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It is a bittersweet feeling to be talking about this because this is how I first started the world of photography 4 years ago this past August. I arrived at photo class in my sophomore year in high school and the first lesson was pinhole cameras. To my surprise I could make my own camera and develop the prints in the darkroom with out even using a real camera, but one made out of an oatmeal container.

Basic Parts and Functions of a Pinhole Camera
1. Body- light tight bow which holds the light-sensitive photo paper
2. Lens (pinhole)- focuses rays of light from the subject to produce an image onto the photo paper
3. Aperture- the size of the lens opening
---->small- less light enters (long exposure time & sharper image)
---->large- more light enters (shorter exposure time & fuzzy image)
4. Shutter- device that controls when the light enters the lens
5. Focal length- the distance between the lens and the focal plane
---->longer- telescope effect (subject appears larger in the image)
---->shorter- wide-angle effect (subject appears smaller)
6. Focal plane- located directly across from the lens (where photo paper goes)
7. Door- opens and closes camera body when placing photo paper in or taking photo paper out.


Materials for Pinhole Camera
:bulletred:light tight container with opening (like an oatmeal container) can by cylinder, rectangular, etc.  
:bulletred: black paint/paper
:bulletred: empty soda can
:bulletred: push pin
:bulletred: changing bag / darkroom
:bulletred: photographic paper (usually b&w)
:bulletred: darkroom access (for use of chemicals)

Making the pinhole is easy... First, you take your light tight box, cylinder, etc. and paint the inside black or cover it up with black paper so that it helps keep the inside 100% light tight. Also, at this time keep one opening as the door and then completely seal any other openings. Then you need to make the pinhole by cutting a 1" X 1" square (2.54cm X 2.54cm square) off of the soda can and then carefully pierce the center with a push pin. In order to find the center lightly draw an X on the piece of aluminum. Finally sand both sides until it's smooth and clean out the dust particles. Now you need to place this on the light tight object you are using for the camera body. Cut a .5" X .5" (1.27cm X 1.27cm) on the body and then place the aluminum onto the container from the inside and that the pin hole lines up within the center of the hole that was cut. Lastly, create some type of shutter by placing a piece of tape over the pin hole or creating some type of card that can slide over it and off of it to make the exposure.

The pinhole camera is finally complete. :faint:

You then would normally do a light-leak test to see if the camera is 100% light tight inside by placing a small piece of photo paper into the camera within a changing bag or darkroom. Then bring it back into the light for a few minutes then go to a darkroom and develop. If it's black or has any variations of black/grey there's a light leak and may ruin a photo if you try to take a picture with it. To fix it, just try to find it yourself and cover it up, then try again.

Last, but not least, you place photo paper directly across from the lens and then will need to make a reasonably long exposure. The outcome of a pinhole image will be a negative and to make the positive, you just contact print it using an enlarger within a darkroom; this is why some pinhole images look the opposite of what something  really is, which is similar to what the negative does in a film camera. See below:
negative --> Pin hole negitive by dianasphotos pin hole positive by dianasphotos <-- positive

There are also different techniques with this process as you can experiment with different pinhole sizes, multiple exposures, angles, ghost exposures, etc. Even instead of using paper, you can use films. With recent advancements, it is possible to use pinhole even for digital slr cameras by drilling a hole into the lens cap and making a lengthy exposure. You're limitless in the world of pinhole photography; in fact, you're limitless in the world of photography in general. :D

Awesome pinhole photography
Confined Spaces I by eiknop Stay a while by Ailish01 Where Is My Mind by KalerMC

:thumb6975885: me an a  flower by Radagastthebrown Yard 360 by Black-Ink

go left by MrThom

:thumb17222499: Fence by silvergabetha834 Pinhole by tonyalmond

:thumb38361120: dark gym by vsaint le cauchemar de Gustave by bleuz

Pinhole Scooter by shmoo Pin-Hole 2 by Dagobah Pin Hole Self Portrait Resized by no8mustad

Pinhole Of The Courtyard by thesushiking The Quaker Oat Pinhole by quakeroatpinhole :thumb34974138:

this place is a prison by thingswithouttheh pinholeMADNESS by manique Fine Art Studio. by sehnsucht666


"There is something special about a pinhole camera. There is a beauty in its simplicity and rawness that technology has not been able to better. There is a timeless quality that can make the most uncomplicated subject seem full of poetry.In each pinhole picture I take I hope to capture the joy and excitement that the early pioneering photographers must have felt when they took and developed photographs for the very first time."
-Wolf Howard


Want to learn more?
:bulletblue: Pinhole Photography
:bulletblue: Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
:bulletblue: The Pinhole Gallery
:bulletblue: Pinhole Visions
Add a Comment:
 
:iconihreee:
ihreee Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
I do thank you for the article, gonna have some fun with my dad here :)
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2006
no problem!

:aww:
Reply
:icondufoe88:
Dufoe88 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2006
Great article!
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2006
thanks! :hug:
Reply
:iconw4s4b1:
w4s4b1 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
look interesting... try it someday :)
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2006
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconeiknop:
eiknop Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006   Photographer
Whoa, Sean! :high five: so great of you to compile all of this for people to learn more about pinhole!

Thanks for including one of my pinholes in the examples :heart:
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006
thanks Sarah!

:cuddle:
Reply
:iconrecepgulec:
recepgulec Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2006  Professional Photographer
great photos....
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006
:D
Reply
:iconhesitation:
hesitation Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
great article! :nod:
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
:hug: thanks Hesi, glad you did.
Reply
:iconalketas:
Alketas Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2006   Photographer
Dude! This is awesome, I want to try this myself!
But I'm afraid I don't have darkroom acces.

Anyway, I enjoy the examples :p. I'll try it sometime (when I can develop pics myself, in a few 100's of years or so).

Maybe, like, writing an article about developing these things at home?
J/k you did a great job here. Let's check out the links you gave...
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
:giggle: i'm sure you can check around in your area for a darkroom, maybe a local school / college has one, and if not there might be a store that has one.

But I do value your wanting to go out and try to do this :D Hope you will be able to!
Reply
:iconalketas:
Alketas Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006   Photographer
Yeah, I'll be looking for one :) .

Onwards, through the photography jungle! :aww:
Reply
:iconeduardofrench:
eduardofrench Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2006   Photographer
:clap: bravo! great article great selection of photos thanks for sharing and thanks for featuring deviants! :)
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
:) no problem, and thank you for your support.
Reply
:iconeduardofrench:
eduardofrench Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006   Photographer
my pleasure
Reply
:iconviperstrike:
ViperStrike Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2006   Photographer
Whoa, you're like...all knowledgeable and stuff...when'd this happen?
Very neat stuff there...I had no idea about any of it, but had seen some of those images before...gonna have to try that someday...
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
haha what do you mean since when did this happen ;P

i'm sure you'll get some cool results if you try :D
Reply
:iconyoshi07:
Yoshi07 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
Hehe I have one :) [link]
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
awesome!
Reply
:iconyoshi07:
Yoshi07 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
I am not sure how those flare like things got in there. My photography teach had no clue either. Could it have been the tape, taping the paper negative to the back of the camera??
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
it's probably just a minor light leak, but sometimes it can create cool effects. :D
Reply
:iconyoshi07:
Yoshi07 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconstressybessy:
StressyBessy Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
I so want to do this. Thanks for the great article.
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
:D good luck with it.

and thank you!
Reply
:iconatreyu13:
Atreyu13 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006  Student Writer
is there picture of what it looks like when its done?
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
yeah :D but you can make it out of just about any container...
here are some examples:
:bulletblue:[link]
:bulletblue:[link]
:bulletblue:[link]

hope those help :)
Reply
:iconatreyu13:
Atreyu13 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006  Student Writer
COOL, THANKS
Reply
:iconnasty-badgers:
Nasty-Badgers Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
I made one of these a few years ago, I had forgotten how good the pictures can be.

I also had no idea how many great examples there already were on dA (I thought mine was one of very few)..

Great article! It really shows how photography doesn't need to be all about expensive equipment and fancy filters.

Well done :)
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
:D thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconduffzilla:
Duffzilla Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
that's brilliant :clap:
Great article, man :highfive:
+:heart:
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
Thanks mate :glomp:
Reply
:iconfade-out:
fade-out Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
very nice :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2006
thanks! :)
Reply
:iconthomas-darktrack:
thomas-darktrack Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
very nice article, well done, and with a gorgeous selection of shots.
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
thank you so much. :D
Reply
:iconthomas-darktrack:
thomas-darktrack Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
you're very welcome ! :D
Reply
:iconawi:
Awi Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
awesome! im so bookmarking this! maybe this should be a tutorial i can fav sweetie!

:heart: you go s dot!
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
yeah a tutorial would be pretty cool... :plotting:

thanks hun!

p.s. seany sean is better ;)
Reply
:iconawi:
Awi Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
it is :nod:
but im not going to let you live s dot down :dance:
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006  Professional Photographer
bookmarking article. I've always wanted to do this. Did you ever see the guy that made one with leggos?
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
yeah! that's pretty cool... and I love leggos.

:excited: if you need a darkroom come up to DBCC on saturdays! I might go sooner or later.
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006  Professional Photographer
Do they let non-college kids (haha I'm calling myself a kid) use them?? I've NEVER used one, so I have no clue how they work
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2006
they do... saturdays and if it hasn't changed it's 20 bucks for the whole day for the use of chemicals :)

from 9am til 6pm or around there.
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2006  Professional Photographer
I'm going to let Josh know about this, he might be very interested
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2006
sweet :D
Reply
:iconmagmanorn:
magmanorn Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
Okay, How do I fav this article?

*bookmarks article*

Where can I buy Photo graph paper? do you mean film?Can these be sent to the shop for development?
Reply
:iconwrighton363:
wrighton363 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2006
there's no way to fav, per se, but you can :+favlove: it so it becomes more popular ;)

photo paper can be bought at a local photo store or on an on-line store. I think they sell the smallest amounts in 25 sheet packets. I've never tried pinhole with film, but i'm sure you can or I could even find someone who has. Hopefully your school, or a local one has a darkroom. I'm not too sure there are 'public' darkrooms out there, but my university lets the public use it for a small fee.

:D thanks for your interest and I'll be sure to answer your note soon! :cuddle:
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August 30, 2006
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