The pinhole beach series by British photographer Ky Lewis is one of my favorites when it comes to analogue photographs about childhood. Why that?
First of all you can see children playing at the beach. You recognize them as her own daughters, totally sunken into sinking deeper into the wet sand while playing with stones and shells. The mother is observing and guarding, without using the standard way of capturing the children in action, but is playing herself with her grown-up-toy, a pinhole camera. She is experimenting with exposure time and old film and the pinhole camera itself is something you consider as you camera. So whilst the children searching their toys in nature, Lewis is has her camera (following the ten golden rules of Lomography) with her. Using a pinhole camera takes time and although the photographs are blurry, the blur shows how concentrated and focused the children are in playing, focused while the camera does not have a clear focus. So there are different layers of playing, being focused and also of family. By not clearly showing the girls in the moment of being, but showing a lapse of time she gives the viewers (including her children) the chance of protecting their own experience of being at and playing on and with a beach. I have the chance to be child again and I may also be the guarding parent observing playing children. That is the strength of this series. It is a big play/game (my auto correction suggested „party“) representing childhood in a beautiful way.