The Pinhole Experience

posted on October 16th 2012 in Photography with 0 Comments

I’ve just received a letter from a friend. Inside it I found a surprising gift: a picture we took when we were living in Iceland, at Reykjavík’s harbour, with a pinhole camera. That’s how I got to know this photography, and started to investigate how to make your own pinhole camera with common materials. Do you want to know what is the pinhole experience? And what about creating your own pinhole camera?

Well, let’s start understanding what a pinhole camera is. It’s a simple camera (without lens and with a single small aperture), light-proof box and with a small hole in one side (where the light will pass through).

Pinhole images are softer (less sharp) than pictures taken with other cameras. But the smaller will be the hole in the front, the sharpest will be the result of the picture.

Pinhole cameras can be small or large, improvised or designed with a lot of care. They can be made of match-boxes, coke cans, cookie containers, or simply with paper; built of metal, wood, plastic… since basically it’s a box with a tiny hole in one side and in front (the interior of the box) film or photographic paper.

The exposures you’ll need to get your pictures are long (from half second to hours, it depends), you’ll have to get used to your camera.

Designing and creating this cameras is great fun. Taking images with a camera that you’ve built is a great pleasure too. So… what about learning how to make yours? You can download here the instructions and template to create a Dirkon Pinhole Camera (pretty cute and paper-built) in case you want to start your pinhole experience.

Here you can find some examples of pictures taken with pinhole cameras.

The latest Pinhole Camera Day was celebrated around the planet on April 29, 2012. Learn more about it here.


Gallery credits: Some of the pinhole cameras you can build at home.


Leave a Reply