Ladies and gentlemen, this is Dorothy.
I have more than the odd camera. While Gosia has never told me that I have too many, that day is coming. So in a move that could be seen as a pre-emptive irony, my latest camera is disguised as a shoe box – an item of which there are many more in our house than there are cameras.
Dorothy is a pinhole camera. The most basic camera there is, it has no lens, no film, no battery, no memorycard and absolutely no megapixels. To be more accurate, Dorothy is actually 42 pinhole cameras.
Inside the shoebox is a piece of brass sheet with 42 holes, each 0.6mm in diameter. They should have been 0.3, but I broke every size of drill that I tried up until 0.6 so 0.6 is was.
Behind the brass is a piece of foam with cardboard packing material cut into it that I got from a skip at work. This keeps the light coming in through the holes separate until it hits the paper that is held in place with some corner guides made from a Pironi beer box. This camera makes my Holga look like a Leica…
So today, after a couple of lunchtimes creating it, I used it for the first time. In the darkness of our downstairs toilet, I took it to pieces and loaded a piece of 10″x8″photopaper. In this morning’s sunshine, my rough calculations told me that a 30 second exposure should be enough.
It’s a strange thing to do to sit still in front of a cardboard box for so long.
Once processed, the image looked like this:
But having seen James’s similar project, I knew that I wanted to reverse the image to get something that was easier for the brain to deal with. That means using photoshop to take the bottom right cell and place it in the top left. Hopefully you see what I mean…
Thanks to Dick for the brass, to James for the inspiration and Andy for the developing, modelling and firing the shutter.
If you’re at all interested in this sort of photography, and especially if you’re local to Leicester, you may want to join us at Leicester Lo-Fi Photography.