As mentioned before this years Easter Sunday was also World Pinhole Day. For the fun of it I decided to go back to the very roots of photography and give it a shot or two…
To get the low tech feeling I went through the apparment looking for a box to use and found an empty shoe box that seemed about right. I could fit in a 10x15cm sheet of paper and the focal length would be about 100mm. For the pinhole I used simply kitchen tin foil. Unfortunately that stuff is so thin that it is really next to impossible to get a round pinhole into it. My first attempts always looked like I used a pump gun to get the hole into it 😉 Finally I managed to get a pinhole that looked okay. As far as you can judge a 0.4mm hole with the naked eye… After everything was fitted I loaded the camera with a sheet of Ilford RC grade 2 paper, covered the pinhole and went outside for a shot. Even though I had taped the lid to the box to get it half way light sealed – the box itself (being a 1mm thick cardboard box) was far from being light sealed. Pretty much every corner must have been leaking into to box. Anyway the aperture was somewhere around 200 giving me an exposure time of 3mins (I rated the paper to be about ISO8).
So the next idea was to hack an old camera. I had an old Flexaret waiting for a use other than collection dust and wanted to turn it into a pinhole camera for quite some time now. Since the shutter was completely broken (totally rusty when I got it) it was an easy decision and the shutter and lenses were already removed. Luckily I also found some thicker tin foil to make a pinhole of. This made it much easier to get a round hole with mostly smooth edges. Again the aperture was around 200 with a focal length of 75mm and about 6x6cm negative size.
Going back into the darkroom to reload the camera was giving a nice nostalgic feeling as well. Also my daughter (she’s turning 6 this summer) joined me in the darkroom and watched while I processed the paper negatives. She was quite interested and amazed how a piece of white paper turned into a (negative) photo. Lacking paper developer all shots were developed in lford DD-X. The shots with the hacked Flexaret look quite nice, so I’ll load some film and give it another try soon. I got to think of some kind of shutter though. The test drive was simulating the shutter with a piece of dark cloth.
Now I have to decide which of the shots I enter into the gallery at http://www.pinholeday.org/ 😉 (might rescan the pictures with a decent scanner first though.)