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Wheelie Bin pinhole camera

Around 1989,  the old circular metal 'trash cans' on my street were replaced by plastic 'Wheelie Bins'. Instantly my brain went into overdrive and I thought. Hey I could use this as a pinhole camera. I took next doors bin (we needed ours), dragged it upstairs, made a small metal hole, bought a huge roll of paper, loaded the camera, gaffer taped it shut and took it on a bus to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Selling this camera to the Royal Photographic Society is still one of my life's achievements!
When exhibited, they gain a new life being viewed on 'Inverse' on mobile phones

Me and bin.jpg

In memory of the great  Vera Lutter

How to make and use a Wheelie Bin camera.

  1. Find and clean a wheely bin. (I found mine next door!)

  2. Cut a hole in the side and insert an aluminium pinhole of around 2mm.

  3. Buy a 6m x 142cm roll of photographic paper. (A snip at £65-00!).

  4. Trim down a 142cm x 100cm sheet and tape it around the inside of the bin.

  5. Tape down the lid and place a light-tight ‘shutter’ over the pinhole.

  6. Cart it off to the seaside or the top of Ben Nevis. (bus drivers love them!)

  7. Expose the paper for 8 minutes in sunlight.

  8. Wheel it back to the darkroom / bath.

  9. Take out the paper and tape it above the bath. Sponge on Dev, Stop and Fix.

  10. Wash down the final print with a shower attachment.

Processing the image.jpg

The  Royal Photographic Society and the Watershed 3x3
In the early 90s, with the assistance of the great Lorinda Coombes, I took several Bin images around the streets of Bath, processed in the darkrooms of the RPS headquarters, then at the Octagon in Bath. These later went on the become a permanent exhibition at the cafe area. This support came at a time when I encountered considerable negativity from other photographic organisations and gallery's. Although the RPS have moved on I will always be indebted to their support at this time.

The Watershed 3x3
In 1994, I was asked to be part of a travelling exhibition with the Tim McMillan and Anthea Nicholson titled 3x3. I remember serving wine out of the wheelie bin camera on the opening evening! Many of the images were taken on or around the Clifton Suspension Bridge who continue to support my endevours. 

After giving ways to the NTOEC to do pinhole photography with people from remote parts of Northern Territory in Darwin there came the enquiry, 'Could you come to Australia?' so for a month in 2001 me and Chrissy imposed pinhole photography on Darwin, Townsville and Sydney. Great fun, (although it did take me a while to learn that the lids of Australian wheelie bins were made out of thinner, and less light tight, plastic!

Dick and Dom
Absolute genius with Dick and Dom. Video here.
Fun TV stuff using an even larger wheelie bin which needed a large, illegally parked Transit van to load and unload the roll of paper. Great thanks to the London College of Fashion for letting us use their darkroom. 

Day of Light
A bin image taken for the International Day of Light at the St Pauls learning Centre getting the staff of the centre to keep still for 10 minutes. The image is exhibited beside the lift on the ground floor. 

neg of essex exhibition.jpg

A negative image of an exhibition of my wheelie bin negatves - Romford 2014

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