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PINHOLE CAMERA Q? - I am trying to build a pinhole camera with multiple pinholes that still takes one seamless image. Answered

The final version of this camera will be used to take photos of people's bodies. I want to create a "topographic map" of the body, as though that person had been split down the spine and unfolded to view in full. If you have ever seen a large snake skin framed, or the saved skin of a person with a traditional Japanese tattoo, you might have an idea what I mean. I have built many cameras, but never one that is concave or with multiple pinholes. Silhouetting is fairly easy to eliminate, but creating on image with multiple pinholes is what is stumping me. Frustration mounting...


Think of how light travels through the pinhole, in a straight line from object to film. Any pinhole projects onto the WHOLE film surface. Unless you have some way to mask off parts of the film, you can't take multiple exposures and not have them overlaid upon each other. The only way I can think of achieving what you want would be to take multiple flat photos and then composite them in postproduction, probably in a computer. (Simplest might be to project them back onto a human form, then map that form into the desired flat representation. Not a very difficult graphic programming problem, given the right tools and experience, but not a beginner project.)

Agreed - multiple pinholes will always produce over-lapping images.

A saw a super-wide photograph of an entire school in a big long line. I saw a couple of hundred people sitting standing in one long row - How did they photograph it? The background was a give-away because it's all warped & distorted: The subjects were arranged in a circle and the camera tracked around them laying the image on a semi-circle of film. That's inside-outwards, but the outside-inwards approach is the converse: you roll the camera around the subject. L

I think you will have to expose the pinholes one at a time and rotate the camera so that the pinhole that is exposing is point straight at the portion of the person it is supposed to be capturing. Panorama cameras use a rotating shutter that is a slit exposing film that is curved around the rotational center of the lens. A pinhole camera will not skin the person by photographing their sides. You're asking it to capture 180 deg from the subject's point of view and it captures 90-140 deg. approx. from the camera's point of view. From the view point of the photograph you're asking it to look around corners and it can't do that. What a pinhole does better than a regular lens is have very depth of field if you can accept a fuzzy picture. What you need to look into to get the kind of photograph you want is using a single pinhole camera and make many images. Start 90 deg. on one side and make several shots vertically, moving the camera up and down so that it is always paralell to the subject. Then move the camera to the 45 deg. position and make the same shots. THen 0deg and same shots then 45 deg on other side then 90 on other side. take all those shots and put them in a file. Download "autostitch", it's free. And use that to put all of your shots into one photograph that will show 180 deg of the person. Should be interesting. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.