Ditch your lens

Turn your Nikon into a pinhole cam­era

NPhoto - - Contents -

Pinhole pho­tog­ra­phy is just what it says: tak­ing a pho­to­graph with your cam­era us­ing a pinhole in­stead of a lens. The process of pho­tog­ra­phy is so fast now that we’re in the dig­i­tal age we can re­view and make ad­just­ments in­stantly, and that means we’re able to take on one of the old­est forms of pho­tog­ra­phy in just one af­ter­noon. You need min­i­mal cam­era gear for this project, but plenty of time to ex­per­i­ment.

A lens helps to fo­cus and strengthen the beam of light en­ter­ing your cam­era, making the im­age sharper and brighter. How­ever, by re­plac­ing the lens that sits in front of the im­age sen­sor with a small hole, it’s pos­si­ble to cap­ture an im­age. Your D-SLR will be­come a rudi­men­tary cam­era ob­scura. Light passes through the hole and projects on a sur­face on the op­po­site side of the hole (the im­age sen­sor).

The key to this tech­nique is to keep the hole as small and neat as pos­si­ble, as the larger and more ragged the hole, the more out of fo­cus your fi­nal im­age will be. Ob­vi­ously this is all part of the charm, but you still want some def­i­ni­tion.

This means there will be very lit­tle light com­ing through the hole, so a sturdy tri­pod is es­sen­tial for cap­tur­ing a long ex­po­sure. Here’s how it’s done...

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