Site Updated
June, 2004






Pinhole photography is lensless photography - a method of capturing images using a simple light-tight box with a single pinhole in one end.   A piece of opaque tape or cardboard can serve as a shutter.  Film or photo-paper is taped inside and the camera secured on a stable platform or tripod, exposure is calculated and the shutter opened.  After the shutter is closed the camera is taken into a darkroom and the film removed for processing.

Pinhole cameras are made in an endless variety of shapes, styles, and materials. Any light-tight container will do such as a round or rectangular cardboard box or cookie tin.  More elaborate cameras are constructed of hardwood. Some pinhole cameras employ the use of film holders so that multiple exposures can be made on location, other designs incorporate bellows to allow for a change in focal length (distance between film and pinhole).

Images made with pinhole cameras are softer and more impressionistic than lens images.    Pinhole images have virtually infinite depth of field and wide angle scenes are rectilinear right out to the edges. Pinhole photographs have a certain aesthetic that many have come to love  There has been a resurgence of interest in pinhole photography in recent years and there are a number of on-line galleries and resources for pinhole practitioners.

A good way to explore pinhole photography is to make a simple cardboard box camera and do some trial and error experimentation.  This will give you a feel for how light will effect the paper/film in your camera. Try to make the pinhole as round and clean as possible as this will effect image quality.

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