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Mihai Cozma

Mihai Cozma

Here is my pinhole camera.
First I made a custom box with one side left open and in the opposite side I made the required aluminium foil pinhole opening.In order to properly test the best distance for the focal plane I made a sliding screen using half-transparent paper – thanks to my father in law for suggesting me this as it is very easy to slide it in order to get the perfect image.I tested this camera obscura basically using a blanket over my head, shoulders and the box – really fun thing to do, felt like a 19th century photographer. I tested it in bright daylight, the images were very nice and the effect was of a very wide lens.
The photo-paper or film wasn’t really an option as in Romania materials required to work with film are pretty scarce, everyone is using digital stuff now, especially the chemicals required to develop the film. Also I have no dark room in my house and it is very hard to make one. Developing labs around the city usually only print digital photos, there are very few which actually develop films. If I ever find a way to use film in it though, I will certainly try it, because I find it so fun to use.
Giving this limitation (design is working with limitations) I went for taking photographs using my digital camera inside the camera obscura. To ramp up the challenge I also decided to take a photo in artificial light, which is very difficult with a pinhole camera. I chose my sport shoes as my subject because they are white and helped a lot with exposure. If you think using this trick instead of film took out from the fun of trial and error, you are very wrong :-) It took me more than twenty tries and adjustments to get the images you see in the bottom row.
The settings for the Nikon camera were:55mm lensF/5.6 aperture30 seconds exposure time,manual focus – there is no way to focus in the dark box +5.0 EV – exposure compensationHi +2.0 ISO Mirror-up shooting mode to prevent vibrationsRemote controlled shutter – camera was under the blanket, along with the box.
Images with the camera and the results:

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