The Handheld Series marks a vital point in my photographic career. Prior to this collection, I feel like I was merely following the standard logically path using the pinhole camera. The previous work was your standard long exposure work which just happen to employ a pinhole camera. The Handheld Series marks a massive departure from traditional pinhole photography as well as my own work.
The series began as a potential solution to the short coming inherent in my large format pinhole. The giant camera required a not so subtle tripod. The three legged anchor meant that I could never be in the middle of the activity but always just off to the side. The pinhole on the camera also required a tremendous amount of light. The Holga pinhole camera needs only half as much light while being small enough to allow me to drift in and out of the chaos. The initial question was whether I could hand hold a camera for 1 second and still get a pleasing image. Would the blur overwhelm the image? Could you even see what I intended to capture? I grabbed a few rolls of film and figured I would discover if I liked the results.
This image was in that first roll of film. As soon as the image populated on my screen from the scanner, I knew I hit on something worth exploring. The image possess a beautiful painterly quality reminding me of Impressionism. The rest of the frames on the roll were ok but nothing great. For the next 6 months, I would grab 10-15 rolls of film and head down into Philly. The Handheld Series was born out of the resulting frames. Even with the amount of work put into this series, I never quite know how a resulting image will turn out. Will the subject suddenly move or stand still? Will I hold it steadier this time? How will all the elements blend and work together with its particular level of blur? This unpredictability can be frustrating at times but also why I am still so excited to explore the blurry middle between photography and painting.