Quick Tips for Using a Pinhole Camera

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Pinhole cameras are most commonly used for Solargraphy, wherein the movement of the sun is captured. The exposure time for this can last up to several hours. However, you may also use the pinhole camera to take pictures of interesting subjects. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Credits: smolda, mafiosa, tattso & scootiepye

Film and Photographic Paper

You can either use film or photographic paper with a pinhole camera. If you’re using photographic paper, keep in mind that the exposure time must be longer since the paper is not as sensitive as opposed to using film. Exposure time can take up to a couple of minutes during a sunny day. When using film, the exposure time can take a couple of seconds only.

Credits: jeansman, drumfire & the_pinhole

Shooting Your Subject

In order for your shot to be successful, you must make sure that there is ample light entering the pinhole. If the subject you’re taking a picture of is about 5 feet or closer, tilt the pinhole camera just a bit upwards. This adjustment is needed for displacement since there are two lines of sight. On the other hand, if you are shooting something more than 5 feet away, keep the pinhole camera at a straight angle.

Credits: domo-guy, dfred & jeansman

Shoot and Experiment

Now the fun begins! When shooting, place your camera on a steady surface or a tripod if available. This will ensure that the camera does not move during the exposure time. Allow the light to enter the pinhole during exposure but do not forget to shield the hole with a dark cover when you are not shooting. The fun here is experimenting with the subjects to shoot and the exposure time.

Remember that you must be patient since shooting with a pinhole camera is a learning experience!


Take a break from your fast-paced lifestyle and capture your world through a pinhole. Visit our online shop or one of our worldwide gallery stores to see a variety of pinhole cameras.

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-09-23 #gear #tutorials #exposure #tipster #pinhole-camera #solargraphy #pinhole-masters-and-magic

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5 Comments

  1. freyfrey
    freyfrey ·

    I think I am too shaky for pinhole photos. I only ever had one come out properly...

  2. micheal
    micheal ·

    This is great and really does work well if you stay steady, the shake works well too if you have a long exposure on.

  3. slumbrnghok
    slumbrnghok ·

    I just bought a 12x6 medium format pinhole from Poland. I am super-psyched to use it :)

  4. emperornorton
    emperornorton ·

    Where do you find the film for it? I have a medium format that I am dying to use but can't find the film for!

  5. reedkenney
    reedkenney ·

    I order my medium format film. Its just hard to get it developed, only private labs do it. Not like, cvs or other 1 hour photo labs.

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