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About Daniel Bouman

Author & pinhole camera photographer


Daniel Bouman on the deck of his home with a favorite camera - an 8
Daniel Bouman on the deck of his home with a favorite camera - an 8" X 10" box pinhole, one of many pinhole cameras he built himself.

Daniel Bouman is a long term resident of the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. He makes his living in the two sometimes-conflicting fields of commercial photography and conservation advocacy. Daniel's work is well known in the arts community through exhibitions and workshops.

He has this to say about his work with pinholes:

"Photography has been a focus of learning and study for me since 1991. The use of pinhole cameras was originally a way for me to satisfy a curiosity, but it wasn't long before I fell completely in love with image making and especially the esthetic of the pinhole picture. Over time I learned about cameras of all sizes, ages and types but the pinhole camera has continued to occupy a special place in my heart. It must be the dreamy but universal focus and its enigmatic implications that has me hooked.

"One day while browsing in a bookstore, I came across photography teacher, Ralph Gleason's "Seeing For Yourself", and became interested in experiencing the pinhole phenomena. Before long I was exposing 5 X 7 sheets of photo paper in cardboard boxes and developing them in a makeshift bathroom/darkroom. After a few months, I graduated to film which has much greater expressive potential than photo paper. I learned how to expose and develop film.


"This required also learning how to print pictures from often overexposed and contrasty negatives. Since then, I've searched for the "perfect" pinhole format by experimenting with old Polaroids, instamatics, disposables, box and folding cameras, view cameras and a large variety of cameras made from hand-crafted boxes and found containers.

"The Sunshine Coast Arts Center has exhibited my pinhole images many times and has also been a source of camaraderie, inspiration, encouragement and critique during this long and personal odyssey of exploration.

"This spring, I exhibited pinhole images at the Artesia Gallery in Gibsons, BC, Canada, realizing a long-term ambition to build a walk-in camera. A storage room in the back of the gallery, which overlooks Molly's Lane and Gibsons Harbor, became the "camera". Inside the camera, a clear image of the scene (upside down and laterally reversed) covered the walls, floor and ceiling of the room. You can imagine my delight to be in the camera with a dozen or so gradeschoolers when a car drove through Molly's Lane. The image of the car would appear moving up one wall, across the ceiling and down the adjacent wall. This never failed to produce gasps of amazement. People strolling down the lane or boats sailing in the harbor also produced a similar result.

Sunshine Coast Arts Center photographed at ground level using a pinhole camera made from a Cadbury nut can on Tri-X 4X5 film - Exposure of 10 min at /225.
Sunshine Coast Arts Center photographed at ground level using a pinhole camera made from a Cadbury nut can on Tri-X 4X5 film - Exposure of 10 min at /225.

Daniel Bouman never seems to tire of talking about the pinhole camera and its wonderful qualities.
Daniel Bouman never seems to tire of talking about the pinhole camera and its wonderful qualities.

"Where has all this taken me? It has been more than a personal odyssey. It has taken me into classrooms, church basements, community and art centers, doing workshops and demonstrations and has also put me in contact with many working artists and photographic professionals. I now make my living primarily in photography and I credit the pinhole learning experience with giving me a refined vision and the technical skills to realize that vision. Sharing the "pinhole" experience has added immensely to the richness of life. As for the "ideal" pinhole format, I don't play with old cameras much anymore but have pretty well settled on contact printing and the use of large sheets of film as the primary materials for my pinhole images.

"The images illustrating the Pinhole Camera Section come from just a few of those many experiments with pinhole camera use and construction. I hope you enjoy these images and will also enjoy using your own imagination to 'see for yourself.'

"Good luck and have fun!"

Daniel Bouman


Daniel Bouman also dabbles in other forms of photography. He is seen here attempting to locate the viewfinder of his 35 mm camera. Photo by Sabrina Mutterer. Tongue-in-cheek photo description by PhotographyTips.com.
Daniel Bouman also dabbles in other forms of photography. He is seen here attempting to locate the viewfinder of his 35 mm camera. Photo by Sabrina Mutterer. Tongue-in-cheek photo description by PhotographyTips.com.