In a few words, pinhole photography is a way of taking shots with a homemade device instead of with a $ 1000 camera.The basic principle is that of using a light-tight box with a light sensitive material (film or photographic paper) fitted to the inside and a very small hole at one end of the box to "let the image in"
Why do people do such strange things ?
Some just for fun, some as an expression of art, some others as a way of protest against our consumption mentality and still others just because they don't have the money to buy a real camera, enlarger and other equipment.
In his book "Pinhole photography - Rediscovering a Historic Technique" Eric Renner wrote on p.67 the following:
THE PETER PAN PRINCIPLE, OR "I CAN FLY"
"Pinhole photography can be the art of surprise, like looking at the world through a child's eyes. It is a continual wonder, and surely magical, that time after time pinhole cameras can make an intriguing image. This curious attribute is the pinhole camera's greatest gift to its user. I truly appreciate that something as easy to make as a pinhole camera performs such a seemingly complex task as producing an image. Here, within mere minutes is a camera and in a few more minutes an image! Some people have tried to make pinhole photography complicated, but it is not, and it should not be. Knowing f/stops and exact pinhole diameters, making view finders and using light meters are not necessary considerations. A pinhole camera's inherent simplicity is the basis of its character. The excitement of making and using something so simple appeals to a childlike innocence within all of us."
© Eric Renner
My Family's Opinion:
They declared me for crazy, and after trying to construct my first Dirkon sometimes I really felt so! But in the meantime I even made a second one and now I feel better!!!
How to build a pinhole camera ?
Even Kodak has a page describing how to make one, and for an interested beginner it's not so bad ! My own first one was just a shoe box.
Pinhole photography on the net
Using a search engine like Google or Altavista, you will find quite some stuff under the keyword "pinhole photography". Some of the better sites (with the exception of mine) are:
My own very first trials
The Pinhole Resource ("The Bible")
Oatmeal Box Pinhole Photography (A good site for beginners)
Pinhole & Beyond! Principle and technics
Jon Grepstad's Page (very good !)
Pinhole by Justin Quinnell including interesting tips how to use any strange materials to make one
Stone Knives And Bear Skins - The Philosophy of George L.Smyth
Peter's Pinhole Page
What they do and think Down Under
The Alternative Photographic Process FAQ
Lata Magica - The magic can (in Portuguese)
Hoe een gatjescamera maken en gebruiken (in dutch, for schools or youth groups)
How to build and use a pinhole camera (same in English, for schools or youth groups)
David Balihar and the Dirkon Paper Camera
Not directly Pinhole related, but interesting: How to use 120 film in a 620 camera?
And all the others
Please also visit our local club
This Pinhole Photography Webring site is owend
by Taco .
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On april 25th,2004, the third Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day happened. Have a look: