My final project while studying a Diploma in Art and Design at Hereford College of Arts was to design and construct a 5×4″ pinhole camera. I spent several weeks locked away in the College Library and 3D workshop planning my masterpiece which was designed on the computer so that the constituent parts could be cut on the college’s laser-cutter to ensure precision.
The final camera was christened the ‘Pinopticon’ after the method of gathering light and a theoretical prison devised by Jeremy Bentham (the “all-seeing” panopticon); it was constructed from ply-wood and accepted a 5 x 4″ darkslide to allow taking multiple exposures without having to return to the darkroom to reload. It featured an 165mm focal length and an average exposure exposure time of several minutes.
Due to the nature of the term structure I did not get to develop the photographs I had taken until a week before the project deadline, so there was a very tense few minutes in the darkroom as I would not have time to correct any faults and re-shoot.
Fortunately, the photographs had come out and I submitted the selection of images below. Those interested to read a bit more about the process involved can download a copy of my brief write-up here.