Pinhole Camera Challenge to take place this weekend

Third annual event gives students opportunity to learn about photography and compete for prizes

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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 12:00 am


This weekend, students across campus will have the opportunity  to express their creativity through the lens of a pinhole camera at the challenge event co-sponsored by the Crafts Center and the Photography Club, which is in its third year.

According to Jo Westmoreland, assistant director of the Crafts Center, the event not only gives students the opportunity to learn about pinhole photography, but also the chance to win prizes.

"We provide pinhole lens, and all the support necessary to build the camera is at the Crafts Center," Westmoreland said.

Before actually taking pictures, participants can come into the Crafts Center to learn how to use pinhole cameras , according to Westmoreland. After the event, participants also have the opportunity to learn how to develop the photos.

Patrick Carroll, a senior in electrical engineering, competed in the event last year.

"Pinhole cameras use a convenient property of optics where light passing through a small hole or barrier diffracts past the barrier," Carroll said. "This inverts the image on a light sensitive photo paper in the back of the camera. This gives you an image that is in focus, given a sufficiently small hole, for objects both near and far."

This being the third year of the event, Westmoreland said they expect more students to participate.

"We're expecting a bigger crowd this year," Westmoreland said. Westmoreland also said that more prizes would be available to participants this year.

According to the Crafts Center website, a prize of $100 and free crafts classes will be awarded to the judges and people's choice winners.

George Thomas, director of the Crafts Center, said this year's event has a new prize that is meant to direct students' attention to the Talley Student Center renovations.

"Knowing this is a wonderfully exciting time for Talley Student Center, the Crafts Center is adding a prize of $100 to be awarded to the best photo that captures the renovation project," Thomas said.

As frequenters of Centennial Campus, Carroll and his partner decided to take photos of Centennial Campus. This proved challenging for him because of the commute from Centennial Campus to the Crafts Center to develop the frames.

"Taking good photos of Centennial was difficult because we had to run back to the Crafts Center to develop each frame," Carroll said. "This left many of our frames overexposed because of a few light leaks in our cameras coupled with the longer average commute time."

Carroll, who plans to participate in the event again this year, said he thinks this event will continue providing publicity to the Crafts Center. "The Crafts Center hosts the competition to promote itself as a place for people to learn or practice new hobbies," Carroll said. "It seems that the Crafts Center's existence is still relatively unknown around campus."

Hannah Pettus , a senior in international studies, also competed in the event last year. She said that while she was a newcomer to pinhole photography last year, the event was extremely rewarding.

"The event gives each student a sense of accomplishment, even if they do not place in the competition," Pettus said. "It really gives students the chance to embrace full creativity."

Pettus went on to say that this type of photography is easy to teach, which makes it viable for a campus setting.

"I think the Crafts Center enjoys this competition because it is a relatively simple and yet still compelling form of photography," Pettus said.

Westmoreland said students seem to thoroughly enjoy the event.

"Students always seem to have a great time," Westmoreland said. "It's fun to use these cameras."

Pettus said that she thinks this event fosters pride in the campus community.

"Since this competition is attempting to take a photograph that truly suits N.C . State pride, it really makes a student think about what it is they take pride in throughout campus and what really distinguishes N.C . State," Pettus said.

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