Sunday April 27 is World Wide Pinhole Day!

Jessica-DittmerI’m probably more excited about this than you are — or anyone else I know for that matter — but I like oddball photography, okay?

Pinhole is photography at it’s most basic: image-making without a lens. It’s not for everyone, but for the visually adventurous, it’s a lot of fun. You’d be surprised what you can do without a lens. Pinhole images aren’t tack-sharp, but that’s part of the charm. Pinhole dates back to the Renaissance and the camera obscura, which worked the way our eyes—and all cameras—work: a small hole allows light to enter a dark chamber, and an image is projected onto the opposite wall, upside down.

Back in the day, most beginning photography students built a pinhole camera using an oatmeal box, aluminum foil, and black tape. For the camera body, you’d cut a hole in the box. For the pinhole, you’d drill a tiny hole in the foil with a sewing needle, which you’d attach to the box with some of the tape. A second piece of tape would serve as the shutter. To make an image, you’d put unexposed photo paper in the box, make an exposure outside, and process the paper in the darkroom. The result was a paper negative. To get the final print, you’d place the negative on top of a second piece of photo paper and expose under the enlarger. Many people got hooked on photography via the oatmeal box, including me. There’s something about that first image coming up in the tray…

Will I be out there, shooting on Sunday? Probably. Will I be using an oatmeal box camera? Hell no! I’ll just put my pinhole on my Nikon, set the ISO way up, and have some fun. If I do get a chance to go out and shoot, I’ll post a few of the images. For more information, go to