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Recently I discovered pinhole photography. We were set the assignment for our imaging module at uni. We were told to bring a tin, a pin, black tape and photographic paper. This is all you need to make your own cheap camera. Although you do need access to a darkroom and the right chemicals to develop your photos after. I started with a roses tin but as it’s round and loved to roll it was too annoying to keep still. I got a Mcvities Victoria biscuit tin instead which worked well and the biscuits are quite nice too.

Unlike the quick click of a digital camera, this is quite a long process. First you pierce the lid of your tin with a pin. You then have to go into the dark room to take out your photographic paper (it can’t get exposed to light…yet) stick it to the back of the tin and then put the lid on. Make sure there is black tape or blu tack to cover the hole. Go to somewhere you feel would make a good photograph. We’d five floors to go down to go outside. Expose your hole and let light in. The time varies. Outside 15 seconds seemed to get good results and inside about 6 minutes. It varies for each tin and for the size of each hole. Once you’ve got your shot, cover the hole and head back to the dark room. Dunk the paper in the relevant trays of chemicals finishing with water. Hopefully you have an image. My first result was all white, my next all black. Here are some of the ones which turned out. I’ve included the developed inverted print and then my scanned edited version.

I found this interesting and kind of fun to do, though it did get a bit tedious eventually. Whilst the tutor liked my images, we have to create a series of four and I don’t currently have four images that compliment each other. I reckon I’ll focus on portraiture through pinhole photography as I feel these are the ones that worked out best. Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to get just two more shots of people.

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