Pinhole Photography is lens-less photography. Instead of a lens, you have a pinhole. This works by light passing through the hole to form the image onto photographic paper. Around the world, people have been using simple objects such as small boxes, cans and even cookie containers. Some even managed to make a camera out of a sea shell. The most common and easiest way to make a pinhole camera is from a small cardboard box or tube.

Pinhole photography started in the fifteenth century by the Chinese who discovered that light travels in straight lines. This was then experimented on by the philosopher Mo Ti. He was the first to record the formation of an inverted image with a pinhole or screen. It’s also been recorded that Leonardo Di Vinci had made descriptions on pinhole photography.

A photo of pinhole photography that I like is of the fire hydrant. This is because it shows you clearly how the photographer inverted the first image (where the hydrant was white) to the more greyish in colour hydrant. This inversion shows the image in more detail and that is why I like it.

A photo of pinhole photography that I dislike is of the tunnel. I dislike this because I don’t feel as if it is truly and example of pinhole photography. Although I like how the grey scale of the image works well with it, I still prefer the picture of the pinhole fire hydrant more.


Pin Prick Photography

How to make the camera:

  1. cut a small square into a cardboard box/tube (Pringles box etc.)
  2. make sure anywhere where light is or can leak through is painted black or covered with dark colours properly.
  3. take a piece of tinfoil and with black tape, tape it over the square.
  4. use a pin and in the middle of the tinfoil, put a pin prick in to it carefully so you do not tear or damage the tinfoil.
  5. when taking your photo, make sure your finger does not leave the hole until you have found and timed your perfect shot.


Developing your photos:

  1. up to 2 minutes in the developer tub of liquid. Make sure that if you have captured something that you take the image out before all of the paper goes black. You don’t want to lose that image!
  2. up to 30 seconds in the stopper tub of liquid.
  3. up to 5 minutes in the fixer tub of liquid.
  4. between 15-20 minutes in the washing tub of liquid.
  5. leave to dry for 30 minutes or more.


My Attempts:

  1. 20 seconds, outside library window – black.
  2. 20 seconds, Oliver standing inside – white with a black splodge.
  3. 15 seconds, outside E334 window – black/grey gradient.
  4. 10 seconds, stairs – black splodges.
  5. 5 seconds, window/stairs – window outline (BEST ONE).
  6. 5 seconds, library window – black.


How do Pinhole camera’s work?

Pinhole produces the camera image upside down because when the shutter opens, light shines through to imprint the image onto photographic paper. Pinhole camera’s rely on the fact that light travels in straight lines. Pinhole camera’s follow the recliner theory of light. This means the image appears upside down in the camera.


What is camera obscura?

Camera Obscura is where a darkened box with a convex lens or aperture for projecting the image of an external object on to a screen inside, a forerunner of a modern camera.