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. Accessed on April 15, 2016.
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Knowledge across English and Physics

You are going to learn how to design an interesting camera. You are also going to try different experiments involving Physics. Before you start, ask a classmate these questions:

a) Do you usually take photos or make videos of family and friends?

b) Which device(s) do you normally use to take photos?

1. Read this text and answer the questions.

Pinhole Photography

History, Images, Cameras, Formulas by Jon Grepstad, 1996


Pinhole photography is lensless photography. A tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole; an image is formed in the camera.

Pinhole cameras are small or large, improvised or designed with great care. Cameras have been made of seashells, many have been made of oatmeal boxes, coke cans or cookie containers, at least one has been made of a discarded refrigerator. Cameras have been cast in plaster like a face mask, constructed from beautiful hardwoods, built of metal with bellows and a range of multiple pinholes. Station wagons have been used as pinhole cameras – and rooms in large buildings. Basically a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper at the other.

Pinhole cameras are used for fun, for art and for science.

Designing and building the cameras are great fun. Making images with cameras you have made yourself is a great pleasure, too. But in serious photography the pinhole camera is just an imaging device with its advantages and limitations, special characteristics and potentials. By making the best of the camera’s potential great images can be produced. Some of the images could not have been produced with a lens. […]

Available at . Accessed on April 15, 2016.

a) What is the difference between a “regular” camera and a pinhole camera?

b) Which materials/things have already been used to build pinhole cameras?

2. Learn more about this art. With the help of your Physics teacher, do some research on one of these topics.

How cameras work

How digital cameras work

How instant cameras work

How light affects the quality of photos

What causes red eyes in photos

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You are the researcher!

How about making a pinhole camera?

These are the things you will need:

• a shoebox (or any similar box)

• blackout for a window (e.g. black card that can be taped over a window)

• aluminum foil (about 3 cm × 3 cm)

• a pin or sharp point (Be very careful when using this!)

• tape

• scissors

• craft knife (Be very careful when using this!)

• a ruler

• a lamp or a lit candle (Be very careful when using this!)

This is the procedure for your experiment:

• Cut a square about 2 cm × 2 cm in the center of one side of the shoebox.

• Put the foil over the 2 cm square hole and tape it to the side of the shoebox.

• Use a pin or similar instrument to make a small hole in the foil.

• Your shoebox with pinhole is your pinhole camera.

This is how you use the pinhole camera:

• First check that you get an image with your pinhole camera: Place a light source in front of the pinhole camera (see illustration). Then turn off all other lights.

• You should be able to see an image of the object on the opposite side of the shoebox.


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