Making a pinhole camera!

Making a pin hole camera, is a fun and interesting way of experimenting with photography, it doesn’t even matter if it comes out wrong, because if you wanted a perfect image you would have used an actual camera!

All you’ll need:

  • An old box, an old biscuit tin left over from Christmas is perfect
  • Black spray paint, I used a satin finish paint but it doesn’t matter
  • Something to make a hole in the side of the tin, a hole puncher for metal
  • A small piece of metal or tin
  • Duct Tape
  • Light sensitive photographic paper

Step 1

First you need to take the tin and the lid and spray paint it black. This is so no light will reflect around the tin because this could affect the final image. It may need a few coats; After each coat let it dry for 10-15 minutes before adding the next coat

Step 2

Once it has thoroughly dried (I would leave it at least 24 hours) you can now punch a hole in the side of the tin. Try and make this near the seam of the box so the paper doesn’t have to lay over the top. This will mark the paper and you’ll have a line down your image

Step 3

Using the small metal piece of tin, twist and push the pin through it, making sure the pinhole doesn’t get to big. Sandpaper down the other side of the tin to make sure there is no rugged edge where the pin went through. Line up the two holes (The one on the tin and the hole you just made) and duct tape the two together. If you can put the small piece of metal on the inside of the tin. Make sure it is taped all the way around and no light can escape through any gaps.

Step 4

Cover the outside of the hole in duct tape, to make sure no light gets in before you want it to, but make sure you can remove it easily without moving the box to much. The duct tape will be removed when the camera is in the right location.

Step 5

In a darkroom, place some light sensitive paper in the tin opposite to the pinhole. Make sure the shiny side of the paper is facing inwards towards the hole. Put the lid back on and if unsure if it is light tight then duct tape around the join between the tin and it’s lid. Cover the pin hole with the duct tape.


And that’s it, you’re ready to go! All you need to do is put the camera in the position you want, remove the duct tape from the pinhole, and then replace your duct tape after it’s been exposed for the amount of time of your choosing .

You’ll have to start with guessing how long the exposure is going to be, start with something around 20 seconds then gauge from that where to go from there. Process the paper in the dark room and if it is still very white then you’ll need much longer and if it is dark then you’ll need less time.

Have fun with your new camera!


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