Pieces of Science

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Pinhole Cameras

Creating Photos with a Shoebox

Note: This activity requires a darkroom for developing photographic paper.

Using an ordinary shoebox, or an oatmeal box, a camera can be fashioned by placing a piece of photographic paper in the box under safelight conditions.

The box is then sealed with electrical tape.

The camera can then be taken outside and the paper exposed for one picture.

To expose the picture, insert a pin in the side of the box opposite the photographic paper.

The picture is taken by removing the pin and sealing the hole after a few seconds. The camera can be used over again by cutting a hole in the box and covering it with black electrical tape. The tape can be replaced after each use.

The paper can then be processed to produce a negative and contact printed for the positive.

Click here to see a negative image created with the camera at right.

Click here to see a positive contact printed from the negative.