Pinhole Photography: from Matchbox to Working Camera

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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15 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

      0:51
    • 2. How Does Pinhole Photography Work

      1:12
    • 3. Pinhole Camera Optics

      2:18
    • 4. Example Pinhole Cameras

      1:37
    • 5. Tools & Materials

      2:07
    • 6. Making the Camera: Body

      1:30
    • 7. Making the Camera: Pinhole

      2:15
    • 8. Making the Camera: Shutter

      0:53
    • 9. Making the Camera: Clicker

      1:04
    • 10. Loading the Camera

      1:53
    • 11. Adding Winder

      1:17
    • 12. Using the Camera

      1:41
    • 13. Unloading the Film

      0:51
    • 14. Next Steps

      1:29
    • 15. Conclusion

      1:23

Project Description

Design and build your own 35 mm matchbox pinhole camera and photograph something!

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If you have never made a pinhole camera before, then do not worry, this class was specially designed for you! Pinhole cameras are easy to make, but can be a little tricky to master, however if all goes wrong, don’t panic, start again and you’ll get there.

If you have made a 35mm matchbox pinhole camera before then try making something different and experimental, perhaps using photographic paper, exotic construction materials or mechanical processes to operate your camera?

Over the years I have seen students create hundreds of different types of pinhole camera, the options are endless, go ahead and experiment!

Complete your class project by uploading the following:

  • any sketches and/or designs for your pinhole camera (optional);
  • photographs of your pinhole camera's construction (optional);
  • photograph(s) of your completed pinhole camera;
  • scanned photographs taken using your pinhole camera;
  • a few words about your camera and your experience.

Tools & Materials:

  • Matchbox;
  • A new roll of 35 mm film;
  • A used roll of 35 mm film with at least 1cm stub of film sticking out or a reloadable 35 mm film cassette (can be bought on eBay);
  • Thin cardboard
  • Aluminium drinks can;
  • Fine sandpaper;
  • Black electrical tape;
  • Sellotape;
  • The plastic from a spiral binder (or any small piece of thin, curved plastic);
  • A fine sewing needle or pin;
  • Scissors;
  • A sharp craft knife;
  • A black marker pen.

Resources:

Crazy Camera — Research & Inspiration board on Pinterest

Photography Glossary — Glossary of Photographic Terms

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Student Projects

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