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Lockdown Photography Project: How To Build A Pinhole Camera

Learn how to make your own DIY pinhole camera with the help of the creative COOPH photography team.

| DIY Tips


If you're looking for a new project to have a go at in lockdown then the COOPH team's video has arrived just at the right time. Their latest DIY tutorial is all about creating a self-made pinhole camera and you don't need too many things to make your very own version at home either. 

Pinhole cameras use the principle of camera obscura, in which light travels through a small hole in a dark box to form a picture which means you can use everything from cardboard boxes to cans when creating your own pinhole camera. 


Lockdown Photography Project: How To Build A Pinhole Camera: Pinhole camera


The COOPH team used instructions found on which says that you will need:

  • A matchbox
  • A new roll of 35mm film
  • An empty roll of 35mm film with at least 1cm stub of film sticking out
  • Some thin cardboard (the box the new film comes in is fine)
  • An empty aluminium can
  • Black PVC electricians tape
  • The plastic from a spiral binder, or any small piece of thin, curved plastic
  • A fine sewing needle or pin
  • Scissors
  • A sharp craft knife
  • A black marker pen

Once you have everything together, you can hit 'play' on the video above and follow the instructions (you might have to pause the video at different stages) and the step-by-step instructions on the matchbox site are great, too. 


Lockdown Photography Project: How To Build A Pinhole Camera: Pinhole camera negative


As well as using a matchbox, the COOPH team offer an alternative that uses a lens cap which, once altered, you simply pop on the front of your lens and use a shutter speed that's a few seconds long to capture a digital pinhole style photo. 

For other DIY photography tutorials, take a look at our Technique and Features section. 

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