Geist

ERASURE

Terra Poirier

- —Roni Simunovic

The pinhole photograph­y diary project

The images here are selected from Terra Poirier’s pinhole photograph­y diary project, for which Poirier photograph­ed her daily routine for three weeks using a pinhole camera, similar to how one might keep a written diary. Pinhole cameras—much like the first cameras of the nineteenth century—require long exposure times, minutes or even hours; anything that moves in the frame is blurred or erased entirely. For one of the photos featured here, Poirier photograph­ed a forty-five-minute long haircut session: Poirier can be seen sitting in a chair; her stylist, who moved around, is missing from the photo. In other photos, crowded spaces—costco, Value Village, a diner, the dentist’s office—appear empty. “Most people don’t seem to register that I’m taking a photograph. I’ll set up my little tripod, get down on the ground to adjust the angle and release the shutter, and then I have to hang around while the film is exposed,” Poirier says. “I’m always thinking about whether I’ll get asked to move by security.”

Pinhole photograph­s, she writes, are unreliable in the same way diaries are: both record and distort moments and leave a selective record of events. Poirier uses this slow form of photograph­y in the age when hundreds of billions of photograph­s are generated every year using smartphone­s. During her three-week project Poirier captured 72 exposures. April 26 is National Pinhole Photograph­y Day.

Terra Poirier is a photograph­er who lives in Vancouver and at terrapoiri­er.ca.

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