Becca's Photography Blog



Evaluation Of Pinhole Photography and Photograms

Pinhole Photography

Overall, I didn’t really like pinhole photography as the first couple of shoots my photographic paper turned straight to black due to me either holding my finger off the hole too longer or there was light getting into the tube another way. Apart from that the ones that do work I really did enjoy doing it.

If I was to do this again I would know how long to keep my finger off which is five seconds if its bright and 10 seconds if its a little bit darker then daylight. I also now know that you only leave the photographic paper in the developer for at least 15 seconds maximum as it could over developer and look really dark or even turn black if left too long.


Overall, I really enjoyed doing the photograms as I didn’t need any help from anyone as its really easy and simple to do. I think I got quite a few good ones and some okay ones as there are marks on them but I can learn from this next time.

If I was to do photograms again I would change my timings when I was developing them as I did develop a light bulb and some little stones a bit too much as they’re really hard to tell what they are as its so dark. I would also change my timings in the fixer as some of my photographs are starting to go pink as I didn’t leave them longer enough in the fixer, but I can learn from this next time.


How to do Pinhole Photography?


  • Cardboard box/tube with a lid
  • Couple sheets of photographic paper
  • One litre of Ilford Multigrade (Developer)
  • One litre of Ilford Rapid Fixer
  • Couple litres of water at 20 degrees
  • Tin foil
  • Black paint
  • Blu-tack
  • Pin
  • Dark Room

What to do:

  1. Firstly, you will need to cut a small square on one side of the cardboard box or tube, about 2cm by 2 cm should be fine.
  2. Next, you would want to paint the inside of the box or tube completely black so no light can get through onto the photographic paper.
  3. Thirdly, you would need to place a piece of tin foil over the small square and gently place a pin on the foil to make a tiny hole, this is now acting as a lens.
  4. Then, you would want to place the blu-tack and the photographic paper on the opposite side to the hole/square with the shiny bit facing towards the lens. And then place the lid back onto the box and place one finger over the hole as your finger is blocking the light and is also acting as a shutter.
  5. Next, go wherever you would like to take your picture, then take your finger off the hole and count until you get to seven seconds.
  6. Once you have finished counting make sure you place your finger back onto the hole and then go back into the dark room to start developing your photo.
  7. Take the lid of the box or tube and then place the paper into the first tray which should be developer leave for 20 seconds and your image should start to come through.
  8. Then place the paper into the second tray would should be just water which will stop the developer from developing anymore, leave this for 15 seconds.
  9. These next two stages are really important as you should then move your image into the fixer and leave this for a good five minutes for it to work correctly.
  10. Once the fixer is done you should then put the paper into the wash bath for a really good twenty minutes as this will the get rid of all the chemicals on the paper.
  11. After the twenty minutes is up, you can leave your image on the side or hang it up with some pegs for it to dry.

Pinhole Photography

In this following short piece of work I will attempt to discuss a) What is pinhole photography? b) Who invented it? c) How to do pinhole photography.

Ibn al-Haytham is the inventor of pinhole photography, he wasn’t a photographer himself but he was a scientist, mathematician, astronomer and a philosopher. He claimed to be the first to explain the vision of light that bounces off an object and into ones eyes. Haytham was born into a Arab family. He died at the age of seventy-five in the year 1040 in Cairo.

The reason why the photographs turn out black and white is because the photographic paper is negative meaning the photograph will be back to front. The reason for this is because light travels in a straight line and when light shines through a small hole, the light spreads out and projects a picture onto the paper and creates a photograph.

Pinhole Digram.jpg

Pinhole photography is a type of photography that doesn’t use any lenses but a tiny hole instead. Light passes through the tiny hole on to some photographic paper which is sensitive to light, so it needs to be dealt with in the dark room or it will automatically turn black if its exposed to natural light. Pinhole photography only creates negative images as this is how they did it in the olden days in the years nine hundred AD and onwards. This is because they didn’t have the technology that we have back then.

Overall, I think pinhole photography is very interesting to say the camera could be made out of a cardboard box but still work as a normal camera as well as it could develop an image within matter of seconds/minutes.


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