Pinhole Photography: Taking a Photo (Exposure Times)

Ok sorry it took me a little while to get to the second post in this series….I took some time off for our vacation. Back to the wide-angle pinhole camera! (click here for the first overview and assembly post ) By now you should have your pinhole camera made and your dark room supplies ordered.  It’s time to take some photos! If you are just stumbling on this post you can find the series from start to finish at the below link:

Your pinhole camera is ready to go!

A DIY Coffee Can Pinhole Camera (Wide Angle) via lilblueboo.com #pinhole #diy #tutorial #photography

For this type of pinhole camera, instead of 35mm film, you’ll be using B&W photo paper (see the source list at the bottom of the post). I find this much easier and more fun than film. With 35mm film you have to enlarge the negatives….with photo paper you have an instant 5×7 sized negative. There’s one more step to reversing the negative in the darkroom, but you can also scan your negative into your computer and then “invert it” using Photoshop. This is also a great step if you need to tweak contrast or lighting slightly to see your image better.

 

Once you have your B&W photo paper you can load the camera! Make sure not to open your packet of paper until you are in the darkroom or you will expose it. It is LIGHT SENSITIVE.  (Note: I’m loading the paper in the light below just so you can see it….but this must be done in the darkroom!)

Take a piece of photo paper and place it into the camera as shown. The slightly glossy/smooth side is the side that is light sensitive. Make sure that side is centered facing the pinhole. (The glossy texture will wash away in the dark room trays.)

Make sure your shutter is closed before leaving the dark room!

Loading B&W photo paper into a pinhole camera via lilblueboo.com #pinhole #diy #tutorial #wideangle #photography

The paper works the best in bright sunlight. Take the camera outdoors and set up the camera facing your subject. Open the shutter to allow light to enter the can and expose the image.  Then make sure your shutter is CLOSED completely.  Don’t open the shutter again until you have the can in the dark room again.
How the pinhole camera works via lilblueboo.com #pinhole #pinholephotography #photography #darkroom

You’ll have to experiment with exposure times as you start out….but then you’ll get a feel for it. (which is why I recommend multiple cameras….number them so that you can keep track of how long you leave the shutter open for later  comparison)

 

 

Here’s a little chart I made that might help as a starting point for exposure times.  [Read more…]

Pinhole Photography: Making A Wide Angle Pinhole Camera

Pinhole Photography: Making A Wide Angle Pinhole Camera via lilblueboo.com #photography #darkroom #pinhole #pinholecamera

I’ve been teaching Boo about traditional photography.  We did the film thing….now for the photographic paper and dark room process. I’ve used oatmeal box cameras in the past but I think it’s a much faster process with a metal can….so I’ve substituted with coffee cans and paint cans now. It’s actually really easy to create a temporary mini darkroom in a spare bathroom or a small closet. See the bottom of the post for the complete supply source list.

Note: If you think it’s something you or your kid will really enjoy doing…..I recommend making multiple cameras….out of different size cans.  I used to lug over 10 cans around in a box because then I could take 10 photos at one location without having to worry about reloading film paper until I get home.  Then you can experiment with exposure times.  Number the cans so you can make notes and compare.

 

The cool thing about the cameras I’m making in this post is that because of the curved shape…..they are the same as a wide angle lens.

A self portrait by Boo with her American Girl dolls:

Pinhole Photos via lilblueboo.com #photography #darkroom #pinhole #pinholecamera

A photo of Boo’s toy horses:

pinhole photographers

Driftwood:

pinhole photo gallery

The B&W paper produces a negative.  I usually scan it into Photoshop (or any photo program) and invert the image to produce the print.  I will also be doing a post about making the actual prints from the negative. It’s just involves an additional processing step in the darkroom:

Using photographic paper as film

Developing her photos:

Developing and Printing Pinhole Photos via lilblueboo.com #photography #darkroom #pinhole #pinholecamera

 

To make your pinhole camera you will need a metal coffee can or paint can. It’s nice to make more than one camera because you can reload and develop film paper in batches in your dark room:

making a pinhole camera for kids

 

Other supplies you’ll need:

Black Spraypaint (flat/matte)
Wood Clothespin
A few small sewing needles
Super fine sandpaper or a fine nail file
A sheet of card stock
A small strip of cardboard (like from a flat mailer)
Electrical tape
A piece of black construction paper
Black Sharpie Marker

[Read more…]

Twin Lens Reflex

 

Totally fascinated by this story of Vivian Maier:

See more at Vivian Maier Photography.

Anytime I see old photos in an antique store I can’t resist them. And I wonder about who was behind the camera……

 

I recently borrowed this old TLR Pho-Tak from Lisa and brought it out to show Boo how Vivian Maier would have taken her photos. The TLR camera is held at about waist height and you can see the image through the hood on the top.  It’s only in focus if you look at it from that distance:

 

I cut a piece of cardboard tube to attach to the end of my DSLR camera so Boo could capture what she was seeing through the TLR lens:

Fun with a vintage TLR Camera via lilblueboo.com

 

We could only take a few before we lost the sunlight:

“Mommy taking a picture of me taking a picture of her”

 

I love the grainy, flawed photos that result from looking through the old, scratched lens.

 

I’ve got to make the tube to the camera light proof…..and then we can play around with it more.

 

 

[Read more…]

How to Make a Pinhole Camera (from a Jello Box)

How to make a pinhole camera using a jello box via lilblueboo.com

 

What is a pinhole camera?

A pinhole camera is basically a light-proof box with a tiny hole in it. The film is exposed by uncovering the hole for a few seconds. (read more at wiki)

I’ve been wanting to make a pinhole camera for a while now with Boo…..to introduce her to film photography.  I’ve shown her the iPhone method and when she was itty bitty I used to let her use my Holga camera with some spoiled Polaroid film I had.  We spent the morning building the camera from scratch so she could see all the working parts.

Make a pinhole camera via lilblueboo.com

 

It started with a Jello pudding box ( the large size). Here’s how you can make your own:

[Read more…]

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