How To: Take Long-Term Pinhole Exposures Using a Beer Can Camera

Take Long-Term Pinhole Exposures Using a Beer Can Camera

How to Take Long-Term Pinhole Exposures Using a Beer Can Camera

Interested in experimenting with long-term pinhole exposure, but don't want to spend a lot of time or money on the setup? Well, why not start by cracking open a cold one? You're going to need it for this project anyway—drinking it is just an added bonus.

UK photographer Matthew Bigwood turned a beer can into a pinhole camera using just some gaffer tape and a sheet of black and white photographic paper, then mounted the setup to capture the path of the sun over a six-month period. The results are pretty impressive.

Image via thephoblographer.com

To make the camera, Matthew cut off the top of an empty beer can and made a tiny hole in it. He used the gaffer tape to attach a card lid to the top and wrapped a 5"x7" sheet of black and white photographic paper around the inside.

Image via thephoblographer.com

The trick, he says, is to make sure the paper doesn't cover the hole, which will prevent an image from forming. The results also depend on the size of the hole—"A smaller pinhole will give a sharper image, but the lines won't be as pronounced because it is letting in less light. The hole in my cameras were around 1mm diameter."

Once the setup was finished, Matthew used zip ties to mount his cameras in a few locations around the building he was trying to capture, making sure the cameras faced south towards the sun.

Image via thephoblographer.com

If you're interested in making your own, be sure to check out Matthew's interview over on The Phoblographer for more details. You can check out some of the other photo results from his beer can cameras below.

Images via thephoblographer.com

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