With the Christmas festivities over, there’s nothing I like better than rummaging through the discarded tins, boxes and packaging in search of a potential pinhole camera.
Top of this year’s list was a neat cylindrical box that had housed some deliciously more-ish dark chocolate mint thins. Here’s how I elevated it to its true purpose! (click on the images to view full size.)
For the pinhole I use Art Emboss matt black aluminium foil – a roll cut into 2 cm squares makes a lifetime of pinholes, but the simplest pinholes are made by making a hole in a piece cut from an aluminium drinks can. To make the pinhole I use a punch/drill made from a cut-down eraser pencil with a pin pushed into the eraser (cut off the head of the pin and push it in with pliers). Lightsealing is achieved by the judicious use of sticky-backed felt cut from inexpensive sheets.
At this time of year the A&E department of the local hospital is likely to be busy so I took particular care using the craft knife when cutting the hole in the box over which the pinhole was to be placed. I use black PVC electrical tape, which is light tight, to stick the pinhole in place.
It took only an hour or so to convert my Mint Thins Chocolate Box into a Pincam, photographing the process as I went. I loaded the camera with a piece of Ilford MGIV RC Satin paper and gave an exposure of about fifteen minutes under the same lighting and of the camera I used to record the conversion. The camera lens was about 80mm from the pincam. Here’s how the paper negative and the scanned, inverted final image look:
Now, with Hogmanay coming up I’m sure I spotted a big tin box of shortbread and at least one Laphroaig cylinder box …