Coombeswood Pinholes

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The Murder House
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Coombeswood Foot Bridge
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Coombeswood Pool

I am continuing to experiment with my beer can cameras and these are 3 exposure with varying degrees of success. The first 2 were 40 seconds in good light and the 3rd was 40 secs in poor light.


Shed Pinhole



This is a 5 minute exposure with a 3 mm pinhole, onto 4 sheets of glossy paper which I taped to my projector screen. My hope is that  I can make large scale photo paper collages from the images in the Oss Box  and having made this small scale one I am looking forward to experimenting outside of my garden.

The left hand images are with a 7 mm pinhole and the right with a 3 mm pinhole and the degree of difference in sharpness of the image whilst not jaw dropping is apparent.


As part of my Pinhole project I decided to make some solargrams. These are long exposure images,from 1 day to 6 months, directly onto photographic paper.They do not need processing as the light inside the camera will create an  image on the paper.The path of the sun can be seen tracking across the image if they are left for long enough.

2 Day Solargram Negative
2 day Solargram

The image created in the beer can is not stable.Once you have your image it needs to be scanned and inverted and probably the levels adjusted.It is best to do this in low light as further light exposure will degrade your negative.

I used glossy paper for this as it was the right size and some old paper someone had given me.I had read that it shouldn’t be use but as i was experimenting I thought I’d give it a go.

I have put 12 beer cans around the area I live and will be leaving them in situ for 3 months. I am  hopeful that some will last out.

This is one  of three I put at Haden Hill Park in Cradley Heath with their permission.One has sadly disappeared after 5 days.Fingers crossed for the others. 


.IMG_1537  This one lasted about 12 hours on  Bristol Road in Cradley Heath

Luckily they are cheap to make, but I am disappointed when I see them deliberately ruined like this.

Shed Obscura

This is an image I have just taken to show a rough idea of the shed set up. It was a 5.5 minute exposure and I used a remote control and heavy tripod to stop camera shake.


The difficulty with these photographs is that in order to take them you have to sit in the dark for log periods while the bulb exposure goes off and also your camera can’t auto-focus very well because it is pitch black. I used the 7 mm pinhole to shorten the exposure time.

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6 Minute Exposure
My Neighbour’s House
Summer House

These were taken off the projector screen and were  1-6 minute exposures. I like the quality if the photographs produced as while they are technically not the best they have a dark atmospheric quality and seem quite filmic. On the Summer House there is a small black square centrally which is the little bit of sticky tape that I used for focusing and forgot to remove.I also have some light leakage in my camera as you can see in the top left hand corner of the images.


Pinhole Shed

In preparation for making the Oss Box into a pinhole camera I decided to experiment with my shed which I have set up as a darkroom by making it into a Camera Obscura.



This is the hole I cut in my blackout blind which stupidly I made directly over the wooden cross rail of the window


It is a bit chaotic and I am a bit slapdash with the science but once I get the main problems sorted out then I can go back and tinker with the other stuff.

As you can see I have made myself some beautifully crafted pinholes by bashing a nail through old drink  can aluminium which I gaffer tape over the hole in my blind. They seem to work OK but I have got myself a set of new drill bits so that i can make some precise ones now that I have a gauge of the results.


Roses Tin Pinhole Camera

One of the reasons I am doing this blog is to help me with the technicalities of pinhole cameras, especially the exposure times,which are very variable.

I have made a pinhole camera from a Roses tin, which I have painted black inside and the exposure times are much longer than for the beer can cameras due to the larger pinhole to paper distance.IMG_1555

This was a 5 minute exposure on a cloudy day

This was a 1 minute exposure on a sunny day

There are charts available for working out exposure time, and has a calculator that you can put your camera size and pinhole size into,it will work out your exposure time. There is also a factor called reciprocity law failure, which is where the general laws of exposure for light sensitive material i.e double one factor, halve the other, don’t work over long exposure times.At the moment best guessing and doing test pictures works for me.

I am in the process of determining approximate exposure times for the Oss Box Pinhole Camera which I am unsure of as yet. I will be using Photographic Paper rather that film which has an ISO of 5-10 so this will dramatically increase exposure time

World Pinhole Day

Every year there is a World Pinhole Day where people from around the world are asked to take a pinhole picture and post it to This year it is the 24th of April with the exhibition going up on the 26th of April.


Indoor Pinhole showing Flash Unit

These are negative and positive images I took using a flash indoors with a 20 min exposure. You can see the flash unit multiple times in the image and the movement of it.

World Pinhole Day
World Pinhole Day

These are 2 images I have submitted both using beer can cameras.