Producing a negative is as simple as loading your pinhole camera (in the darkroom) with multi-grade photographic paper cut to a size appropriate for the type of pinhole camera you have made, exposing the paper and then running the paper through the normal development cycle i.e., developer, stop bath, fixer, wash and dryer.
Loading the camera
- Cut either one or two 2" strips of masking tape and fold each into double sided adhesive tabs.
- Place the tabs on the back of the paper and fix the cut photographic paper to the interior of the camera directly opposite the aperture.
- Seal the camera.
exposing the image
The strength of the available light will determine your exposure.
- In strong sunlight and outdoors, exposures will be relatively short in duration (depending on the size of the aperture). As less ambient light becomes available exposure times will increase. Exposures can take anything from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. Determining the correct exposure is a matter of trial and error unless you have purchased a pinhole camera with a per-determined aperture and focal length and follow the manufacturers recommendations.
- Place the camera facing the subject or scene. To ensure that the image is sharp make sure the camera is braced or resting on a stable surface otherwise any movement during the exposure will produce a blurred image.
- Expose the paper by allowing light in through the aperture.
- When you think the paper has been adequately exposed close the aperture
- Take the camera back to the darkroom, remove and process the paper.