pinhole photography

Is fun! Also today is world pinhole day, apparently, so I’ve built a little camera. Actually quite a big camera, about 40x40x25cm.

the camera with the shutter open – the (~0.7mm) pinhole is in the aluminum foil at the front
of course it has googly eyes

It’s basically a falling plate camera, with the paper negatives attached to 8 cardboard “plates” in the back, which are then manually pushed forward to fall down into the camera body after each exposure. The remaining plates are held in place with a small wood clamp thingy. I had a more elegant mechanism planned initially but then didn’t feel like measuring it all out so exactly and so it ended up being all a bit hacky. I just taped my photographic changing bag to the end of the camera, so I could handle the cardboard plates in daylight, without fogging the film. Or the paper, in this case.

I used Ilford MGRC in a size of 17.8x24cm, mostly because I had that lying around and also because I know it’s about ISO 3 in sunlight (with artificial light, it’s much slower, maybe ISO 1 or so).

The technical stats are always fun for these things: I’ve built the camera to roughly have the field of view of a normal lens, which at that negative size is about 300mm. The pinhole is roughly f430 (not a typo). So ISO 3 at f430 in bright sunshine makes for about 6 minutes exposure time for all of these.

the camera in action
the resulting image (digital positive from the scanned paper negative)
another one, at Preußenpark – the guy at the center was sitting remarkably still for the whole 6 minutes
there were also some not so great shots, but anticipating that is why I made the camera able to do multiple pictures in the first place (planning ahead for once)
This one is looking out of my kitchen window – it’s much sharper because there’s no wind to move the camera around. Also this really shows the lack of dynamic range when shooting on paper, though I find that kinda charming.
tree (totally unclear what I wanted to do here, just including it to show it’s not all killer all the time ◡̈)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *