Wandering around charity shops last weekend, I picked up a wooden biscuit box, thinking it’d make a great base for a pinhole camera. Unfortunately, it had a plastic lining on the interior, which would have been a pain in the ass to work with.
Later the same day, in a different shop, I found what looked like the exact same box, but upon closer examination, the plastic inside this one was a removable insert. Clearly, this was meant to be.
The box, before modification:
I glued layers of black felt strips to the inside of the lid, since removing the plastic meant that the lid was rattling around on the base. To stop the felt peeling away with use, I covered the lot with a layer of craft glue.
The interior, painted black.
A hole drilled in the front, to mount the pinhole plate onto.
The shutter is a small, Christmas cracker photo frame with the glass removed. The plastic had holes where the hanger would go, so I glued black card to each side, then rivetted a small D-ring to use as a pull.
At the moment, the paper/film (in my case, Harman Direct Positive paper, size 5×7″) just sits in a curve at the back the camera. It’s rigid enough to sit nicely without anything holding it in place.
First exposure. Just a view of the back garden, for test purposes.
Second exposure, getting closer to a specific subject.
Happily, the pinhole I made for this is one of my neatest yet, so calculating an accurate F number, and thus an accurate exposure chart, was possible.
I’ve since been trying a few more exposures, getting closer to the subject each time. The last two also encompassed something I’ve wanted to try for a while – shooting a pinhole image with the camera pointing directly up, and the subject laid on a pane of glass suspended over the camera. Although the first results are rough, I think there’s definite potential to take this technique further.