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rmjannette
hi - was wondering if anyone is into pinhle photography? am going to be teaching pinhole camera making & basic useage to a photo class of 4th - 5th graders & would love input of ideas etc..
thanks.
rmj
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rmjannette
Pinhole cameras can be made out of just about anything - the first one I ever made was out of an Quaker Oats container. Here's a rough description & I will post a link also. It is just that - a pinhole "drilled" into a piece of tin or foil. A piece of cardboard, thin wood etc.. (light tight material) covers the pinhole up. You move that shutter to let light in through the pinhole. You can use pieces of film and/or photographic paper to expose the light onto. Process accordingly. Check this site out:
http://www.pinholeresource.com/
I am interested in other people's experiece with pinhole cameras and any advice input etc.. thx. rmj
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mikezupan
are there any benefits to using a pinhole camera?
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rmjannette
well it is a really creative tool within photography I think but more valuable to me at this point with the students - is that it is a great way for them to begin to understand light & how it works when it hits the film & creates an image etc.. + they can build the camera & load it etc..

thanks cmiper for the info too!!!
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Amethyst
I've always wanted to make a pinhole camera, ever since hearing about camera obscura in my high school photography class. Sounds fascinating.

Mike-- in reply to your inquiry about the "benefits" of pinhole photography: I found this quote on the wiki page, and quite liked it:

"There is something special about a pinhole camera. There is a beauty in its simplicity and rawness that technology has not been able to better. There is a timeless quality that can make the most uncomplicated subject seem full of poetry." --Wolf Howard

I would also add that an advantage of pinhole photography is the ability of the photographer to make their own camera from scratch. I would be proud of myself if I ever successfully made a pinhole camera which is reason enough to try! And I'm sure that making pinhole cameras would be a great learning process for 4th/5th graders, rmjannette. Sounds like tons of fun, too.

However, there are tons of disadvantages to using a pinhole camera (Not to disrespect the art! just my observations). From what I've heard, exposure times can be very very long. In the photographs I have seen taken with a pinhole camera, the vignetting around the edge of the image is very strong and few of the images are very clear. The wiki page also has some information about "reciprocity failure" which you can read about here. (interesting stuff for a photo-geek like me!)

Anyway, sorry if I went on too long about that stuff. It's exciting. Yay photoblog forums!
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magpy
I've always wanted to use a pinhole camera... sigh
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rmjannette
that's all great amethyst - thanks. am inspired further with the pinhole project.
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crabalocker
Chech ou this guys work, the best I have ever seen in this field of photography.

http://www.abelardomorell.net/camera_obscura1.html
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shlabadoo
I made a pinhole camera with my Dad and a friend when I was younger. It was, like yours, out of a Oatmeal canister. I think I did it for a Science Fair project actually. My dad is a photographer, and at the time we had a darkroom set up in our laundry room. I have very fond memories of developing prints in there with him.

Let's see if I remember any tips.

Inside our camera we glued popsicle sticks vertically to give us a place to slide the paper into the can. This made the paper follow the curve of the can. I imagine that if you could make the surface for the paper flat, then you would avoid the distortion of the image (though that adds to the charm I would argue).

Spray paint the inside flat black to avoid light scattering.

Use electrical tape to close off holes.

To make this worthy of a Science Fair project, we made multiple "lenses" out of aluminum foil (we punched the holes with sewing needles). Then we did different shots at various exposure times. Try to make the holes as clean as possible and as round as possible. The hole in the can was drilled out beforehand, but make sure that it is smooth as well.

I think that the best shots were the smallest apertures with the longest times (in terms of minutes, not milliseconds).

Still life works best for obvious reasons, but some cool effects can be made with slow moving objects.

I actually think my Dad still has the camera at his house somewhere still.

(I would also recommend making prints just from the enlarger and some found objects placed on the photo paper. You can make some pretty cool silhouettes doing that.)

Good Luck!

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