I often look through old albums of my grandfather's family photos from the 1920s, marveling at how he must have labored to produce them in his hobbyist's darkroom, even creating clever photocollages for my mother's birthday invitations. In the present, everyone's a photographer, and our cameras have become a ubiquitous piece of our daily go-everywhere technological hardware. We share photos by rote, thinking nothing of it, as if this is the way things have always been done. And not to say that's a bad thing: It's not. Photography is now an art for everyone. My 13-year-old daughter is a photographer as much as anyone who hoists a much larger, more powerful camera than the one in her iPhone.
But Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, on the other hand, celebrates photographic egalitarianism of another kind by encouraging people to make crude cameras out of cookie tins and oatmeal boxes. To make a primitive pinhole camera, no experience -- or even a lens -- is required, and to take a picture with it is pretty much just as easy. It's technology deconstructed, and on Saturday April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., expert instructors from Working With Artists in Belmar will assist people in making their own pinhole cameras, shoot images and usa a darkroom at the Zang Mansion, 709 Clarkson Street, in conjunction with a global event typically observed on the last Sunday in April.
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Denver's event is a day early, to be sure, but no less fun: Register in advance, bring an airtight container with a lid and get ready to make a little magic in a box. There is a $20 fee to participate (a $30 package for a family of four is also available); call 303-837-1341 to reserve a space.