Some Assembly Required: Trond Kjetil Holst

This series focuses on those who take the making of pictures a step or two further, creating their own photographic tools.

 Photograph made with giant pinhole camera.

Photograph made with giant pinhole camera.

Trond Kjetil Holst, Målselv, Norway

Norwegian photographer Trond Kjetil Holst has been making pinhole photographs since 1984. Over the years he has constructed many variations on the pinhole camera in order to demonstrate the principles of photography to his students. Kjetil used to black out the windows of his classroom to create a camera obscura, but found the process cumbersome. He eventually found an old camper that he converted into a giant pinhole camera and which also serves as a portable darkroom.

  Camper camera

Camper camera

The camper’s conversion began in November 2012 and was completed in time for World Pinhole Photography Day on April 28, 2013. By removing most of the camper’s interior and painting it black, Kjetil created a light-tight space for exposures. A large white screen is mounted inside the camera on one side and the other side houses a pinhole from an old non-working computer, which allows for variations in the aperture. It is also possible to mount a traditional lens on the camera and Kjeril uses a 600mm Apo-Ronar lens for that purpose.

In total, the camera weighs 2094 pounds and is capable of producing paper negatives up to 50 x 98 inches. The resulting photographs are beautiful panoramic scenes of Norway. Due to their large size they have imperfections in the chemistry that highlight the uniqueness and handmade element of each image. Kjetil’s students enjoy learning about how cameras work while standing inside of one and he hopes to add a moveable plate holder to one day make large wet plate collodion photographs.

  The camera's interior

The camera's interior

View more of Holst’s work on his website.

Have you made or modified your own photographic equipment? Let us know at info@donttakepictures.com.