OK, let's start making

our pinhole camera!


NOTE: The new Quaker oatmeal boxes have plastic lids and the bottoms are recessed 1/4 inch, so the opening in the oatmeal box needs to be centered 2 3/4 inches from the bottom of the box.  Draw a small box 2 3/4 inches from the bottom of the oatmeal box (in the center of the oatmeal box). Try to place the little box beneath the smiling Quaker's face.CAREFULLY cut out the small box with an Exacto knife or with a one-sided razorblade. If you have a Dremel high-speed drill, a 3/8 inch hole can be easily bored into the box without having to use any sharp blades! After cutting the small square hole (or round hole with the Dremel), clean out any paper left in the opening. This is the "pinhole window" where the pinhole will look out at the world. Can a tiny hole, which contains nothing but air, see things? We will find out later.

Use a damp washcloth to clean out any oatmeal dust inside the box. Cut the contact paper to fit the top and bottom of the plastic lid.  If your oatmeal box has a paper lid, you only need to spray paint it.  If your oatmeal box is the "new" type with a plastic lid and recessed bottom, run a bead of Elmer's glue around the seam where the bottom piece attaches to the cylinder and let it dry before painting.  Spray paint the inside of the box, and both the inside and outside of the lid, too.  Also, spray the outside bottom after the Elmer's glue has dried.  Do this on newspapers. There is an art to spray painting with aerosol cans: it is best to not "soak" the insides of the oatmeal box with paint. Spray in short bursts from several inches away, and constantly shake up the can. Use as little paint as possible because you must wait for the paint to dry before the pinhole can be installed, and because excess black paint can become "dust" after it dries. Dust is the photographer's worst enemy--it causes white spots on the finished pictures which are hard to remove.

Carefully cut the ends off of an aluminum soft drink can. Cut a "pinhole plate", about 2 x 3 inches in size with rounded edges, from the aluminum can. The pinhole will be drilled in the pinhole plate.



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