Data + Design Project

Pinhole Photographer Captures the Places She Sleeps

Tuesday 03.12.2013 , Posted by
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chineDe Chai The Colonial Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

For the past ten years, photographer Sheila Bocchine has been documenting the various places she has slept in the world. Using a pinhole camera – which is a camera with no lens and only a single small aperture, a pinhole – she has been capturing the motions of her deep sleep. She titles her ongoing project “Sleeping. Dreaming.

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Considering herself a photographer who obsessively documents random ideas, Bocchine’s sleep photos have been captured in such exotic places as Geoje Island in South Korea, the Colonial Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and at the Pacific Sands hotel in Santa Monica, California. Utilizing travel websites such as Couchsurfing, she has been able to find many unique places to capture her shots. She typically leaves the shutter open for the duration of her sleep and most images are exposed for 4-8 hours. In her words;

“The pinhole camera is a type of Camera Obscura, the first camera invented in the 1850′s. Before it was used as a camera with film, it was a tool to help artists learn to paint and draw with more detail, a tool devised to help tell time and a tool used by scientists for observing a solar eclipse.

My pinhole camera is lens-less, uses medium format (120) film, made from teak wood and produces square images. The exposures are longer to compensate for the pinhole, which is why you will see subtle blur and motion in all of my images. Since the world rarely stands still, my pinhole camera captures all the beautiful motion and energy onto the negative, thus resulting with dream scape qualities. I feel like each pinhole photograph is a marvelous dream… a surreal and whimsical moment in time that has swirled around my daydreams before coming out as the perfect pinhole photograph.”

If you are interested in the idea of making your own pinhole camera and want to learn more about Sheila Bocchine, check out her website or her blog.

My grandmother's basement. Concordia, Missouri

My grandmother's house. Concordia, Missouri - Copy

Rex's Moms house. Samcheok, South Korea - Copy

San Carlos Hotel - Copy

Sedona Rouge. Sedona, Arizona - Copy

Kowloon Park (bird sanctuary). Hong Kong

Pinhole Photo 1

Pinhole Photo 2

Pinhole Photo 3

Pinhole Photo 4

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Shawn Saleme

Written by Shawn Saleme



Shawn Saleme is a full time writer for Visual News. Having traveled to over 45 countries, his international escapades continue to influence his writing and perspective. When not in a foreign territory, he makes his home in his native San Francisco Bay Area. Become friends with him on Facebook and invite him to share drinks and stories with you.

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