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Archive for the 'DIY' Category

Pinhole photos

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Some of the very first cameras were pinhole cameras. Basically, rather than a lens, they have a very small hole that lets light in. The smaller the hole, the sharper the image — though smaller holes mean longer exposures. You can make film pinhole cameras out of very simple objects such as matchboxes and oatmeal cans. But then you have to deal with the film, which pretty much requires using a darkroom.

Since I don’t have access to a darkroom, a few years ago, I created a pinhole “lens” for my DSLR. It’s very simple to make one. This article explains it, though I actually left some of these steps out. I took a few shots but never really did much with it. Part of the problem was, my pinhole lens wasn’t great.

Recently, I got interested in pinhole photography again and decided to make a new “lens.” I probably did a worse job this time. I have some ideas on how to improve on it, but the biggest problem was, I accidentally poked two holes instead of one. The result is an odd double-image effect. In some cases it’s interesting, and in some cases it ruins the shots.

I poked a hole in a small piece of aluminum foil with a needle, basically as small a hole as I could make. My exposures ranged from about 1-30 seconds. This requires a tripod, of course.

Here are a few photos that I think turned out to be interesting. These are just from a walk around our neighborhood.

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A few images had this rainbow light streaks across them. I think that I need to sand the hole after I make it, and put black marker on it to reduce reflections (both were steps I skipped from the article). Although the effect is actually sort of interesting, sometimes.

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Here’s where things started getting a little more abstract. As I walked home, I started shooting and moving the camera around while I did.

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The next shot is the sky. I know it’s just a big blue box, but I love the color.

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For this next shot (and some other similar ones I’m not posting), I had the camera on the tripod, held the tripod out, and spun around with the camera pointed at the sky, hitting the shutter button, until I was too dizzy to continue. The streak of light is the sun.

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Here’s another abstract. Subtle, but I like the tones in this image.

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