Friday, 5 August 2011

Through the Pinhole

Karen and I have fancied trying pinhole photography for some time. Well, we finally got round to it the other day. This is the result:

We pointed the camera at the front garden and hoped for the best. So little light goes through the hole you can see nothing through the viewfinder. Pinhole shots tend by their nature to be hazy and impressionistic. It's quite easy to do, too. I won't reinvent the wheel by providing a detailed description as there are a lot of pages on the net already explaining what to do in detail. Basically, if you've got an SLR camera, you obtain a "body cap" (like a lens cap, but designed to fit over the hole the lens screws into). You drill a, say, 0.5-1.00 cm hole in the centre and tape tinfoil over the hole on the inner side. Use dark tape and don't leave a lot of shiny foil showing if you can help it. Carefully prick the centre of the foil covering the hole to make the "pinhole". Put the cap on the camera. Now it gets technical. Set the camera to "M" and stick it on a tripod. Now experiment with a shot. On a bright day in the garden with our particular pinhole 10 seconds was over exposed, 3 seconds under exposed. For the above photo the shutter was left open for 7 seconds, I think. That's a quick guide. It's obvious that if the SLR is digital, the whole process is easier, as you can experiment without having to hang about developing film. If you fancy having a go, google it. In fact, it's an interesting thing to google anyway. "Pinhole camera" yields 2.39 million results - many of which seem to be enthusiasts who can't resist sharing their enthusiasms with the world, an aspect of the internet I rather like.

For optical reasons I don't fully understand, pinhole shots show up every last little bit of muck on a digital camera's sensor. I wrecked an old-fashioned SLR trying to clean its mirror, so I was loath to mess around. Fools rush in and all that. I'm pleased I checked the manual and followed the instructions in this case, as it said that under no circumstances should the sensor be touched.


The Weaver of Grass said...

I think that picture is absolutely beautiful with its impressionistic view of the garden. Love it. I would like to see it printed off to look at it more carefully. How exciting it must have been when it was first tried. I remember there was an old film starring Robert Donat as Fox Talbot.

Gerry Snape said...

You've inspired me Dominic to have a go with the grandchildren. Hope it turns out!

Gwilym Williams said...

Hey, well done!

tony said...

I will give it a try! I heard the expression before, nut didnt know its meaning.Nice Effect.