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The Showcase of Beautiful Pinhole Photography

Camera is a remarkable piece of innovation. However, it is the person behind the camera that makes it truly remarkable. It’s his imagination, passion, talent and knowledge of the medium. You don’t need a high-end costly equipment to get beautiful results. Just your talent and a way of looking at things differently along with ability to envision the final result in your mind is more than enough for a great shot.

A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens and with a single small aperture — effectively a light-proof box with a small hole on one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. You can easily construct this camera yourself using things lying around like match boxes or any kind of boxes, paper, duct tape etc. The small amount of light passing through this pin sized hole produces image on a photographic film or a image sensor.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty on creating a pinhole camera by yourself, you can use your DSLR with some modifications (replacing camera lenses with a pinhole cover). Although it takes practice and lot of trial and error method to get a perfect picture, you don’t need to worry about the focus and distortions, as there are no lenses involved. You might as well end up with some lovely motion blurred photographs.

In today’s weekend post we present beautiful and inspiring photographs created using a pinhole camera. Please notice how photographers use the camera creatively to produce quite remarkable images. At the bottom of this post you will find links to some photographers and references to related resources that will help you get you started. Also, we listed related Flickr pools that contain thousands of further examples of what can be achieved with this technique. Get inspired, folks!

Beautiful Inspiring Pinhole Camera Photographs Link

Tarquin Coates1




The calmness of blue5 by Andrew Watson6


Daniel Tückmantel8


Invader10 by TEIKO11




Danielle Hughson262015


Tea Room88823017


A. Wallis

An Oceanic Ghost Forest19 by Danielle Hughson262015


Zeb Andrews80746522




Danielle Hughson262015


Scott VanderStouw28


Tea Room88823017


Scott Speck60423332

Scott Speck60423332




Bruno Malegue37




The Iron Cycloid41 by Scott Speck60423332


Matteo Bagnoli44


The Sleeping Zebra46 by Scott Speck47


Sarah Knopf49


Follow The Tunes51 by Tim Franco52


Bill Bresler54


nhung dang56


Darren C.6458


Scott Speck60423332


Tea Room62


Celeste Brignac

A. Wallis

Darren C.6458

Zeb Andrews80746522



Kent Mercurio68






Zeb Andrews80746522


Michael C. Pastur76




Zeb Andrews80746522


Tea Room88823017


Always de Sun84


Remarkable Photographers Link

And here is a brief overview of some remarkable pinhole photographers from Flickr. They have added a new dimension to photography: their photo streams are full of beautiful photographs.

Zeb Andrews86 Link


Tea Room88823017 Link


Scott Speck Link


Further Resources Link

Footnotes Link

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Vailancio Rodrigues is a web ninja who bakes semantic muffins. Apart from that he is also interested in Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Photography and knows little bit of Physics due to his college education . He is from Goa - a beautiful tropical paradise in India.

  1. 1


    You’ve got the same photos 2 times in this article (Danielle Hughson, Tea room and Mackeson).


    • 2

      Vitaly Friedman

      July 25, 2010 6:52 am

      Oops, my mistake. Sorry, Tom. Just fixed it.

    • 4

      Guess I should start looking through my photo files and post them online or in flickr perhaps.. It’ll be fun to have someone discover my collection…

  2. 5

    Stunning showcase, I really enjoyed looking at these. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 6

    This is beautiful and inspiring. Thanks!

  4. 7

    Beautiful stuff!! Showing this to my dad – he is a college photography lecturer who starts every new year’s groups with a week doing pinhole. He’d love this.

  5. 8

    Kelly D Brown

    July 25, 2010 8:09 am

    an absolutely stunning collection – a definite bookmark for future inspiration.

  6. 9

    nice photos, but I still have no idea what kind of camera you are talking about. The description doesn’t make sense.

  7. 11

    Any ideas on how big of exposure time these type of photos need?

    • 12

      it’s hard to say exactly how long the exposures are, it really all depends on the film and the type of pinhole camera.

      i did some b&w photos using a homemade pinhole back in one of my 2D design classes. i remember the exposures ranging from 30 seconds (the shortest time), to several minutes (i think one was seven minutes long, and it was taken outside and didnt end up looking washed out!)

      overall, they have been longer than shorter in my experience

  8. 13

    Brian Krummel

    July 25, 2010 10:22 am

    Great collection of artists. I noticed at least seven of your selected artists are also featured in my new book “The Pinhole Camera”.

  9. 14

    they made better pinhole photos than i ever made photos with lens and my camera;)

  10. 15

    Andrew Watson

    July 25, 2010 2:56 pm

    @SJL: exposure times are typically seconds for daylight shots, to minutes, even hours for those captured during twilight, the evening or indoors. Pinhole cameras typically have an aperture somewhere between f/100 and f/300, so that really doesn’t allow much light to get through during every second of exposure.

    Another factor, when using film, is reciprocity failure. Film becomes very insensitive during exposures that extend beyond a second. So extra time has to be added for this too. I typically give the shot time-and-a-half for print films.

    To give some perspective, the third picture from the top was exposed for 45 minutes at f/250.

    @vailrodrigues: thanks for including my picture. BTW – I don’t know if you realise it, but quite a few of these shots were made by a small, but enthusiastic band of pinhole camera wielders from Portland, Oregon.

  11. 16

    Helge-Kristoffer Wang

    July 25, 2010 4:29 pm

    Thanks for letting me stare to something amazing like this. :-P It sure gave me alot of inspiration!

  12. 17

    This makes me fall in love with pinhole photography even more. I’d love to try doing the traditional one but I’m curious as to how I can make my DSLR turn into a pinhole camera (without doing much damage, of course).

    Thanks for the collection!

    • 18

      Andrew Watson

      July 25, 2010 6:11 pm

      Hello Bea. There’s a couple of ways to turn your DSLR (or film SLR) into a pinhole camera.

      If you’re just interested in just a quick and dirty experiment, simply tape some aluminium foil over the bayonet mount of your camera after having made a small needle hole in the centre of it. Make sure you get the foil reasonably taught, and the needle hole as round as possible.

      Alternatively, you can buy a body cap for your camera that has a laser-cut pinhole already mounted on it. Search for ‘pinhole body cap’ to find such things.

      With either of these methods, you’ll not be able to see your composition through the viewfinder because the pinhole lets in too little light. If you’re experimenting with foil, you’ll have to rely on a series of experiments to get exposure just right. A body cap pinhole should come with the appropriate f-number stamped on it. You can use an external meter for more accurate exposures should you choose this route.

      Happy exploring!

  13. 19

    terrify, an awesome collection of all time !!

    nice to see Scott Speck in the list, one of my favourites !!

  14. 20

    Scott VanderStouw

    July 25, 2010 11:32 pm

    Glad to be in here… Would have been nice if you sent an email, or comment or something to know I was in here…

    The only way I found out was to see that my bananas photo suddenly had 319 hits in one day. And when I searched my name and the word “bananas” I found it.

    I don’t personally mind being in here, but there may come a time when you get someone deciding to defend their copyright because you are posting pictures without asking first.

    Great list of good pinhole websites to boot, and a very good showcase of work though.

    • 21

      Sorry Scott for posting your photo without permission. I am bit disappointed because you did not receive my e-mail before publishing this post. Every time we prepare any such collection we make sure that we obtain permission from the owners before publishing it. And it was same with this post as well. This post was prepared in February 2010 and I clearly remember that I sent more than 120+ emails to obtain permission from the owners. I really do not know how I missed in your case. Sorry once again.

      • 22

        Scott VanderStouw

        July 26, 2010 4:15 pm

        As I said… It isn’t the end of the world. I did rail someone who posted my work (justifiably in his case), but see no reason for it now…

        Just mentioned the copyright issue because someone will have an issue sometime…

        If you have been emailing people, and I just slipped through the cracks, then no harm no foul :)

        Feel free to pick through my collection if there are collections you are gathering in the future…

        If you ever do one on Lensbabies, I have tons of those :)

      • 23

        Bruno Malegue

        August 19, 2010 3:05 pm

        Pas reçu de mail non plus ;-)
        Bonne journée.

  15. 24

    Just stunning! Awesome examples.
    Will have to try this some day..

  16. 25


    July 26, 2010 1:28 am

    we love you guys.. our fav website so far.. thanks guys for all the hard work


  17. 26

    I fail to understand the advantage. The photos all look like taken with a wide angle lens. What is so special about them?

    • 27

      Andrew Watson

      July 26, 2010 4:41 am

      Hello Racketeer, I’m not sure I understand what you mean by ‘advantage’. It’s just different. A pinhole camera is simply another artistic tool. It really is a very simple way of making pictures, and its results have a very different feel to those produced by cameras with lenses.

      A couple of ways that a pinhole image differs from those shot by a ‘normal’ camera are: all images have an immense depth of field, and the image is slightly soft throughout this range; no lens distortion unlike wide angle glass; and there is only a couple of controls: film speed and exposure time, so less dials and buttons to flap over.

      Since a pinhole is a very small aperture, and exposures are consequently lengthy, you can capture time in a shot. For me, this is one of the most compelling reasons for using one. Bear in mind that this is not a unique property of a pinhole camera. You could just stack neutral density filters on the lens of your ‘ordinary’ camera to achieve a similar effect.

      Lastly, pinhole cameras allow for easy tinkering and experimentation. Who says you have to have just one pinhole? Why not put the pinhole parallel to the film plane? How about turning a coconut/a cylinder block/a warehouse into a camera? All can be done with a little ingenuity.

      • 28

        Scott VanderStouw

        July 26, 2010 4:19 pm

        Don’t forget that pinhole is bascally infinite depth of field (or rather infinite almost in focus – haha).

        The photo I did of bananas was maybe at most an inch away from the bananas. If there was a mountain behind the bananas, everything would have been in focus.

        And they are only wide-angle if you make them that way. You can make them telephoto if you want too.

      • 29

        wow ,thank you for the lesson ,I taught those pix are fantastic,want to see more ..

  18. 30

    That’s a really nice collection. Thanks for sharing it. I might try this today and see if I accomplish anything

  19. 31

    George L Smyth

    July 26, 2010 3:57 am

    This is a nice collection of images, and good to see my friend Scott Speck represented here. Concerning the possibility of DSLR pinhole, just drill a hole in a body cap, place a pinhole over it, remove your lens and replace it with the body cap, and you’re good to go. If you want to know how to make a pinhole then check out The only problem with this is the fact that the hole will allow dust to find itself on the sensor, so realize that eventuality.

    That said, my hundreds of DSLR pinhole images have been little more than disappointing – medium or large format film is really needed for things to shine.

    Another possibility is to take things a step further and try Pinhole Sieve photography. You can see some examples at

    Cheers –


  20. 32

    It’s cool that Pinhole Photography is getting more popular. It’s a great hobby that can continue to build a niche in the photography world. Here are a few more resources that we’ve come up with if anyone is interested:

    I hope it helps.


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