Interview: Anthony Carr

We interviewed artist Anthony Carr, asking questions about his work with pinhole photography…

Anthony Carr - Burghley Lunar-See

Anthony Carr – Burghley Lunar-See

Anthony Carr - Burghley Lunar-See

Anthony Carr – Burghley Lunar-See


Why/when did you begin to get involved in pinhole photography?

I first started to use pinhole photography as an easy way to teach children how light and black and white photography worked, in around 2005. And that lead to me experimenting with pinhole photography in my own work around the same time. At that point in my practice I was working with long exposure and nocturnal photography and I soon realised that pinhole photography was the missing link.

Anthony Carr - Crouch End Clock-Tower West

Anthony Carr – Crouch End Clock-Tower West


What kind of pinhole camera do you use?

I generally use homemade pinhole cameras to capture images. In the beginning I tried various designs from pringles tins to cake tins, but I’ve settled on the humble 35 mil film canister as it’s discreet and both waterproof and light-tight already. Which of course are the key things to maintain when leaving the cameras outside for long periods of time. Recently I’ve been combining the film canister cameras with homemade time-lapse mechanisms to capture and overlay slices of time, rather than long continuous periods of time.

Anthony Carr - Film Canister Pinhole Camera

Anthony Carr – Film Canister Pinhole Camera

Anthony Carr - a Nestbox Time-lapse Camera Mark I

Anthony Carr – a Nestbox Time-lapse Camera Mark I


Do you practice any other alternative photography processes?

I’m not sure if you include this as an alternative photography process, but I’m fascinated by camera obscuras, which I think helped fuel my initial interest in pinhole photography. I’ve coverted a few rooms into camera obscuras in the past and once built a wooden shed-sized octagonal camera obscura for a scultpure exhibition.

Anthony Carr

Anthony Carr


Could you say more about the significance of surveillance in your work?

Surveillance and the crime-scene aesthetic have been two of a handful of themes running through my work since before I graduated 15 years ago. I’ve always been interested in the elevated viewpoint of CCTV cameras and the kind of quality of images they produce. They have this unique semi-aerial perspective on the world. My first large-scale pinhole project was directly inspired by Britain’s surveillance culture, and the inobtrusive nature of the film canister cameras has made it possible for me to install them in a number of locations, including a former Queen’s Lodge, an Elizabethan mansion and on numerous tree trunks in parks.

I also generally disguise my more recent homemade time-lapse pinhole mechanisms inside nestboxes to allow me to install them up high on trees in psuedo CCTV camera locations.

Anthony Carr - A New Horizon

Anthony Carr – A New Horizon


Is the material nature of the analogue process something that is significant within your work?

I would say that the analogue process is integral to my practice. The properties of film and how it behaves over a long period of time give my photographs thier unusual appearance, in particular the unconventional colours. And I deliberately include the clip marks and registration notches of the 5×4 format whenever possible in the final print as a way of both celebrating the medium and hinting at their low-fi production.

Marcin Wojciechowski

Dark Side, Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski

Marcin Wojciechowski


“The “Dark Side” series consists of gloomy images depicting a world of the fears. Their existence is an attempt to domesticate what is dangerous and unavoidable. All pictures were taken with a self made pinhole middle format camera.”

Visit Marcin Wojciechowski’s Website Here.


Pinhole Talks at The Double Negative Darkroom, 2 April 2014.

On Wednesday 2nd April at 6.30pm, London Alternative Photography Collective will be meeting at The Double Negative Darkroom at 178A Glyn Road in Hackney.

This month’s talk is themed on pinhole photography, to promote Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day on April 27.
Please bring along your pinhole photography prints and DIY Pinhole Cameras along for show and tell!

We will be providing refreshments, and an opportunity to chat about alternative photography processes.

There will be talks from;

Sebnem’s recent feature in The Telegraph, March 2014.





“Sebnem Ugural was born and raised in Turkey. She studied political science and moved to the UK for her MA in Human Rights. She started taking photographs in 1998 with an analogue camera and has been working as a freelance photographer since 2006 in different fields. Pinhole photography tempted her couple of years ago. She mostly takes self portraits with her home made pinhole cameras. She will be teaching pinhole photography to socially disadvantaged children for the project run by IMECE and awarded by BBC Children in Need. She occasionally runs workshops.”




“My home is London, England but for the last several years my husbands job has taken us to Houston, Texas and now St John’s, Newfoundland. This has taken me on a journey from teacher, wife, mother to photographer.
Houston gave me Glassell School of Art with it’s darkroom, amazing teachers and a wonderful supportive group of fellow students. During this time I really grew to love film, there is nothing more magical than seeing your image appear in the developer! I have a variety of cameras 35mm, medium format, 4×5 (yet to be used), plastic and pinhole. I use B&W film, which I process myself, but also experiment with a variety of color films. The move to St John’s took away the darkroom but brought me an iPhone and a new creative outlet.

I now spend more time in the UK where I am part of London Alternative Photography Collective and eventually hope to get back in the darkroom again.
Whilst in Houston some of my portrait work was included in Foto Fest 2012 exhibitions and the annual student show at Glassell School of Art, summer 2012. More recently one of my iPhone images received an Honorable Mention in The Fine Art Category at the 3rd annual Mobile Photography Awards.

I began my ‘pinhole experiments’ when I was still living in Texas and as a lover of plastic cameras it seemed only natural to use Holga’s. Last year I returned to it again when I participated in World Wide Pinhole Photography Day, 28 April 2013. By chance I happened to be in Twillingate, Newfoundland and took the opportunity to photograph one of the first icebergs of the season. I love the timeless quality of pinhole images as well as the way the seem to capture the light. It is a process which certainly requires me to slow down and is a good counterbalance to my iPhoneography. The more I have been experimenting with pinhole the more I realize this is the medium I want to use to capture Newfoundland, this ‘marvelous, terrible place’ which is unique and unpredictable.”


About London Alternative Photography Collective

The London Alternative Photography Collective aims to bring together artists and photographers around London who wish to share alternative photography ideas and processes.

The group meet at the Double Negative Darkroom at 178A Glyn Road in Hackney, E5 0JE.

We provide artists talks, discussions about Alternative Photography Processes, demonstrations and opportunities to collaborate.
Anyone interested in Alternative Photography is welcome to join.

About Double Negative Darkroom

Double Negative Darkroom is a budding, London independent photographic community and lab. Fast becoming a European centre for Alternative photographic process and Silver gelatin teaching and learning.

As Double Negative provides free refreshments at the London Alternative Photography Collective, we would ask that you bring a £3 donation (£2 to darkroom members) to the event.