Using my pinhole camera


The use of the pinhole camera is very straight forward with no setting to adjust or buttons to press. The one thing that determines the picture produced is light. In general , the smaller the aperture the longer the exposure , but this is also dependant upon the light source that is being used to create the images.

My first attempt at creating an image was taken outside in semi- cloudy weather, one minute the sun was shining, the next it was dull and grey, making it very difficult to determine exposure time. So as with all experiments, this was very much trial and error.

Putting the paper in the camera had to be done in light safe conditions so I loaded the paper in the dark room and ensured that the lid was secure and the aperture was completely blocked out to the light. Once outside it had clouded over again so I figured a 20 second exposure might be a good place to start. Once back in the dark room I removed the paper from the tub and dropped it in developer. Instantly the paper turned black! So, I either had exposed the image for way to long or I had a light leak. At this point I was really hoping that it was the former of the two.

To test for a light leak I made a small test strip of paper that I loaded into the camera and then went outside. Rather than exposing the paper by opening the aperture I left it covered and kept the camera in the light for a couple of minutes. This way, if there was any light leaking into the camera then the paper would be exposed . Back in the darkroom the paper remained white upon contact with developer so the black paper was down to over exposure timings.

Test shot number 2 and I decided to expose the paper for 5 seconds. This worked perfectly and I managed to create a negative image.

2013-04-19 14.51.37

2013-04-19 14.51.53

In order to create a positive image I took a piece of photographic paper and put it together with the negative paper, emulsion side to emulsion side. With the aperture on the enlarger set to f5.6 I placed the negative and paper together underneath a glass plate on the table , negative image being the one closest to the enlarger.

I created a test strip in the normal way in which I would test film negatives. Exposing the whole image for 10 seconds and then at 2 second increments up to 16 seconds.

Upon examining the test image I was happiest with the exposure being at between 12-14 seconds which is towards the middle of this image.

So I exposed the image once more for 12 seconds and this is the result . 2013-04-19 14.51.05

Overall I am really happy with this image, there is slight vignetting to the edges but the middle of the image is pretty sharp and well exposed. I will be experimenting with different size apertures and see what kind of effect that has on the final image.

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