Unboxing ‘The f/D Book of Pinhole’

The f/D Book of Pinhole: A global survey of pinhole photography is f/D‘s book of 100 pinhole photographs by 100 international photographers, edited by Kier Selinsky and Libby Duncan Selinsky. They don’t have copies for sale yet, but the Kickstarter rewards are arriving as I type. Mine came yesterday, and you’re seeing it here first…

As this is a very recent release, I’ll keep my comments short in the interest of getting the word out on this little book.

f/D is divided into sections—The Pinhole Look, On Motion and Time, Ultrawide, Multi-Exposure, Perspective, Exploit the Sun, Handheld, Infrared, Blenders, Anamorphic, and Sprockets—each with a short introduction by the editors. As something of a writer, I have problems with poor grammar and sentence structure, and f/D really could’ve used an editor. I got hung up reading the very first page and had to stop and just look at the universally excellent photographs.

The print quality is decent, and the book is just about the right size. My only complaint with the images really has to do with the binding. In perfect bound books, images that span two pages, across the gutter, are very difficult to view. This is a universal problem with so-called “perfect bound” books and why, when I ever get around to it, I’ll be saddle-stitching the zines I make, and insisting on smyth-sewn bindings for whatever books I make, if I ever get beyond the zines I keep talking about but never making.

So the writing is not great, the printing is good, but some of the images suffer from the binding, but the ones that don’t save the book from going into the sell pile, and probably earn it some space on the to-try-one-day shelf. There is some really good stuff in the book, and I’ll have to look up a couple of the photographers to see what else they have to offer.

Concept
Content
Design

Overall, I’d give The f/D Book of Pinhole a middling 3.3. The photographs are almost universally excellent, and the book is well printed, but the overall presentation and the rather lackluster writing drag it down a bit.

You can do quite a bit with a pinhole, and f/D has a little bit of all of it. I’ve long been aware of Solargraphy, but this is my first exposure to blender cameras and shaped film planes, and look forward to giving some of the techniques a try one day.

The inspiration factor is strong in this one, and if you didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, keep your eye on the f/d website, and pick up a copy when they come available.

And if the editors happen to read this, I’d be happy to do a bit of copy editing for the second edition. Just hit me up.

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