Discover the wonders of pinhole photography

Wishing Trees pinhole image

The Wishing Trees
image ⓒ SWS

I love pinhole photography – it’s easy and such fun!

In fact, the above photograph’s one of my first attempts with a pinhole camera… but what exactly is a pinhole camera, you may ask?

A pinhole camera is a camera without a conventional glass lens. Instead, an extremely small hole in a thin material is used to focus light rays from an object onto light-sensitive paper or film.

The shutter of a pinhole camera usually consists of a manually-operated flap that covers the pinhole. There’s no viewfinder, and the ideal exposure is a bit of an experiemental guessing game – just part of what makes pinhole photography such fun!

Plus pinhole images have a lovely dreamy quality. They’re soft, with a nearly infinite depth of field. Exposures are lengthy, from half a second to several hours, so you’ll need a tripod or some other form of stabiliser. Shooting with 400 ISO film in bright sunlight will require about a two-second exposure, and so any moving objects will be potential streaks and blurs on your image.

The size of the captured photograph depends on the distance of the pinhole to the projection surface – a closer distance yields a smaller image, and vice-versa. And pinhole cameras produce a wide-angle focal view with true geometrical lines, unlike the usual curved effect of a wide-angle lens.

Here’s another of my first attempts at capturing images on photographic paper through a teeny weeny hole drilled into my specially constructed light-tight “camera body” (a paint tin that I bought for the princely sum of $7!)…

Buckland shed pinhole image

image ⓒ SWS

If you’d like to try your hand at pinhole photography, or you’re just keen to learn more, here are some useful links to get you started! Pinhole Camera History & Guide

How to Make and Use a Pinhole Camera

Buy A Pinhole Camera

Flickr Pinhole Photography Group

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (29 April 2012)

Pinhole Photography Books on Amazon


You may also be interested in my related post: Worldwide Pinhole Day: 5 amazing cameras… plus inspiring tips!

12 thoughts on “Discover the wonders of pinhole photography

    • I’m delighted you’re finding the posts of interest Zelmare – I always appreciate you swinging by, thank you!
      Best wishes,

  1. Hi Angelina – really pleased you enjoyed the post! And I’ll be sure to check out Lighbox! Thank you for visiting…
    Best wishes,

    • Thank you for your interest – in fact, both images were made with the paint tin… it’s amazing the detail you can achieve isn’t it! I appreciate you taking the time to view and comment…

  2. Pingback: Uh-oh: The struggle to photograph my artwork. | Susan Wellington – my creative life

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