Creating a pinhole camera


As part of our Easter Break task we are asked to create a functioning Pinhole Camera. At first I was a little daunted by this, having never made one before. However , once I read up on the process I actually found myself enjoying this task very much.

Material needed to build my camera:

  • Twiglet party size tub
  • Matt Black Spray Paint
  • Aluminium drinks can
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Fine sewing needle
  • Leather gardening gloves or other heavy duty gloves
  • Sandpaper

So, to begin with I had to decide what to make the camera with, I settled on a Twiglet tub left over from Christmas. 2013-04-15 15.08.36

I cleaned the inside of the tub and lid with a damp cloth and left to dry.

I then sprayed the inside of the can and the lid with 2 coats of Matt Black Spray paint, leaving it to dry for 30 minutes between coats.  Painting the inside of the can and lid is to ensure that the container is lightproof.  I also sprayed the outside of the tub and lid to ensure no light entered the container.

Once the paint is dry I took a sharp crafting knife and cut a small rectangle in the side of the Twiglets tub , about 4cm x 2cm. This is where I will insert the pinhole plate.

2013-04-19 14.53.47

To create the aperture, I cut a small rectangle from the side of a Coca-Cola can making sure that the measurements were larger than the hole that I had already created in the side of Twiglets tub.This requires care as the edges of the can are VERY sharp. I wore a pair of leather gardening gloves whilst carrying out this part.

Using sandpaper I carefully smoothed down the edges of the piece of aluminium that I had removed from the can and then created a very small hole in the centre using a sewing needle (this will be the camera aperture). Once filed down so that the edge of the hole is as smooth as possible I then attached the piece of foil to the inside of my twiglets tub using duct tape, making sure that it is fixed in place along each edge.

I secured duct tape on the outside of the opening to make sure that no light could penetrate though and then placed one final piece of tape over the hole. This piece of tape will be used as my lens cap.

So that is pretty much all there is to it. You can be as creative as you want, experimenting with different containers, different aperture sizes will also effect the outcome, so do think about the size of the hole in relation to what kind of photograph you want to create. The smaller the hole the sharper the image that you can create. The aluminium foil help create a nice sharp hole.

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