John Muggenborg has lived and worked in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn for six years. His interest in the raw simplicity of pinhole photography began during his study at Ball State University in Indiana. just as cameras were becoming increasingly complex, featuring options like exposure modes and menu display screens. He felt that with the integration of so much automation, his photography was losing its personality. So he began to explore the basics of photography and his curiosity led him to build his first pinhole camera out of wood in 1992. "Photography is a simple concept - I wanted to record the light and keep it as pure as possible." The idea of light passing through an open hole and landing on film seemed, to him, to be as pure and simple as photography could get. With each pinhole shot he recorded. he learned about the behavior of light and the characteristics of pinhole photography. His exploration continued when he moved to New York in 1994 and began to pursue photography as a profession. Five homemade cameras later. his "simple box-with-a-hole" has gone from wood construction to sheet metal; from recording on black and white paper to recording on film; and from a single hole poked through a piece of foil to three identical lasermade pinholes in copper. Of the exploration he says, "My curiosity got the best of me."
Muggenborg developed his triple pinhole camera to take three separate pictures on one piece of film while letting some parts of each picture overlap and blend with the neighboring picture. His concept was to "scramble a space" by using the camera to capture three different perspectives of a space and present the entire composition to a viewer, allowing them to explore the space for themselves.
John Muggenborg's pinhole work may be seen at A Taste of Art Gallery at 147 Duane St. in New York. His work has been published in The Pinhole Joumal, The London Sunday Times Magazine and is in the collection of the Akron Museum of Art, in Ohio.