Saturday, January 31, 2009



Pinhole photography is making an image without a lens. A small needle sized hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the perforation in the foil; an image is formed in the film canister.

Roughly what you will be making.

No one in our class tried the round end.

Some of people in our class that didn't
try using the round end of the canister

Pinhole cameras come in all sizes, yours will be small but some are large, very large! The image your camera will produce will be roughly a 2x2 square, a recent World’s record camera was created in an airplane hanger creating an image 28 x108 feet long. Cameras have been made of fruit, in a loaf of bread, in a persons mouth, but most commonly are made out of oatmeal or shoe boxes. Basically a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper at the other.

World's largest pinhole image- converted airplane hangar produces 28-by-108 foot black-and-white image

The worlds smallest pinhole images- Justin Quinnell
'SmileyCam' pinhole camera

Building your own camera can be a great learning experience. Making pictures with a camera you have made yourself out of simple materials is a way to understand photography at a very basic level. In fine art photography the pinhole camera is just an imaging device with its advantages and disadvantages. It has unique characteristics and surprising results. By trial, error, and using your imagination the camera has amazing potential.

Here are some images from other pinhole film canisters:



The only thing cooler than a pinhole image... is a pinhole image of a bike

or a zoombie


Camera = Latin for “room”
Obscura = Latin for “dark”

"Who would believe that so small a space could contain the image of

all the universe? O mighty process! What talent can avail to

penetrate a nature such as these? What tongue will it be that can

unfold so great a wonder? Verily, none! This it is that guides the

human discourse to the considering of divine things. Here the

figures, here the colors, here all the images of every part of the

universe are contracted to a point. O what a point is so marvelous!"

--Leonardo Da Vinci's comments on the "Camera Obscura" (Dark Room), or what we today call the pinhole camera.

1725 - Leonardo da Vinci gave a clear description of the Camera Obscura in the 16th century.

How the Camera Obscura works:

How to make a Camera Obscura:

Other Camera Obscuras:
French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce uses a camera obscura.
Note to self: remember Niepce, we'll get back to him.

Until the early 1800's Camera Obscura was only used to aid drawing (artist could trace the outline of the image on a canvas hung on the wall) and was considered quite significant in the development of proto-photography.

Camera Lucida
In the years before the announcement of the first photographic processes in 1839, artists who wished to make a quick record of a scene with the correct prospective used a Camera Lucida.The original design of the camera lucida was published by William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828) in 1807

Pinhole Camera
A pinhole camera is a very simple camera with no lens and a single very small aperture. Simply explained, it is a light-proof box with a single hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. Cameras using small apertures, and the human eye in bright light both act like a pinhole camera.

The smaller the hole, the sharper the image, but the dimmer the projected image. Optimally, the size of the aperture should be 1/100 or less of the distance between it and the screen.

A pinhole camera's shutter is usually manually operated because of the lengthy exposure times, and consists of a flap of some light-proof material to cover and uncover the pinhole. Typical exposures range from 5 seconds to hours and sometimes days.

1814 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce achieves first photographic image with camera obscura - however, the image required eight hours of light exposure and later faded.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spring 09 Photo Schedule

Basic photography
ART 260 SSU Spring 2009

Class Schedule

Monday January 26, 2009
First day introductions

Wednesday January 28, 2009
Pinhole camera from film canister
Darkroom demo
Shoot pinhole images around campus

Monday February 2, 2009
Develop paper negatives
Discuss 35mm cameras

Wednesday February 4, 2009
Shoot roll of film around campus applying shutter speed and apertures
Demo film development

Monday February 9, 2009
Develop campus images
Demo Ray-o-grams
Demo contact sheets
Lab day

Wednesday February 11, 2009
Lab day
Quality of light
36 in 24

Monday February 16, 2009 - HOLIDAY

Wednesday February 18, 2009
Lab day
Show pinhole images, contacts sheets from around campus, and 36 in 24 at end of class
Music Project

Monday February 23, 2009
Lab day
History of Photography

Wednesday February 25, 2009
Lab day

Monday March 2, 2009
Lab day
Digie demo

Wednesday March 4, 2009
Lab day

Monday March 9, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday March 11, 2009
Critique Music
Discuss Literary Project

Monday March 16, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday March 18, 2009
Lab day

Monday March 23, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday March 25, 2009
Lab day

Monday March 30, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday April 1, 2009
Lab day

Monday April 6, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday April 8, 2009
Critique Literary project
Discuss finals

Monday April 13, 2009 - SPRING BREAK

Wednesday April 15, 2009 - SPRING BREAK

Monday April 20, 2009
Lab day
Work toward final projects

Wednesday April 22, 2009
Lab day

Monday April 27, 2009
Lab day
Work toward final projects

Wednesday April 29, 2009
Lab day

Monday May 4, 2009
Lab day

Wednesday May 6, 2009
Lab day

Monday May 11, 2009
Lab day
Tying up loose ends for final projects
Photo finishing / spotting

Wednesday May 13, 2009
Lab day

Monday May 18, 2009
Photo finishing / spotting
Discuss last minute problems with finals

Wednesday May 20, 2009
Final Critique _______pm - ________ pm

Sunday, January 25, 2009


ARTS 208 Beginning Black and White photography
Section 001 - Spring 2009
M-W 1p – 4p
Room 109
Office# 128 Phone: 664.2364
T/A: Brian Werle

OFFICE HOURS: M-W 4p or by appointment

This is an introductory art course which is structured to provide a
solid foundation in black and white photography. Instruction will include 35mm camera operation, film exposure and development, printing, basic lighting concepts, composition, and finishing. Through specific assignments students will not only acquire technical skills, but also develop their own artistic vocabulary by learning to use the photographic medium as a means of creative expression.

Projects will be graded on both technical proficiency and creative visual content. Students will be expected to discuss and defend their work. Assignments will demonstrate mastery of technical skills and individual creative expression. Through photographic presentations and discussion, students will gain familiarity with the critical and theoretical debates surrounding photography and analytical dialog.

Each week there will be a lecture and students will receive handouts with the information needed for the next week's assignment. The schedule may change at any time during the semester. If you miss a class or assignment you are responsible for contacting the instructor.

Attendance means arriving on time and staying for the entire class session. You must be present at all critiques whether or not you have completed the assignment. All students are required to have active communication and dialog. Failure to be an involved participant in the class, tardy arrivals and early departures will affect your final grade. If you have more then 3 unexcused absences you could be dropped from the class. Due dates are important, late assignments result in a lower grade.

All aspects of the class are equally important:
Quizzes – 20%
Semester Projects –30%
Final Project – 50%
However, your contribution to the CLASS DIALOG AND THE WRITTEN FINAL will weigh very heavily on your final grade.

35mm CAMERA:
Recommended manually adjustable apertures and shutter speeds.
Thumb Drive – Jump Drive to transfer digital imagery.
Recommended: ILLFORD Multigrade II RC - Available in the Crib
You will need approximately 50-150 sheets for this class.
Recommended: Kodak 400 TMAX - Available in the Crib
You will need 15-30 rolls for this class
Negative preservers (5 frames x 7 rows) Available in the Crib
3 ring plastic negative protector
Plastic apron
Cotton towel
sharp scissors
Protective clothing and rubber gloves, “Sharpie-type marking pen, and
Optional * Sketchbook for collecting ideas and logging data.


Keep wet away from dry! There are specific wet and dry areas for all printing areas. Sinks are wet, stations are dry! No wet hands, no wet prints, no trays are to be near the enlargers.

There is an “ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONE” policy in place at this facility. All cell calls must be taken outside to avoid disturbing the class.

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