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!)…
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!
Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (29 April 2012)
You may also be interested in my related post: Worldwide Pinhole Day: 5 amazing cameras… plus inspiring tips!