Pinhole Photography Day is fast approaching. Time to start building your own camera! This time, lets add some more holes.
Nothing says Lomography like building your own camera. No, I’m not talking about the Konstruktor, but about pinhole camera’s of course. When it come’s to pinhole camera’s, I’ve been around the block a few times. I started with the usual matchbox pinhole camera, tried the film box Pinhole Rocket, and quickly moved on to hybrid regular/pinhole cameras, 360° cameras, anamorphic cameras, and even a walnut.
This year, I decided to go multiple. You all know the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator of course. A lovely machine. My Multi Pinhole is a sort of variation of that. I made a medium format camera with five pinholes scattered about the front.
I used a couple of cardboard boxes to make the camera body. You can see I’m a Lomography Film enthusiast: I used a Tiger box as body and a CN 400 box to make the smaller bits that would contain the film spools.
Be warned: using this last box as spool holders wasn’t the best idea. I thought it would be just the right size, as it was a 120 film box. I had forgotten about the foil wrapper though, so the boxes were actually a bit too high for the spools to fit snugly. I was too lazy to make new boxes, so I just stuffed extra bits of cardboard inside to keep the spools properly aligned. I darkened the inside with black marker, and covered everything with black tape on the outside to make it really lightproof. I added a simple sliding shutter up front. A pizza box turned into the back of the camera, and a beer can provided five bits of aluminum to make the pinholes. A true Friday night camera, this is.
As mentioned, the biggest challenge in using it was to get the film nicely in place and aligned in the middle. Bits of folded cardboard did the trick, but spooling took some more effort, and tape. It’s all explained in this professional infographic:
When I got that all figured out, I added the back, and noticed some openings between it and the body. I filled those with bits of thick black yarn as light guards, and ended with a couple of rubber bands to keep it all together. My camera was now good to go.
And lo and behold! It actually worked, too! Every picture has five more or less identical, overlapping images, just as I had imagined it. In the words of the immortal Colonel Smith: I love it when a plan comes together.
Some shooting tips:
- Five pinholes let in a fair amount of light, so you need shorter exposure times than usual with a pinhole camera. Most of the first (black and white) roll I shot was pretty overexposed. The color pics were better, and only took a second or three.
- I find that clear, close-up subjects against a simple background work best. The shots I took in my garden were a bit of a jumble I think.
Now go forth and make a better version of the Multi Pinhole. I dare you!