DIY Camera Obscura For Solargraphy

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by pokerplayer269, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. pokerplayer269

    pokerplayer269 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    'Allo. I've decided I want to build a large camera obscura and make a 6 month solargraph with it. It's going to be pretty expensive to construct but after talking with a few teachers at school today I'm positive I can get a grant of at least $500. Obviously, before I request a grant I need to know what the hell I'm doing. xD

    Here are the specifications thus far. Please let me know if any of my calculations are horribly wrong or if I've left something out.

    The camera will be 12' x 8' x 6'. The back 12' x 8' wall will be covered with approximately 100 sheets of 11" x 14" B&W photo paper. The pinhole diameter will be 1.9mm and will be placed in the center of the front wall, 6 feet away from the back wall.

    The base of the camera will be constructed according to this how-to article:

    http://www.outdoorlife.com/articles/joseph-truini/2007/09/build-portable-platform

    The 4 sides of the camera will be standard wooden stud walls and will be arranged at one end of the wooden platform. The front wall will have a door positioned on the right side of the pinhole. 3 additional wooden stud walls will be placed in a square formation around the door (one of which also having a door) to create a foyer so one can enter the camera obscura to collect the film at the end of the exposure without exposing the paper to light. The roof of the camera will be made of plywood and positioned at a slight angle (the front wall will actually be a few inches taller than 8 feet to make this possible) to allow rain to roll off towards the back.

    After the construction of the camera, the sheets of 11" x 14" photo paper will be adhered to the back wall with the aid of a dim safelight. After exposure, the photo paper will be taken down from the wall, placed in a light-tight box, and immediately scanned into the computer where each of the 100 pieces will be inverted, adjusted, and stitched together.

    That's what I have so far. The only things I can think of that I haven't yet decided on are what kind of doors to use and how exactly the wall pieces will be attached to the base and each other (I'd like to find a way to construct it so that the camera can be disassembled and reassembled later with relative ease.)

    Once again, let me know if any of my measurements are wrong or if I've left anything else. Any tips and warnings/cautions would also be incredibly beneficial and very much appreciated.
     
  2. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would hope that you plan on developing the paper first :tongue:

    You might also consider reversal processing the paper to give a positive and using the paper itself as the final work.

    Also, maybe a roll of paper would be easier to use than that many sheets? Then you'd have long strips instead...
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's my understanding that some solargraphs are made without developing the paper. I don't understand it, but that's what I read.
     
  4. pokerplayer269

    pokerplayer269 Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Correct. Due to the lengthy exposure times of solargraphs, a visible negative appears on the photo paper with no added chemicals.
     
  5. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My apologies - not familiar with the process!
     
  6. jhouse

    jhouse Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Pinhole Litter Project

    Hello all I am a U.K based pinhole phoyographer,just wondered if you guys want to take part in my global project:tongue:inhole Litter Project(see below).

    PINHOLE LITTER PROJECT


    1. You go for a walk.
    2. You take a digital photograph of a discarded drinks can in situ.
    3. You pick up the drinks can and make a note of the location where you find it.
    4. You convert the drinks can into a pinhole camera.
    5. You return to the place you found the drinks can.
    6. You place the drinks can on the spot you found it.
    7. To take the photograph, you lift up the black tape. Do not touch the camera for 5 seconds (if sunny) or 1 minute (if overcast).
    8. You close down the black tape.
    9. You develop the image.
    10. You download the participant form from www.pinholelitterproject.com
    11. You post the developed image and completed participant form to Jamie.
    12. You email the digital photograph (step 2.) to Jamie.
    13. Jamie will then display the images on the internet. Selected images will appear in a book.
    14. Jamie will recycle the drinks can.





    Contact: Pinhole Litter Project, 1 Oxford Villas, St. StephenÂ’s, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 4AP, UK or info@jamiehousephotography.co.uk