Experimenting with some pinholes

Well, only one really.

Have you ever tried pinhole photography?

I first played around with it over 20 years ago when I was doing a course on photography. The place I was doing the course had some pinhole cameras. They were basically boxes with a pinhole in them. You would put a piece of photography paper in them at the back, then take the cap off the pinhole to get your exposure. Then you would have to take camera into the darkroom, remove the paper and develop it. Most of the ones we were doing were around one to two minutes.

They were fun to do, but really hard to do on your own if you didn’t have a darkroom.

A few years ago a friend gave me a cap for my digital camera that had a pinhole in it. She had tried it, but hadn’t had any luck. I always meant to try it, but never got around to it. So this year I decided it was time.

I have spoken before about how I want to try experimenting more with different ways of taking photos, so I am starting this series with pinhole photos.

So this is a body cap for my Nikon cameras that has a tiny hole in it. I wasn’t really sure what I would get. However, with the beauty of digital I could take a photo and then see the results and try again. I was surprised that I didn’t need as much time as I had for the box pinhole. I’m also not sure about the results.

I still haven’t really been anywhere so the photos are all flowers from my garden. She we take a look?

As you can see you don’t get sharp images. I don’t know if that is because I was too close, or is the nature of that sort of photography.

I think it is interesting, but would like to try it more, especially with landscapes, or in the city. I wonder what it would be like to be a lot further away from my subjects.

They sort of remind me of the first photos ever taken. I think I will continue to experiment and see what I can get.

Let me know if you have tried it and what you thought?

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  1. Hi Leanne,
    What seems a million years ago now, I did experiment with pinhole photography.
    In the main, I used a Rollei sl66 as my base frame – luxury of having a 120 film format and an slr facility – which meant with a cloth over my head I could make out what I was photographing.
    You may be interested in my brief exploration of long ‘focal length’ . Maybe you could try something similar (I guess it might be possible to make a telescopic tube (tube in a tube) to vary the telephoto effect?
    I did try some digital images using a redundant camera body cap. But I found I was too fearful of getting dust on the sensor, so I gave that I up. (obviously long exposures on digital cameras can be problematical too.)
    There were a fair number of useful websites to get info on pinhole – including tables .
    I found Eric Renner’s Pinhole Photography both helpful and inspirational (especially if you are more inclined towards the ‘Art’ side of photography.


    I haven’t done any for a long time. I don’t have a lot of time for messing about at the moment but, as I’ve a lot of old film stock lying about, I may have a another crack at it in the coming years.

    1. Thanks Stephen, good to hear about your experiences.
      I’m using a digital camera and fear of dust is real, but I am using an older camera, so I’m not too concerned about it. I have ideas of things to do, so I will see how I go.

  2. This is very cool. Can you buy these caps with the hole in it!? This is one of the first thought I had in my head when I started photographing the desert. Pinhole….

    Keep up your experiment! I am very interested to see how you do with it!

    1. I think it is cool to Merilee. You can buy the caps with the holes in it, but they are expensive. What a surprise. I found a site that explains how to make them yourself, so I am going to try and if it works,I will let everyone know that site I used. It is hard to do, just patience and playing around.
      That’s good to hear, I’m going away soon so I can try it more then. Thank you.

  3. I have not tried pinhole photography, although I might in the future should I get a spare cap to put a hole in it. Have you tried focusing the shot before putting the cap on? Looks interesting. Hope you keep us updated on your results.

    1. I hope you do Rick, it is interesting. You can order the caps on line, and I am going to try making my own soon for my Fujifilm. You can’t focus before hand because the lens usually does that. I will definitely let you know how I go. Thank you.

    1. I can take a photo of it next time Anne, though it is just the body cap that comes with the camera that has a pin hole in it.
      That reminds me I have the pinhole from Lensbaby as well, will have to give that a go too.

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