Pinhole Photography

Written by Serena Berger
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Pinhole photography is a unique art with a long history. In fact, there is now an annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (on the last Sunday in April) which celebrates pinhole photography and invites people both to make their own cameras and share their best images. Many people have not even heard of pinhole photography, however, much less seen the charming images it can produce.

The Mechanics of Pinhole Photography

Pinhole cameras were actually responsible for some of the fist photographs taken. The camera needs only a container (a box, a can, or anything which does not let light in) with a tiny hole in one side and any photo-sensitive surface inside it. No lenses are used in traditional pinhole work, though modern pinhole photographers occasionally adapt pinhole photography to modern cameras and fit a pinhole over a basic camera lens.

If you are thinking that the photographs taken with a pinhole camera will necessarily look like images you've seen from the late 19th century, that is a misapprehension. There are incredibly crisp color photographs taken with pinhole cameras, though black and white is by far more common. The sepia-toned nostalgic pictures represent only a fraction of the possibilities.

Finding an artist skilled in pinhole photography does require a bit of effort. Many professional studio photographers simply won't think to list it as one of their services. If you find an artist with an interest listed, however, you are assured of having found someone with a deep love of photography, both its history and potential, and you should take advantage of the unique opportunity to have pinhole images taken of a place or person you love.


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