A Room with A Special View


Like to see things big through a tiny hole? Why not transform your room in to a giant Camera Obscura!

For this, you’ll need the following:

  • Sticky tape, ideally black duct tape
  • Thick black garbage bags
  • Strong cardboard, ideally black
  • Scissors
  • And a room with a view (works best in a small but bright room with a single window, a well closing door and a plain white wall)

How to:

  • Double or triple layer the garbage bags, depending on how thick they are. Just make sure they’re thick enough not to let any light pass through.
  • Cut a hole with a 5 cm diameter into the middle of one bag.
  • Cut the cardboard into pieces large enough to cover the hole in the garbage bag and provide each piece with a different sized hole – Now you have some pinhole templates!
  • Stick the garbage bags to the window and seal them with black duct tape.
  • Cover the hole in the window cover with a pinhole template and try different templates to see which works best in your room. The larger the hole, the brighter the image, but it will be blurry. If you have decided which one you want to use, stick the template permanently to the hole.
  • Finally check if there are further small light sources (e.g. keyholes, …) and cover them. You can use some cloth to seal the door (as you might not want to use duct tape for that ;-))

Maybe you will see almost nothing in the first minutes but when your eyes get used to the dark, an upside down panorama will appear on your wall. Just enjoy the beautiful view or take some cool pictures with a tripod and a cable release.

written by miriel on 2009-07-31 #gear #tutorials #diy #pinhole #tips #room #home #creative #tipster #camera-obscura


  1. its_gone
    its_gone ·

    Ok. Ok. Ok.

    This is awesome!

  2. cei_to_the_ley
    cei_to_the_ley ·

    Haha that's awesome! I must give it a go!

  3. renovati
    renovati ·


  4. grenoouille
    grenoouille ·

    Fabulous! And these shots are amazing!

  5. disdis
    disdis ·


  6. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    This is a really interesting idea. I would like to give this a try in the future. Shot number 5 is incredible.

  7. mandi
    mandi ·

    trust me, it's amazing to watch the street within your bedroom. it's like peeping out of your window without moving, and without being watched at all. it's a fascinating thing and teaching a lot about pinhole, etc. (if you dare to notice)

  8. mattcharnock
    mattcharnock ·

    i love camera obscurers, i made one for the kids in my street back in the uk and it was exciting! great shots, really great!

  9. sugiyamasatomi
    sugiyamasatomi ·

    wow, great shots! 5 is specially damn good!

  10. abcdefuck
    abcdefuck ·

    holly shit. :D crazyy

  11. stouf
    stouf ·

    GENIUS ! Whaaat ? It's not the tipster of the week ? Can't wait to see what tipster can beat that one... Anyway... Great job miriel !

  12. torium
    torium ·

    Wow! I love these shots!

  13. stoonja
    stoonja ·

    realy great !!!!

  14. rater
    rater ·

    That is awesome, so so awesome! You really deserve th etipster of the week, the month and the year. Great job, will try it when have some time and spare garbage bags!!!!

  15. d_i_hunter
    d_i_hunter ·

    Just fantastic!

  16. stouf
    stouf ·

    Hoo scapegoat made it clear to me... You're a staff member ! Sorry I forgot.. ;-)

  17. lovesmesumcake
    lovesmesumcake ·

    !!! I'm going to try this with my dorm!

  18. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·


  19. lomat
    lomat ·

    wow im goona do this asap!! you rule!!

  20. deeseeohecks
    deeseeohecks ·

    this is probably the coolest thing I have ever seen!

  21. hspada
    hspada ·


  22. kboboland
    kboboland ·

    I don't understand exactly how this works???
    I'm so confused?!

  23. kboboland
    kboboland ·

    Oh, I think I'm starting to get how this works.
    Do you put a color negative exposure in the template and let the light shine through it on your wall?
    This is really cool, I like it

  24. miriel
    miriel ·

    no negatives or slides required. for this you'll only need a hole and nothing else ;) the projection on the wall is the flipped image of what you see when you look out of your window... if your room is facing a street you can even watch the cars drive by on the ceiling.
    think of a very primitive camera with a single aperture and no lens (a camera obscura/pinhole camera) - you are sitting inside this camera :)


  25. jiatlormee
    jiatlormee ·

    love this "moving" wallpAPer idea! hahah cool stuff

  26. _ka_
    _ka_ ·

    Wowwww! I know what we'll all be doing for the weekend!

  27. amaan
    amaan ·

    crazzy. im gonna try this tomorrow! thanks :D

  28. amaan
    amaan ·

    btw if i want to move the image can i just patch it up and cut a new one?

  29. reyhansk
    reyhansk ·

    so how do we take the picture? by using digital cameras only? or does it has to be an analog film? and the pinhole template is only a cardboard? because usually in other pinhole camera they use flatten copper. can anyone explain to me about this please? i really want to try it but i dont really understand -_-

  30. miriel
    miriel ·

    you can use any camera that provides a bulb setting/long time exposure.
    we used cardboard with pretty wide holes (almost 1 cm diameter) as pinhole templates because the whole idea was not about building a perfect pinhole camera but having a large and bright projection. the image is quite blurry but i think that doesn''t matter at this scale.

  31. miriel
    miriel ·

    sure! if you have more than one window go ahead, but it will not make such a difference with another hole on the same window.

  32. meerwasser
    meerwasser ·

    i will try this soon.

  33. masfoto
    masfoto ·

    S U P E R !!!!!!

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