Pinhole Photography

It wasn’t my intention that I would write a pinhole photography post right now, have a couple of others brewing, but it’s been something I thought of doing for a long time. This photo from Pinhole King Justin Quinell has been tweeted a few times for the winter solstice + it reminded me to write this. 

I had a pinhole camera up in my garden – fom Justin from a day I went on which he ran. Here it is.

As you can see, it’s very low tech. I left it up, pointed at the sun for 6 months, from approximately spring to autumn equinox. It needs no developing once the 6 months are up, and comes out of the ‘camera’ looking like this. 

Once it’s been scanned you can invert the colour in Photoshop, or something similar, then either convert to greyscale or leave as is. On my original I had to up the brightness + contrast quite a bit to get the detail in the image to show up. I like the result though – looking down the back fence along our terraced house gardens. 

It’s not as clear as Justin’s, but not bad for a first go. I should have left the paper to dry properly from the condensation it had on it, but didn’t want to lose the image by exposing too long to light. The streaks in the sky are the sun rising and setting each day over a six month period. This would be a very easy thing to do in a school, either for a long term science project, or an art project, or a just ‘let’s see what happens project’. Here are Justin’s detailed instructions. His pinhole photography site is a wealth of practical advice for all sorts of pinhole projects, many of which could be translated into school. Or get him in to run a session for you! 

You can do all the processing on an Ipad if you want to. I will add the apps once I’ve reminded myself what they are. Remember to save your left over beer cans!