I’m beginning my last photo project of undergrad and I’ve decided I’m going to build pinhole cameras out ofÂ mostly salvaged materialsÂ and make into a camera. Essentially, I am trying to explore what photography could look like after an apocalypse of some kind, like an environmental disaster where the latest Canon $3,000 DSLR could become useless.
For referenceÂ I’ve mostly been using a book I bought used on Amazon,Â Pinhole Cameras: A DIY GuideÂ by Chris Keeney, as my guide. I’ve also been reading Minimal Aperture Photography Using Pinhole Cameras by John Warren Oakes and Pinhole Photography From Historic Technique to Digital Application by Eric Renner, though these are more complicated.
Below is the first image I was able to create using a large peanut can and 5×7″ darkroom paper. I scanned the image and reversed the values in Photoshop.
The best piece of advice I ran into wasÂ suggested by Keeney’s book: scanning pinholes toÂ bring them into Photoshop and measure them. I used an online pinhole calculator to determine pinhole sizesÂ for various containers. The focus on each of the cameras I’ve made so far has been far more sharp than I ever expected.
Here are a few images I took just this week. You can expect to see a lot more as I start cramming my project into my last few weeks of undergrad.