Monday, November 18, 2013

Recent Commission and Interview: Making a digital Pinhole

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.   

Below are the images as they ran in the magazine

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.

1 comment:

Lucy L said...

Interesting! I want to try this. Love the resulting images