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How to make pinhole camera?

  1. Are You bored of traditional photography?
  2. Let’s build your own camera!
  3. A Pinhole camera is just for You! Pinhole camera, also known as camera obscura, or "dark chamber", is a simple optical imaging device in the shape of a closed box or chamber. In one of its sides is a small hole which, via the rectilinear propagation of light, creates an image of the outside space on the opposite side of the box.
  4. Make your own! You need: Scissors  Cutter
  5.  Empty can  Black Cardboard
  6. The Box 1. Remove the inner part of the matchbox, the match tray. Mark out a 24mm square exactly in the centre of the match tray. Alternatively, if you want standard format rectangular photos (some photo labs will find these easier to print) mark out a 36mm x 24mm rectangle. Carefully cut out the frame shape with a sharp knife, keeping the edges as neat as possible, or if you prefer, make it messy, it's up to you! Any rough edges and card fibres will appear around the edges of each photo.
  7. 2. To reduce internal reflections in the camera, colour in the inside of the tray with a black felt tipped pen. 3. Try to colour the inside front of the matchbox sleeve black too
  8. 4.Exactly in the centre of the front of the matchbox sleeve, mark out a 6mm square. Carefully cut this square out keeping the edges as neat as possible to avoid fluffy fibres obscuring the image
  9. Making The Pinhole 1.Cut out a piece of aluminium from the drinks can, about 15mm square. Place the aluminium onto some thick cardboard. Using the fine sewing needle or sharp pin, gently press into the centre of the aluminium. Twist the pin between your fingers while doing this so that it slowly "drills" a hole through the metal. Don't push down hard with the pin so that it goes straight through, the idea is to produce a very small hole with clean edges.
  10. 2.The ideal diameter of the pinhole is about 0.2mm, smaller is OK, larger and the images produced will be less sharp. 3.Colour the back of the pinhole black, again this should help reduce internal light reflections in the camera
  11. Place the aluminium onto the box so that the pinhole is exactly in the centre of the square hole in the top of the box Tape the aluminium onto the box, securing all four sides
  12. Adding a Shutter 1. It's possible just to use a piece of tape across the pinhole to act as a shutter, but a sliding shutter can be easier to use. Cut two pieces of thin card, a square about 32mm, and a rectangle about 25mm x 40mm. In the square piece, cut out a 6mm square in the centre. 2. Place some black tape on one side of the rectangular piece to help prevent light leaks. 3. Place the square piece over the pinhole and tape down three sides, leaving a gap in the top into which the rectangular shutter card can slide 4. Check that the shutter can be pushed down to fully cover the pinhole 1. 2. 3. 4.
  13. Loading the camera First, trim the leader off the film, cutting the edge as squarely as possible. If the film stub from the empy canister is not cut squarely across, trim it square too. Pull out a little more film and thread the film through the matchbox. Make sure the emulsion side (non-shiny side) is facing the pinhole
  14. Using some clear sticky tape, splice the ends of the film together as neatly as possible. Try to make sure the edges are lined up together so the film can pass easily into the empty canister. Tape both sides and make sure the joint is secure. Slide the match tray back into the box
  15. Turn the spindle of the empty film canister so that the slack film is wound into it. Make sure the edges of each film canister are pushed up tight to the matchbox and no film can be seen. The film is now loaded, but needs to be made light tight
  16. Light proofing If you want your pictures to be free from light leaks, it's very important that no light at all can get into the camera other than through the pinhole! Black electrical PVC tape is very effective at keeping out light. The most important places to seal are between the film canisters and the matchbox. Place strips of tape down the front on both sides. Use two layers and make sure it is stuck down firmly all around. Pay attention to the ends of each reel. Add more tape here, trim around the spindles so that the tape adhesive doesn't stick and prevent the film being wound on. Again, use a couple of layers and check all around both joints to make sure they are totally sealed. The cardboard of the matchbox will also leak a small amount of light, especially in bright conditions. This will give your photos a mottled red effect. If you don't want this, tape all over the back and sides of the box so that no cardboard is showing
  17. Winder To make it easier to wind the film on, stick something into the top of the empty spool. Here I used the ring pull from the can As you wind the film on, the film in the take up spool will tend to keep springing back. To keep some tension on the take up spool, place a little tissue paper on the base of the take up spool and tape over it. Don't make this too tight or it will be difficult to wind the film on.
  18. That's it! The completed camera is now ready to used. Make sure the shutter is closed. To wind the film on, turn the winder on the empty take up spool anticlockwise!
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