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Anamorphic Pinhole Fun

Would you like to try something different for this year's World Pinhole Photography Day? Why not try an anamorphic photography for a change?

Photo by stratski

Let me invite you to the world of anamorphic photography. First, think of one of those chalk street-art thingies. From the right angle you see a fantastic 3D image, from the wrong angle, you see a very distorted image. This is an anamorphic image.

Photo by tlsart

Now let’s look at photography. Usually, when you take a picture, the image falls straight onto the film, like this.

In anamorphic photography, you curl your film in a cylinder, and the image falls onto it under an angle, like this.

The result? A strangely warped image. Would you curl this into a cylinder again, and look into that cylinder, you’d see the image as it really is. Cool, huh?
The best part? It’s extremely easy to produce these images yourself. All you need is a black plastic film canister, a bit of beer can, some black electrical tape and a bit of 35 mm film.

  • First, cut a hole of about 1/2 cm in the lid of the canister.
  • Make a pinhole in the bit of beer can, and stick it behind the hole.
  • Put a bit of black tape over the hole. This is your shutter.

Your camera is now ready. Yes, it’s as easy as that.

  • Go into a darkroom or changing bag, and cut off a bit of unexposed film. About 20 sprocket holes is a good length. I measured a piece of exposed junk film as a model first and used that to cut the right length of film without having to feel for sprockets in the dark.
  • Put the film into the camera with the emulsion side on the inside (that’s the side that’s already curling in, so it should come naturally) and close the lid.

To take a picture, just point you camera in the right direction, take off the tape for a few seconds, and then replace the tape. You probably want to put it on a steady surface to remove camera shake.

Now develop your film and enjoy the warp!

Yeah, for this project, you either have to do your own processing (a good reason to try caffenol perhaps), or be VERY friendly with your lab. Loose 10 cm bits of film can be a challenge to get processed in a regular lab…

written by stratski


  1. istionojr


    coolness idea!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. buckshot


    Great tipster, stratski!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.