Your typical phone camera comes with so many low-light sensors, image stabilizers and apps for artful filters that sharply focused, high-resolution pictures pile up faster than you can overshare on Facebook. Heck, even cats can take pretty good selfies. (Yes, there is Tumblr for that.)
Perhaps that's why the blurred, distorted and fragmented images that fill the new book "Poetics of Light: Contemporary Pinhole Photography" (Museum of New Mexico Press, $55) are so compelling. Many of these pictures — some rudimentary, some brilliantly constructed — are not so much snapshots of reality but rather gauzy dreams, visual mysteries that prompt more questions than answers: What am I seeing, where and why?
Eric Renner began collecting the photography for the first issue of his Pinhole Journal in 1985. Some artists submitted works made with a camera that was little more than a box with a minuscule hole that transferred its view to light-sensitive material inside.