.8in)
  • Pinhole diameter: 0.35mm (0.0138in)
  • F number: f/206
  • Angle of view: 97 degree
  • Weight 248g

Seizing the first photo opportunity just down the road from the car park, I swiftly arranged the shot for the first exposure. A winding country road with an aged flint farm wall running alongside it and a solitary tree.
Positioning my setup in portrait orientation and hugging close to the wall, I prepared for the shot. Composing an image on a new pinhole camera always presents a challenge. It's difficult to gauge its width and precisely predict what will be captured in the frame. It often takes multiple outings to truly get to familiarize yourself with a new camera.
Exposure 37 second

The second image 
features a humble gate and a muddy track. Regrettably, most of the subsequent shots reflect a sense of urgency, as I began to grasp the diminishing daylight. Realizing the limited time, I captured whatever scenes I could, abandoning some bigger plans for another day. 
Ultimately, this trip became a dedicated exploration and learning experience with the camera.
Exposure 2 minutes 36 seconds

Third image
I'm captivated by this resilient tree, weathered by the elements over its lifetime. While setting up this shot, I grappled with understanding the camera's width. Placing it low to the ground and angling upward, I aimed to encompass as much of the tree as possible without distancing myself too far. However, I neglected to consider the horizontal perspective; positioning the tree further to the right would have enhanced the composition. Additionally, a windier day would have infused the image with dynamic branch movement, elevating its visual impact.
Exposure time 37 seconds

Fourth image
Is minimalism considered artistic and creative, or is it just perceived as another attempt in desperation? This image diverges from my usual choices with a pinhole camera, but I believe in the value of occasional experimentation and running out of light is a good time to experiment. Although my intention was to approach the sheep more closely, their fleeting nature prevented it. Nevertheless, the image manages to capture some of their distant movement, adding an unexpected dimension to the composition. The sun was setting, a colour film would certainly of benefited this image more
Exposure 1 minute

Fifth image 
This particular shot fell short of my expectations, despite the stunning light and picturesque trees. Visualizing the camera's angle of view posed a challenge once again. The limited space made it apparent that a 6x12 camera might have been more suitable for this specific shot. However, this outing was dedicated to experimentation and acquainting myself with the capabilities of this camera.

The last and final image 
As the sun dipped below the horizon, a captivating scene unfolded in front of me. Bathed in the fading light, the landscape revealed intriguing features – peculiar mounds in the foreground, a road cutting through the center, and a hill in the background with an old wall running up its center. Needing a five-minute exposure at the time of light metering, this shot was again more of an experiment. Seeing the remarkable level of detail this pinhole camera can capture. Despite the typical softness you get from a pinhole camera, this is often enhanced with distant objects in pinhole photography, the image retained impressive clarity for a pinhole camera. The trees on the hill remained recognizable, demonstrating the camera's ability to preserve finer details.
The final exposure time was 9 minutes

In conclusion, my experience with the Harman Titan 4x5 pinhole camera was a journey of discovery and experimentation. While grappling with the challenges of understanding its width and framing shots, I found the camera's ability to capture details in varying lighting conditions truly impressive. Each shot, whether meeting expectations or not, contributed to my growing familiarity with the camera's nuances. Despite some limitations and missed opportunities, the process was invaluable in expanding my photographic skills and pushing the boundaries of creativity. The Harman Titan 4x5 pinhole camera, with its unique characteristics, proved to be a compelling tool for those willing to embrace the learning curve and explore the artistry of pinhole photography.

This camera will undoubtedly be a steadfast companion on numerous future outings, its distinctive charm and the artistic possibilities of pinhole photography ensuring it remains an integral part of my photographic journey for years to come.

Check out the full video on YouTube


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