I was recently commissioned by HUCK magazine to create a series of 3 images that they could run in their Special photography issue that was published in November 2013. At first we discussed what direction I would take with it as they wanted to do something that was a bit different and yet it needed to be something we could do in a short space in time and one that would reproduce well for the magazine. Initially we had been discussing some ideas involving a camera obscura - but felt it might be tricky to make something work in the time frame. I took this idea though and scaled it down - rather than create a room sized camera obscura - we could use the same basic technique at a more manageable size - the answer it seemed was to produce a pin-hole camera. Given the time frame it seemed sensible to do this digitally.
|The drilled hole on the body cap (above) and the cinefoil behind the hole reducing it's size further (top)|
The technique for doing so is relatively simple; you need to make a small precise hole that will allow light to fall onto the cameras sensor. After a bit of research I realised the optimum size for this needed to be about 0.3mm, and the best way to achieve this would be to use a pin to penetrate a material but not to pass through it. Obviously you don't want light being reflected and bouncing around inside so the material needs to be dark. I figured the best way to do this was to drill a hole in a spare body cap and then use a hole in some cinefoil which was taped with black tape on the inside. Another bit of tape on the front acts as a rudimentary lens-cap (but only for stopping dust entering and the shutter still needs to be fired). This technique gives you roughly an equivalent frame of a 50mm lens - not ideal for landscapes but certainly useable.
If you're interested in catching the rest of the issue (well worth a read in my opinion) look out for it in all good newsagents.