Build a hole camera yourself - instructions and application
- Construction manual for a pinhole camera
- Function of the pinhole camera
- Using the pinhole camera with photo paper
The history of photography is exciting - a self-made pinhole camera can give you insights into the world and the emergence of photography as we know it today. A camera obscura, a pinhole camera can be tinkered even as fast as lightning. In this tutorial we show you how to build a pinhole camera and how it works. You will also learn how to shoot photos with the pinhole camera and then develop them. Learn about the beginnings of photography and create a Camera Obscura with your children. Have fun!
Already Aristotle recognized the physics of optical images during a solar eclipse - sitting under a tree, he noticed the pictures of the sun's sickle on the ground. These were created by the numerous gaps in the leaves, which, like the pinhole camera, allowed only a few rays of light to pass through.
This manual explains how to build a pinhole camera and how to use it as a projector or for shooting photos.
Construction manual for a pinhole camera
A pinhole camera you tinker quickly with a few materials - the cost of the camera is low, if you already have a shoe box lying around at home. If you would like to take pictures with the pinhole camera, you will need photo paper. This and the special chemicals for the development are then more expensive.
But now follows first the construction manual for the pinhole camera.
- aluminum foil
- black acrylic paint and brush
- Transparent paper or photo paper
- duct tape
Step 1: Set the lid of the box aside. First, cut a rectangle into one of the two smaller side surfaces of the shoebox with the craft knife. This should have a size of about 8 cm x 5 cm.
Step 2: Tape a larger piece of aluminum foil over the cut-out window in step 1 above.
Note: Be very careful - the aluminum foil should not be damaged and have a hole.
Step 3: Now apply the carton. With the exception of a 1 cm wide edge, cut out the other small side surface of the box with the cutter.
Step 4: Now paint the entire inside surface of the box with black acrylic paint or paint. So there can be no unwanted reflections. Also paint the inside of the lid in black.
Step 5: When the paint has dried, parchment paper is attached to the still open side with the adhesive tape. To do this, cut out a rectangle in the size of the side surface and stick the edges with adhesive tape.
Step 6: Then close the shoe box with the lid. So that nothing can slip and not a single beam of light can get into the boxes, also attach it to the edges with adhesive tape.
Step 7: Finally, pierce with a needle a small, round hole in the middle of the aluminum foil.
It's so easy to build a pinhole camera out of a shoebox.
A pinhole camera can serve as a projector and thus become an exciting toy. The parchment surface serves as a canvas and shows you an upside down motif.
To do this, place an illuminated or self-illuminating object, for example a candle, in the camera's focus. If the windows are well darkened and all other light sources are off, you will see the candle light upside down on the translucent paper.
Would you like to watch and observe a solar eclipse "> Function of the pinhole camera
How does a pinhole camera work and what can you do with it? The physics of the pinhole camera is based on the ray model of light. Thus, every object, whether a light source or a simple, illuminated object, emits light rays in all directions. The small hole in the camera bundles these many rays of light - it leaves only a few and not all through. For this reason, photographic paper in the camera can only discolor where the light hits it. This ray path looks like this:
Bundling creates an image of the object on the parchment or photo paper, which is upside down. The larger the distance between the photo paper and the hole in the aluminum foil, the larger the image on the paper becomes. This is described in photography as image width. A small hole produces a sharp image, whereas a larger hole requires more exposure time - as is the case with the conventional aperture of a camera.
The Camera Obscura is the pioneer of the camera, as we know it today. If you make a pinhole camera yourself, you not only create an exciting projector, but also learn something about the history of photography.
Using the pinhole camera with photo paper
How to use the pinhole camera: Depending on your preference, use either parchment paper or real photo paper as a projection surface on the back of the shoebox.
Making real photos requires a little more time and money, as well as a darkroom. In photo studios or also at Foto AGs in schools such darkened rooms can be found - maybe you have the opportunity to use the darkroom there once.
Otherwise you need:
- Lock for the camera
- Photo paper for black and white pictures (gradation 1 or 2)
- 3 small plastic tubs
- 1 bowl
- Clothes line
- Red lightbulb
- Big tweezers
- glass plate
This is how photographing with a pinhole camera works:
Before you start taking photographs, wear suitable clothing. The photo-developing chemicals used can damage some garments. Also make sure that only the red lamp is lit in your darkroom. This light can not harm the photo paper.
Step 1: We now go to step 5 of the assembly instructions - attach the photo paper to the place where you also attach the parchment paper.
Attention: As soon as you intend to remove the photo paper from the packaging, you should be in the darkroom with red light!
You now stick photo paper to the side of the shoebox with tape. The smooth side of the paper must be inside - on this the photo will be seen later.
Step 2: Now follow steps 6 and 7 of the assembly instructions - close the shoe box with the lid, the edges should then be taped well. With a needle, you also stab a small hole in the aluminum foil.
Step 3: Now close the small hole in the aluminum foil with a closure. This can be a piece of cardboard or black construction paper. Tape a small square of cardboard to the hole.
Step 4: Your camera is now ready to use. Go outside with the pinhole camera - best during the day. Good night shots are hard to master for beginners. Place the desired subject, such as a tree, facing the camera. If you hold the camera in your hands, the picture could blur. So find yourself a solid ground on which the pinhole camera can stand. Once done, remove the cardboard lock from the hole, wait a minute and close the hole again. Finished!
Step 5: Now it's time to develop. In the darkroom, fill a small tub with 2 cm of water and diluted developer. In the second tub fill water and vinegar - this is the so-called stopper bath, which does not need to be dosed exactly. The third tub is filled with water and diluted fixer. Pay attention to the manufacturer's specifications for the proportions of developer and fixer. The bowl fill only with water.
Step 6: Now turn on the red light and extinguish every other light source. The pinhole camera will now open. The photo paper is then removed and placed in the tub with the diluted developer liquid for a maximum of two minutes. The picture shows slowly. If the motif is clearly visible, remove the paper - this is what tweezers are for.
Step 7: Now place the image in the stopper bath for one minute, then add the water and vinegar to the pan and then fixer bath for one minute. Then the photo is placed in the bowl of water. In it, the chemicals should dissolve, so let the picture lie there for a while. Now you can turn the light back on. Then hang the picture, which you can now touch with your fingers, on the clothesline and fasten it with two clips.
Step 8: The image is now reversed and negative - that means, what is black in the subject, you can see in the photo white and vice versa. How to make a finished photo from the negative: Turn on the red light again. Pick up a new sheet of photo paper and place it with the smooth side up on the table. Place the negative on the photo paper so that it is covered and both are exactly on top of each other. The motif must face the photo paper, ie downwards. Then place the glass plate on both papers - so nothing can slip. Now it is exposed: hold a bright lamp exactly over the glass and switch it on for a maximum of one second. The photo is ready!