How to Make a Pinhole Camera

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Introduction: How to Make a Pinhole Camera

Make your own camera out of materials around the house and take black and white photos with it.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need a box, photo paper, thin piece of metal like a can or brass shim, tape, xacto knife, needle, and sand paper.

Step 2: Make Pinhole

The pinhole is like the lens of the camera. Poke a tiny hole in the brass shim with a needle and sand it smooth. Trim the shim so there is a little space around the hole.

Step 3: Make Camera Box

You can use a shoe box, oat meal box or whatever. The box must be light proof. When the lid is on and the shutter is closed the inside is completely dark. The only light comes through the pinhole. Make sure there are no holes or openings in the box. Seal it and paint it flat black. Cut a small square opening in the box for the pinhole to go in.

Step 4: Put in Pinhole and Make Shutter

Tape the pinhole behind the square opening. I use electrical tape. Center the pinhole in the square. Then make the shutter which is just a flap that covers the pinhole from the outside. It can be made from some more tape.

Step 5: Load the Photo Paper

This must be done in complete darkness. You can make a darkroom in a bathroom or closet and use it for developing and changing paper. Tape a piece of photo paper to the inside of the box across from the hole. Put lid on and make sure the shutter is closed. Now you can go out in the light.

Step 6: Taking a Picture

Point the camera at what you want to shoot. It works best when it is bright and sunny. Depending on lighting and clouds hold shutter open for 30 seconds to 4 minutes then close. Everything has to stay perfectly still. Go back to the dark room and take paper out to develop.

Step 7: Developing

You will need developer, fixer, water, tongs, towels, and a safe light in you dark room. It must be pitch black when safe light is off. I found out you can use orange LED halloween lights as a safe light. It is cheaper and you get more light than a small red darkroom bulb. The paper from the box will be a negative to make the positive put another piece of photo paper under the developed negative face to face. The negative must be on top. Use a piece of glass to press them together and turn the lights on for a few seconds. Make sure your extra photo paper is safe and covered or it will all develop black. Now develop the positive. It goes in the developer then water then fixer then water then air dry.

3 People Made This Project!

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105 Discussions

0
phyno
phyno

4 years ago

Hi! I'm super new to the world of older techniques like this. I've been trying but an having a hard time finding photo paper online. It's all shiny printer paper... Can someone give me a link to the right place? Thanks:)

0
hlhenn2013
hlhenn2013

Reply 4 weeks ago

For a link, See the answer to the question right above yours here :)

0
phyno
phyno

Reply 4 years ago

Also, What I think is the right stuff is a all MEGA expensive... Anything cheap but really functional?

1
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

Doesn't have to be a brass shim. Cut a piece out of a soda or beer can. Paint it black. Pole your hole in it. Bob's your uncle!

0
progectict
progectict

Reply 3 years ago

At a hard where store

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1
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago


The author of the article should have been more specific. What you need to use is black and white photographic paper. It's basically a sheet of film like what goes on rolls of film for cameras. Or used to anyway.

1
BradnMariaP
BradnMariaP

3 years ago

So we made a pinhole camera, we were having trouble developing it. I'm not sure if its our darkroom or what. But the edges around the paper were black and the middle white , but the next day the middle was purple and cloudy

0
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

Sound like
1. light leakage either in the camera or in the darkroom
And
2. An error in the developing process possibly in the final step

1
slimjay123
slimjay123

2 years ago

As we speak, I am making mine right now!!!!!!!!

0
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

Excellent! Nice work! 👍👍👍

1
slimjay123
slimjay123

2 years ago

I made it!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!!!!

0
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

Nice work! Good for you! 👍👍👍👍👍

0
JAC14413443
JAC14413443

2 years ago

what kind of photo paper should I use?
I assume not just glossy photo printing paper from Tesco that you use to print on from a standard printer?

please help

1
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

Not that kind of photo paper. The author of the article should have been more specific. What you need to use is black and white photographic paper. It's basically a sheet of film like what goes on rolls of film for cameras. Or used to anyway.

Screenshot_20200627-201816_Amazon Shopping.jpg
0
TheGoodMP
TheGoodMP

Reply 5 weeks ago

No. Any totally opaque (light blocking) tape will do. Black if you can.

0
sc93399
sc93399

Question 8 weeks ago

Will it work if i use paper like regular paper or can i use notebook paper helpppppppp meeeeeeeeeeeee

0
KoranM
KoranM

Answer 6 weeks ago

You need photographic paper as it is treated with chemicals to make it sensitive to light, or you can make your own (but that's a fairly involved process)