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Kickstarter-funded 'Book of Pinhole' celebrates the simplicty of the photographic genre

Create: 12/02/2016 - 23:02
f/D Book of Pinhole


  • 99 pinhole photos shot by photographers around the world
  • More than 500 photos were submitted for consideration
  • Book is being funded through a Kickstarter project

Pinhole is photography in its most basic sense. No lens. No shutter. Just a tiny hole and film – and today, a digital sensor.

A new Kickstarter project aims to publish a book that celebrates pinhole photography.

f/D Book of Pinhole contains the works of photographers who responded to a “call for entries” earlier this year through the f/D website (http://www.fslashd.com), which focuses solely on pinhole photography.

The 8 x 8 soft-cover book is expected to be 140 pages and will contain 99 photos – 60 black and white and 30 color. In the Internet age, it is appropriate that photos come from North and South America, Europe and Asia.

“I was thinking, ‘I’ll be really happy if we have 30 quality photos.’ “ f/D founder Kier Selinsky said, referring to the call for entries.

That wasn’t going to be a problem, as it turned out, because some 500 photos were submitted during the 30-day period.

“About 90% of the images in the book were shot on film or photo paper,” Selinsky said. The rest were shot digitally.

Selinsky spread the word about the book project using e-mail, a newsletter and social media in the form of Twitter and Facebook messages, as well as a Reddit ad.

The Kickstarter project is already underway and ends on Jan. 1, 2017. At the moment, the project is nearly 100% funded.

Selinsky’s goal is to begin sending books to buyers in the middle of the first quarter of 2017.

The book’s layout and copy is in place with final editing still ahead. Kier’s wife, Libby, is overseeing the layout and editing.


A pinhole usually has an aperture of about f/100, which provides extreme depth of field. Because there is no lens, true pinhole photos can appear soft with vignetting (light falloff) in the corners. With so little light reaching the film or sensor, exposure times can vary from a fraction of a second to 30 seconds or more. Some digital cameras have a “pinhole” option, but the resulting photo is not the same as a true pinhole photograph.

Selinsky’s interest in pinhole photography started with his work in digital photography. In 2007, Selinsky had set up his own freelance photography business, which was now driven by digital photography. However, it never satisfied him, as he became frustrated by the constant pursuit of what he called “pixel perfection.”

While surfing the Internet, he came across the now-defunct f/295 website, which was dedicated to pinhole photography. For Selinsky, pinhole took him on a very different photographic journey.

“I came upon alternative methods,” he said. “It inspired me to try it.”

He took the plunge and became immersed in it. Moving back into film wasn’t a problem for Selinsky. His first camera was a Pentax K1000 fitted with a f/1.4 50mm lens. It’s how he learned photography.

Today, Selinsky uses several pinhole cameras, including the Zero Image hand-made wooden camera and a Holga with the lens replaced by a pinhole assembly and others that he has fashioned.

Last year, he launched f/D with the goal of teaching people about pinhole photography through a series of articles on the site. Explaining the site’s name is simple: f/D refers to the mathematical formula to determine a lens’ aperture.

The book, he said, was a natural progression from the site.


Like most Kickstarter projects, there are several funding packages:

  • Single book - US$25
  • Book + Print of Editor’s Pinhole Photo - US$40
  • Book + Press Signature - US$75
  • Book + Press Signature + Print of Editor’s Pinhole Photo - US$90

Read more about the Kickstarter campaign here:

Some of the photos featured in the f/D Book of Pinhole appear below.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.