A pinhole camera works by capturing light inside a box, and when taking pinhole camera pictures, find a box and use the pin to make a hole in the top. Find out more about the science of pinhole cameras in this free video from a professional photographer.
My name is Anthony Maddaloni, and I'm going to talk about how a pinhole camera works. A pinhole camera works in that you can use any type of box. You want to use something that is going to let light come in, and then capture the light on a surface. What I have is a pin, and I have this Quaker Oats box, and this is just the easiest way for me to describe how this camera works. A lot of what a pinhole camera does is optics, and it's really pretty interesting. If I take a pin and I put a hole in this box, and let's say this box is light tight, which is pretty much is right now, but if I was going to make one, I would need some black tape -- really opaque it. So I make a pinhole. Light comes in to the dark area, and it reflects backwards and upside down on the surface where the hole is opposite. And that is, essentially, how a pinhole camera works. It's science, in a way, and in a way, it's really intriguing because it's amazing. This is really just the basic part of how any kind of camera works. It was used as a drawing tool. I believe it was da Vinci had started using it to make...it's called a camera obscura. And as the light would come in on a surface, he would trace out what the light had basically shown on that surface. And from there, people -- scientists -- had figured out how to create a surface where the light would be captured. That was photo emulsion. And that's really the beginnings of photography as we know it today. But back to the pinhole. So this is a small example of how you can do it. I've seen people make pinholes out of very small Altoid cans. I've seen people make pinholes out of whole rooms in houses with the same formula. It's called an aperture, pin, light comes in -- comes in backwards and upside down. It's so simple that it's really actually amazing. And that's how you'd make a pinhole camera.