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A guide to making pinhole cameras with paper tubes

The pinhole camera is not a new concept. In the 5th century BC, Mo Ti may have been the first to "record the formation of an inverted image with a pinhole or screen." The concept of the pinhole camera continued to be explored throughout the centuries until Sir David Brewster made some of the first photographic images with a pinhole camera in 1856. You can make your own pinhole camera with paper tubes. Start photographing today.

Gather the Supplies

You will need a toilet paper roll, a soda can, an indelible pen, scissors, black card stock, a pin, 1200 grit emery paper, and black electrical tape.

Preparation

Begin the process of making a pinhole camera by cutting the cardboard roll from toilet paper in half. Cut open a soda can and lay the aluminum flat on the table. Put the cardboard tube on one end on the aluminum. Trace around it, then move the tube to another part of the aluminum and trace a second circle. Cut the circles out with scissors. Make two pin holes through the centre of each aluminum circle. Use the emery paper to try to make the aluminum around the hole as thin as you can make it without enlarging the hole or going through the aluminum. Check the hole by tilting the aluminum to see the point when the light disappears. Cut a piece of card stock so that it is of the same size as one of the toilet paper roll. Secure it to one of the halves with tape. It will create a sleeve for one half of the tubes. Secure the circles of aluminum to one end of each tube with electrical tape. Try to be thorough to make sure that no light can get in except through the holes. Ensure that you are successful in doing this before continuing. Fold over electrician tape on itself to create a shutter. Attach it the aluminum to cover the hole. Do the same with the other end. Slip the two rolls together with the aluminum ends sticking out.

Use

Hold the roll as still as you can when using the camera made out of cardboard tubes. Open one shutter at a time to let in the light.

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