With all this time off and having loads of free time, why not try something new?
Pinhole photography is super simple and with this Flights of Fancy pinhole kit it has everything you need to give it ago.
The kit includes
- A step by step guide
- A slot together wooden pinhole camera
- Photographic paper
- Developer and Fixer
- Tweezers, gloves and developing trays
- Loads of information on the history of pinhole photography.
The camera is very easy to put together, it also has some black paper to fold to light seal the inside, you also make the pinhole in the paper.
TIP: I would recommend carefully cutting a small piece of aluminium and piercing a pinhole in that, carefully sanding it smooth, then glueing/taping over the front hole in the camera, on the inside. This will give you sharper images.
Using the photographic paper you do need to find a light proofed dark room.
A dark room, anything will work if you can light seal it, a cupboard which you can seal the door shut with duck tape etc. I use my loft, however my loft does have a few light leaks, so I just wait until its dark outside to load film. You will also need this dark space to have a bit of room to develop you photo. The photo paper can be used under a red light, a rear bike light works perfect for this.
When the camera is made it will hold ONE piece of photographic paper at a time.
If you wish to be able to load more when out and about, you will need a film changing bag and a light proof container/bag to hole you exposed paper.
When you're all loaded, make sure your shutter is closed and head out and find something to shoot.
My first photo with this camera was of Eastbourne pier.
The camera does not have a tripod screw so you need to find a flat surface to sit it on, there is also no viewfinder, so just point and shoot.
The guide comes with an exposure guide for you to follow to work out your exposure time, which is in the seconds with pinhole photography.
When you have taken your exposure, head home to your dark room, mix your developer and fixer, only enough to submerge the paper into the bottom of the tray and start developing.
Again you can have a red light throughout this whole process so you can see what you are doing.
When your paper is submerged into the developer you will start to see your image appearing on the paper, when you are happy with your photo remove from developer and straight into the fixer. All times and guides are included with the kit. After the fixer, wash the paper under some running water, bathroom tap etc for its final wash.
You will end up with a negative like this
With you negative you can either scan it onto your computer and invert the colours, or photograph with your smartphone and invert colours with a photo-editing app.
The kit does also include a contact printing kit, which shows you how to make a positive image using you're negative. It is a bit more time consuming, but very enjoyable to do.
When you have inverted the negative you will have your final result to enjoy.
Unfortunately I did miss the end of the pier with my exposure, but its all part of the learning process.
Now why would you want to waste all this time, effort and money creating a wooden camera, with no viewfinder, can only take a single shot at a time to create a soft, out of focus, black and white photograph??.
Since doing this my view on photography changed, it forces you to be slow down, to take your time and just to enjoy the process of capturing an image. Watching your first photo (and every photo after) appear in the developer is a wonderfully satisfying experience.
This was the kit, which got me into pinhole photography and film photography in general, also from this I went onto shooting a lot of pinhole with paper using beer cans.
Will do a post on beer can cameras soon.
To see more of my pinhole photography
To purchase the pinhole photography kit on Amazon