Armed with my new Pin Hole Camera made from an old beer can (see here) I headed on to campus to see what I could capture. I was unable to calculate an exposure so I decided to start with 30 seconds. The result was an image that was extremely over exposed and the paper went black in the developer.
For my second attempt I reduced the exposure to 20 seconds but the result was much the same. I realised that I needed to drastically reduce my time.
I reduce my time down to 5 seconds and this time I actually managed to capture something. However the image was very under exposed and it was hard to see any detail.
My next attempt saw me increase the time by 3 seconds to an 8 second exposure. This did not have a huge effect and the image was still very under exposed.
Using a slightly different angle for my next attempt I increased the time to 10 seconds. This was still very underexposed and this time I seem to have lost some detail. However I put this down to the changing outdoor light and change in angle.
After trying a 12 second exposure I could see I was getting much closer to the time I needed. I was beginning to see more detail throughout the image and I felt that around 15 or 18 seconds would be about right.
The 15 second exposure was the best yet. Some of the areas in the image showed lots of detail and even though the outer edges seem to be missing I was much happier. However I did decide to have one more go.
The 18 second exposure gave me the best result of all. the image is now formed across almost the entire paper with much more detail. You can see the brick wall, metal railings, windows and industrial pipe work. It was quite windy so keeping the camera steady was a challenge so I am happy the image was as sharp as it was.
Pinhole Photography is a really interesting way to start to understand how a camera works. Modern DSLR’s still work on the same principle with images being captured on a high-tech sensor rather than a piece of photo sensitive paper. This is not a method I would use often but with practice I can see my images improving and perhaps would be worth returning to explore at a later date.