Pinhole images are softer less sharp than pictures made with a lens. The images have nearly unlimited depth of field. Wide angle images remain absolutely rectilinear. However, pinhole images suffer from greater chromatic aberration than pictures made with a simple lens, and they tolerate little enlargement. Exposures are long, ranging from a half second to several hours. Images are exposed on film or paper negative or positive; black and white, or color.
Pinhole Photography Presented by Chris Enges Pinhole Photography Presented by Chris Enges Pinhole photography is photography without a lens. A small hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole; an image is formed in the camera. Pinhole cameras are small or quite large, very crude or designed with great care. Cameras have ben made of sea shells, oatmeal boxes, coke cans or cookie containers, and at least one has been made from a discarded refrigerator. Pinhole cameras are used for fun, for art and for science. Pinhole images are softer less sharp than pictures made with a lens. The images have nearly unlimited depth of field. Wide angle images remain absolutely rectilinear. However, pinhole images suffer from greater chromatic aberration than pictures made with a simple lens, and they tolerate little enlargement. Exposures are long, ranging from a half second to several hours. Images are exposed on film or paper negative or positive; black and white, or color. Our first historical concept of pinhole photography comes through Chinese texts from the fifth century BC. Chinese writers had discovered by experiment that light travels in straight lines. The Chinese philosopher Mo Ti (Mo Tsu) was first to record an inverted image passing through a pinhole to a screen. It wasnt mentioned again until Aristotle commented on pinhole image formation in his work Problems in the fourth century BC. The Arabian physicist and mathematician History cont. Ibn al-Haytham, experimented with image formation in the tenth century AD. From his observations he deduced the linearity of light. In the following centuries the pinhole technique was used by optical scientists in various experiments to study sunlight projected from a small aperture. In the Renaissance and later centuries the pinhole technique was mainly used for scientific purposes in astronomy and as a drawing aid for artists and amateur painters. The term camera obscura, which means cont. dark room was coined by Johannes Kepler ( ). At this time, the term came to mean a room, tent or box with a lens aperture used by artists to draw a landscape. It was not until 1850 that a Scottish scientist by the name of Sir David Brewster actually took the first photograph with a pinhole camera. cont. Experimentation into the light sensitive properties of silver halides dates back to the early 1700s but it wasnt until 1826 that Joseph Niepse, a French lithographer, produced the worlds first photograph from nature using light sensitive Bitumen of Judea on pewter in a camera obscura. The exposure time is reputed to have been around 8 hours. Sir William Crookes, John Spiller and William de Wiveleslie Abney, all in England, were other early photographers to try the pinhole technique. cont. Pinhole photography became popular in the 1890s. Commercial pinhole cameras were sold in Europe, the United States and in Japan pinhole cameras (Photomnibuses) were sold in London alone in Of these cameras, none remain today. They might have been considered the disposable of their day. Mass production of camera and new realism in the 20 th century left little space for the pinhole camera. By the 1930s the technique was hardly remembered, or used only for teaching. Pinhole Photography Revival In the mid-60s several artists began experimenting with the pinhole technique. In the June 1975 issue of Popular Photography published the article Pinholes for the People. This was based on the month long project of Phil Simkin who assembled 15,000 preloaded pinhole cameras in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. People would come into the museum, pick up a camera, and make an exposure. The images were developed and displayed by the museum on a daily basis. Today, pinhole photography continues to be cont. used by various levels of photographers for fun and for science. Some of the different pinhole cameras and images produced by pinhole cameras are shown below: Resources