|Pinhole Photography Cover|
Jim Shull's 1999 book The Beginner's Guide to Pinhole Photography is a classic in the field. Although it is not the most technical treatment of the subject, it is a perfect introduction to pinhole photography, or—as Shell calls it—"fotography."
Easy Ideas for Pinhole CamerasBefore deciding how to make a first move into the world of pinhole, it is a good idea to read through the entire book. Having accomplished that, the interested reader will know where to comfortably begin. Some outside help in the form of web research to get more specific advice on camera construction would be helpful. You could get really creative and even make a camera out of LEGO.
|Santa Barbara Pinhole Camera (Paul Sullivan/Flickr)|
A pinhole camera housing can be made out of just about anything so long as few basic requirements are met. For those unusual cases where a suitable box or can cannot be found, a plan for a camera made out of card stock is included in the back of the book.
Getting Started With Pinhole PhotographyCamera in hand, it is time to take and develop some pictures. Oh, and a dark room of some sort will be needed. No worries. Shell gives some practical and useful tips for constructing a simple darkroom, set up with the bare essentials for producing prints.
|Pinhole photo with great depth of field (Matt Callow/Flickr)|
A first pinhole camera probably won't be the ultimate. Initial attempts at producing an image may fail and learning to develop film takes some practice. The best way to learn any new skill is to get out and do it and learn from mistakes. This book provides an excellent starting point to begin that journey.
Although it seems to out of print, The Beginner's Guide to Pinhole Photography is available used (at collector's item prices) and there is a good chance a decent-sized library system will have a copy. Thanks to the publisher, it is also available in e-reader editions.
The Beginner's Guide to Pinhole Photography; Jim Shull; Amherst Media, Inc.; Buffalo, NY: 2010
Note: This book review first appeared at Suite101.com.