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Pinhole using Black and White photographic paper

Although photographic paper hasn't changed much in 150 years it still has immense potential for pinhole photography and, when combined with modern digital image capture, all kinds of wonderful approaches can be discovered. For most of these techniques the creation of a simple 'darkroom' (See info here) will be required. A cupboard under the stairs, a cycle light and three cat litter trays got me started!

The Drink Can Camera

These wonderful devices have been a stalwart of mine for many a year, and can even allow 6-month duration exposures. Easy to make and use they are a wondrous way to introduce people to pinholing.

Qualities: Extreme wide-angle image of around 160 degrees with an effective aperture of f150 Distortions possible through the use of curved film plane and unlimited depth of field The opportunity to create negatives, the origins of photography. $30,000 cheaper than a Hassleblad H1

Rinko and beer can camera.jpg

Awfullogrammes (Using Flash)

I came up with this technique when trying to do pinhole photography workshops at universities throughout the winter of 2013 - 14.
It was so overcast that every day resembled a continual total solar eclipse with exposure times (3 seconds in sunlight) going over 30 seconds. This, combined with the usual hurricane conditions which occur every winter in my beloved country, required drastic indoor pinhole action. The Awfulogramme was born!


360 and 720

One of the most rewarding as well as bewildering approaches to pin-holing is imaging on the inside of a cylinder. This is an excellent teaching tool, forcing the user to mentally combust whilst getting a healthy understanding of aiming without a viewfinder. It is also a great use for the inside of a used toilet roll. For teaching and general experimentation, photographic paper works fine for all the methods below.

C6.2 p 93 Toilet roll image.jpg

Wheelie Bin Cameras

Around 1989,  the old circular metal 'trash cans' on my street were replaced by plastic 'Wheelie Bins'. Instantly my brain went into overdrive and I thought. Hey I could use this as a pinhole camera. I took next doors bin (we needed ours), dragged it upstairs, made a small metal hole, bought a huge roll of paper, loaded the camera, gaffer taped it shut and took it on a bus to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. 
Selling this camera to the Royal Photographic Society is still one of my life's achievements!

How to make and use a Wheelie Bin camera.

  1. Find and clean a wheely bin. (I found mine next door!)

  2. Cut a hole in the side and insert an aluminium pinhole of around 2mm.

  3. Buy a 6m x 142cm roll of photographic paper. (A snip at £65-00!).

  4. Trim down a 142cm x 100cm sheet and tape it around the inside of the bin.

  5. Tape down the lid and place a light-tight ‘shutter’ over the pinhole.

  6. Cart it off to the seaside I top of Ben Nevis. (bus drivers love them!)

  7. Expose the paper for 8 minutes in sunlight.

  8. Wheel it back to the darkroom / bath.

  9. Take out the paper and tape it above the bath. Sponge on Dev, Stop and Fix.

  10. Wash down the final print with a shower attachment.

Me and bin neg sml.jpg
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