Wayne Martin Belger’s Pinhole Paraphenalia

Wayne Martin Belger builds pinhole cameras – this much can be said with certainty. The rest becomes as rain-blurred and effervescent as the images his unique apparatuses produce. Pinhole cameras are still popular among hobbyists and are occasionally hailed as the purest photographic tool. With no lenses between the tool and the subject, the scene, the light and the depth of field are captured in smoky stills – as if snapped by the mind’s eye. Experiencing these images for the first time is more like viewing impressions, memories.

As you can see above, WMB’s cameras are beyond mere tools, more than means to an end. While many artists long for the process more than the product, Belger has redefined process-love completely. His projects sometimes plant their seeds through the items he collects, other times through ideas, upon the birth of which collecting begins. The camera he used to photograph AIDS victims is built with a vial of AIDS-infected blood, the one with which he captured the secret life of deer is crowned with antlers, expectant mothers were shot with a camera within which an infant’s heart sits still. He’s used bees, human skulls, religious relics, and more. Each device built by Belger contains its sacred object, each otherworldly photo series is just part of a ritual and carries with it the spirit of the camera, the concept, the execution itself.

Belger and his exquisite cameras can be seen next at Device Gallery on September 13, at a special reception from 6 to 9 pm.

9 Responses to “Wayne Martin Belger’s Pinhole Paraphenalia”

  1. Erica Stratton Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been trying to plan how I can get back into photography myself, and this has been a great inspiration. Thank you!

  2. Ed Autumn Says:

    These are quite possibly some of the most eccentric, innovative and beautiful examples of DIY and all out passion. I would love to have something as wonderful as this, though I may be a bit afraid to use it as much for fear of damage >__<

    Very cool! :)

  3. Alice Says:

    Unspeakably cool! Looking through this amazing fellow’s creations, it’s the “Classic” that really makes my heart skip a beat:


    …insects? Cameos?? Yes, please!

    …although I AM a bit curious to know how one would obtain a baby’s heart or a vial of AIDS blood…

  4. Jerem Morrow Says:

    I’m all a’ swoon.

  5. Zoetica Says:

    Erica, so happy to hear that. This work is nothing but inspiring, yes!

    Ed, well, as you can see here it CAN be done. With a lot of passion and patience, yes.

    Alice, that’s a great one, as well. The baby heart is quite old, actually – from the Double Exposure article: “The heart was found in a garage that had once been an anatomy lab which had been closed since the 1940s. The heart inspired Belger to create the “Heart” camera”.

    Jerem, me too. Me too.

  6. creativename Says:

    Very awesome post. The level of dedication to the project, let alone the creative diy is impressive!

  7. Vivacious G Says:

    Very nice.

  8. Wayne Martin Belger’s Pinhole Paraphenalia Says:

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  9. cosmic dancer Says:

    I just met Wayne last night. If any of you get a chance to hear him speak . . . GO!

    It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist or a surfer . . . he has that passion for exploration that will reawaken or intensify your own.