Characteristics of pinhole photography

What distinguish a shot executed by a pinhole

Pinhole photography



The chraracteristics that distinguish the pinhole photography are mainly four, as indicated here below:

  1. Pinhole camera hasn't any lens but use a tiny hole to focusing the immages.
  2. The photos executed by a pinhole camera own an infinite depth of fields, the picture obtained appear in focus.
  3. Pinhole camera hasn't any lens, the wide angle pictures results perfectly rectilinear.
  4. Pinhole camera usually need of a long exposure time, for this reason objects in movement result blur. In case the object move faster won't appear on the film.

Photos obtained by a pinhole camera own an infinite depth of fields and will be ever in focus, but usually result less sharp than photos obtained by a lens camera. This typical blur around immages depends by the pinhole geometry and how this conduct the light inside the camera. The below picture shows how rays light reflected by the photo subject pass through the pinhole that can't converge rays to a focal point, such as happen in a lens camera. However, through a known dimension of the pinhole it is possible reduce the blur effect in photos contours.

pinhole photography blur effect
"The sketch above shows the cause of the blur effect in pinhole photography. The subject A produce the photogram D with the contours expanded of a gap E this caused by the pinhole C effect that doesn't conduct light rays to a focal point."


In case of wide angle photography a pinhole camera provide the best. Thanks to pinhole cameras conveniently dimensioned, it is possible take advantage by the pinhole capability to maintain unalterated the light ray linearity, this property provide wide angle photos without the typical distorsion obtained by the use of wide angle lens or fish-eye.

As mentioned above, one of the main carachteristic of pinhole photography is the exposure time. Pinhole cameras aren't equipped by any sistem to manage the exposure time, only through a calculus it is possible define the pinhole opening time. The pinhole opening time depends by three factors: environmental light, film sensitivity and the ratio f-stop typical of the camera. However, in addition may be considered also the human reactivity to open and close the pinhole. Human reactivity exclude the possibility to execute photos by a pinhole camera that require combinations of light/film sensitivity that result with an exposure time less than a second, because becames to much hardly for a human be so fast to open and close the pinhole in a time lesser a second, without obtain a film overexposure. Pinhole photography for this reason prefer long exposure time, that means subjects in movement will be blur or won't be appear in the photos.



At first glange the pinhole photography could be seem an old bad way to execute shots, but this is wrong. We know that many photographers want share the shots through the social, and use negative scanner to publish their works on the web. Whe admit that a negative obtained by a pinhole camera, scanned and displayed on a PC monitor is very different than a shot obtained by a digital camera, if you are a maniacs of the high pixel definition maybe you will be discomfit about this kind of photograpy, but for your information exist a huge moviment of pinhole lovers, because for them pinhole shots are amazing. However to appreciate a photo executed by a pinhole camera, not lost your time to see a wide immage on a screen, pinhole photography provide the best result if printed, in this case the blur procured by the pinhole disappear.