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Old School Meets New! Using Pinhole Cameras and 35mm Film to Create Bullet Time Images

By Chris Nachtwey on June 13th 2014

What happens when you mix pinhole cameras, 35mm film, and a love for “Bullet Time” photography? One hell of a cool photography project, that’s what! Brandon Griffiths decided he wanted to combine traditional photography techniques with modern technology to create awesome black and white Bullet Time images on black and white 35mm film.


Bullet Time photography is the art of firing multiple cameras that are typically in a circle at the same time to create a spinning 360 degree view of the subject or action frozen in time. You have seen this technique before thanks to the Matrix movie series. Creating it yourself though is no easy task, it’s even harder if you’re making your own pinhole cameras and using 35mm film.

The Project


Check out the behind the scenes video below to see how Brandon pulled off what ended up being a six month project.

The Final Product



Brandon was kind enough to share some more insight into how he actually captured the images with me. Since he was using 400 speed (ISO) 35mm film (he chose 400 speed film to reduce grain, and just likes the look of Ilford HP5 Plus 400), he had to set everything up in complete darkness, otherwise the film would be exposed and ruined. Pinhole photography works by exposing the film to the light it sees through the pinhole, there is no shutter. For this project, the lighting would work as the shutter. Brandon used six Bowens 500R studio kits on full power to light his subject, acting as his shutter, and  ultimately exposing the film.



Since Brandon was using film, that means there was an extensive amount of developing to be done. Once he self developed all the film, he scanned all negatives to create digital versions of his images. Using Photoshop, he aligned all the images in the correct sequence to create the final product video above.




Personally being a film lover, I love how Brandon took the time to create Bullet Time images with black and white film. It looked like a ton of work, but personally, I feel like the end product was worth it. Also, it’s personal projects like this, that can help you keep that love of photography alive.

CREDITS: All photographs by: Brandon Griffiths are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

Via: Brandon Foto Blog


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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Max Goodman

    This is well good!

    I did a similar experiment but with film cameras.

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  2. Greg Faulkner

    Crazy amount of effort went into this

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  3. Matt Walsh

    Why are people so much smarter than me? Cool experiment.

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