Pinhole photography

On this page we make a small lid that will serve as sort of a shutter for the camera. Three dimensional decoration is added to the outside of the camera, and the initial stages of making a pinhole for the camera are shown.

This is page three of four. Here is Page One.

step nine
Step nine Make a small lid shape that can be used to close the opening in the front of the camera when not taking an exposure. Getting a snug fit is important, and I usually make two or three of these little lids for each camera with slightly different widths to make sure that at least one of them will fit. To make the fit snug and light proof I glue a strip of three mm thick cork sheeting to the outer part of the lid flange (the vertical section that the sponge is touching in the photo). The photo for step fifteen shows the cork attached. Be sure to take into account the thickness of the cork when measuring the lid for the shutter.

step ten
Step ten This is a good stage to add some texture and decoration to the outside of the camera. Since cameras are usually thought of as precise, mechanical devices, I like to make my cameras look rather organic as a contrast. Have some fun with the decoration, but remember to leave plenty of room around the shutter opening so that the shutter can be removed and replaced easily.

step eleven
Step eleven While your clay camera is drying out before being fired you can make the pinhole for the camera. Take a piece of thin sheet metal. The metal from a beverage can works well. Cut out a circular piece of metal that has a diameter slightly larger than your shutter opening. Press a blunt pencil into the centre of the metal disk to make a small dent.

step twelve
Step twelve Flip the disk over and use a fine sandpaper to sand the dent down until it's flat. Repeat these two steps until you think the metal in the middle of the disk has become quite thin.

Almost done! Here are the last four steps

Pinhole Camera Photography Home Page
Steve Irvine
R.R. # 2
Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
(519) 534 2175