A Little History

It’s interesting to compare the history of photography and how chocolate went mainstream. They both happened practically in the same decade. Wet Plate Collodion had been invented by Frederick Archer Scott in 1851. Then came along the box of chocolate in 1861 by Richard Cadbury. Two perfect gifts to give to a loved one. Therefore it seems absolutely natural to me to make a camera from such a wonderful box. I mean who doesn’t like chocolate and chocolate boxes are usually pretty too.

The Story

The chocolates maybe gone but the pleasure is certainly not. At first I wouldn’t have thought I’d be having so much enjoyment with a homemade camera. Now it does demand a lot of consideration in terms of exposure and composition as I’ve come to realise. Even though it’s just the beginning, the possibilities are exciting. With this new found enthusiasm my mind started to form some interesting ways to create images with the 9-in-1 camera.

The tagline in the Forest Gump movie – “Life is like a box a chocolate, you never know what your going to get.” is kinda how this camera works. Like Lomography and Pinhole on steroids.

Forrest Gump: Life is like a box a chocolate, you never know what your going to get.

So I went to the park, cycled by a juggler practicing away in the open with his pins in the air. I thought to myself, “Could this work?” The exposure time would be slow. It may work, at least a trace of the juggler would be left in the image. A ghost or a blur I thought. While I considered some more, I peddled around again and locked my old mountain bike against the oak tree. Prepared the pinhole and its clumsy kind of tripod. Which by the way is a bit of a makeshift solution. It does in a matter of fact keep the camera stable. I guess not in a strong gust of wind. You can see what I mean in the picture of the post.

Then to approach the juggler artist. I didn’t wish to distract him while he tossed and rotated the striped pins around through the air. Using my best German in a mixture of friendly and formal German, I requested permission to photograph his act. He was more than accommodating. His name is Kai Podhraski who I believe is part of a Circus group here in Graz called MadCircus.

The Results

If you look rather closely to the park image made on Ilford Deltra sheet film 4×5, I’m sure you’ll notice Kai, not at first but he is definitely in there!

Augarten Juggler

After the park, I had time to manage a visit to the Grazer Landhaus. This building has such a wonderful courtyard right in the middle of the city. It’s one of those places to retreat on Saturday if you’re unfortunate to be invited to go shopping!

Multiple Aperture Pinhole at the Grazer Landhaus

Now that I was happy with the camera’s operation, there was more that could be done with the multiple aperture setup. There was close up, center shot, up and down, etc. The Grazer Landhaus was the perfect location to try this concept out. Making the images top to bottom while leaving the centre image to the end. How I forgot up and down are reversed as with left and right is beyond me. But I guess that’s natural in the real world. Nonetheless I’m absolutely trilled with the collage of images in the outcome. I’m starting to feel this camera grows on me, getting to grips what can be done with it. Still amazed completely how this pinhole camera works since it’s first exposure until now.

Grazer Landhaus

So now that I’ve finished this blog it’s time to get some chocolate! If you got this far reading the post above, let us know what you think with regards to homemade Pinholes.


Make your own Pinhole Camera