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The Pin Hole Camera.

A pin hole camera is very easy to make, but to take pictures with it you will need access to a means of developing the pictures.
The principle is identical to the camera obscura experiment. This time we will use a biscuit tin instead of a box. My preference is Bourbons, but this is a photographic irrelevence - this is really what biscuit tins were made for!


Take the lid off the tin and have a hole punched in the middle, this hole should be small, no more than 1.5mm across - put the lid back on the tin and that's it, one pin hole camera! Ok, not quite, biscuit tins are invariably highly reflective inside and reflected light will be a problem. To prevent this stick matt black paper onto the inside of the lid, leaving a hole for the "pinhole" to shine through, this is exactly how the examples were taken. If you are really keen you can paint the inside with matt black paint
To take pictures you will need the assistance of a friend with some means of processing black and white pictures. All they need do is tape a piece of printing paper in the back of your tin, in the safety of the darkroom. Put the lid back on and tape up the lid with black electrical insulating tape, cover the hole with another piece of electrical tape and take outside. Set up the camera on a steady surface, untape the hole and leave the camera for about a minute. Tape up the hole and return to the darkroom to process the paper and consume bourbons. This may take several attempts before you get the exposure time correct but all being well quite good results can be obtained. The measure of success is the number of bourbons left over - the more left over is a measure of how consumed with the task you were.
Using this technique will give you a paper negative, this can in turn be contacted to another piece, exposed and developed to produce a positive. If you follow this process to the end you will have in effect performed the Calotype process announced by William Fox Talbot in 1839. Alternatively you can emply a little computer technology and scan the negative and then reverse it in a photo editing package.
To confirm all the above was true, I converted this tin into a camera. The picture shows the, er.......conversion just beginning - how I suffer for my art!

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