As part of my scholarship studies course of a Diploma in Photojournalism from ACFJ, I had to make a pinhole camera / Camera Obscura out of a Pringles Potato wafers container. For me, making the Pringles Camera Obscura was not just about recreating the first known principle behind the design of cameras. It was also a nostalgic trip down the memory lane to school days. I had made a Camera Obscura out of a shoe box as summer school project. Back then, it was more crude in construction, but I had managed to get an inverted image of a candle on the screen.
My reaction to the inverted image then, was very much like the amazement that Camera Obscura would have brought to early scientists, artists and commoners. The world being captured in a small room or a tiny box, I think is similar to the invention of wheel in the history of photography.
On one hand, it set up a race for scientists to discover more properties of light. At the same time, it gave visual artists newer ways to document real world on canvas. I am beginning to wonder if Leonardo Da Vinci made ‘Mona Lisa’ by tracing her figure using the Camera Obscura. This is question which will continue to haunt me for a longtime to come.
It must also be noted that pinhole photography survives in the age of Lens photography. There are countless artists seriously pursuing pinhole photography.I think I will take part in the annual World Pinhole Photography day that will happen from the next year.
Here are instructions to make a simple Pringles camera Obscura
If you are wondering how my Camera Obscure looks like. Below are few photographs of it.