How To Make Your Own Camera
This is a simple, and really fun experiment that I did when I was in school. With the advent of digital, I would guess a lot of people hardly know what a film camera is, let alone how it works. But in this article, we’ll go over, briefly how film works and how to make your very own camera.
How does a camera work?
While technology invariably varies between different cameras, the general idea is the same. Most cameras have at least these three components: An optical lens, a piece of film, and the camera body itself. As we’ll see in our experiment, one of these parts isn’t completely necessary, but is very helpful for taking professional photos. Can you guess which aspect you won’t need?
Making your own Pin hole camera
What You’ll Need:
- A small to medium size box with a tight fitting top.
- A #10 pin or needle
- A piece of dark paper or cloth
- Film or photo paper [like polaroid paper]
Steps to completion:
- Foremost, you’re going to get the best quality pictures by making sure the pinhole is 3 to 6 inches from where the photo paper will sit.
- To begin, on the bottom of your box or can, rotate a pin in about halfway. You want your hole to be as circular as possible.
- Next, you’re going to make a shutter for your camera. To do this, use your dark piece of paper or cloth and top the top of it like a hinge and then cover your pinhole with the paper.
- And that’s it! you’ve made your first camera.
To use the camera, you have think hard, because the image is going to be reversed on the film or paper. Or, if you don’t want to over think it, just tape a piece of film or photo paper to the cover of your box or can, take it out into the sunlight and lift up the dark cloth to expose the image. You’ll have to do some tests, but if you’re using film, it will take about 10 seconds of exposure in bright light to get an image. If you’re using paper, it can take up to 2 minutes of exposure.
Side note: this is film and film paper, so you cannot load your camera outside. If film or photo paper is exposed to light before it is developed it will be ruined. A darkroom safe light is best, but you can probably load in the dark too.