Making your own little pinhole camera from scratch is sure fun and most likely will make you feel proud that not only because you built the camera yourself, you’ll also manage to produce images with it! But to be inside a pinhole camera? Yes, it is possible with this tipster!
Some of you may have read the A Room with a Special View tipster about turning a room into a giant camera obscura. Living inside a pinhole camera was great for a while but when we started to crave fresh air we had to come up with something new. “Let’s go mobile” we said to ourselves and grabbed the largest cardboard box we could find in the infinite vastness of the archive.
- A huge cardboard box (should provide enough space to sit inside)
- White packing paper
- Spray mount
- Duct tape
- Strong cardboard, ideally black
- Make sure the box is dense and seal light leaks with duct tape (but keep in mind that you are not Harry Houdini and airtight sealing might affect your health!)
- Line the inside of the box with packing paper
- Cut a hole with a 5 cm diameter into the middle of one of the narrow sides
- Cut the black cardboard into pieces large enough to cover the hole in the box and provide each piece with a different sized hole – Now you have some pinhole templates!
- Cover the hole in the box with a pinhole template and attach it with duct tape. A larger pinhole will produce a brighter but blurrier image than a small one.
Now here starts the fun part, which is (of course) easier, better and even more fun together with a friend. We definitely had a good time and so did the people we met while dragging our box around, aside from the grumpy lady who started shouting at us from her balcony two seconds after we made a step on the courtyards lawn … so beware of paranoid residents/policemen/vigilante groups and ask your friend to watch out.
Carry your camera obscura outdoors and seek for a nice corner, be it a park or the nearest gas station. Place the box on the ground with the open side at the bottom, slip into it and start shooting that beautiful blurry upside down image of the outside world inside your cosy box (tripod and cable release are essential).