Step back in time and turn your DSLR into a pinhole camera

Put your creativity to the test and emulate the cameras of old.

Creating a pinhole camera out of your DSLR not only challenges you creatively, but by removing the complexity of exposure, shutter speeds and aperture, you’re free to focus on the essential elements of composition.

What is a pinhole camera?

Pinhole cameras were one of the first cameras and were developed in the late 19th Century. Rather than using lenses, pinhole cameras focused light through a small “pinhole” and onto a photographic plate to generate the image. This took a lot of trial and error and, like SLR photography, you only knew you had captured the image you wanted when you developed your film in the darkroom.

Combining pinhole techniques with digital technology

By combining 19th Century techniques with digital technology, you get the joy of using historical methods with the real-time feedback and reliability of a DSLR, allowing you to make adjustments as you go, saving a lot of time, trial and error.

Before you get started

To take your photography back to the 1800s, you’ll need a few household items, as well as your camera.

You’ll need:

How to turn your DSLR into a pinhole camera

1. Take the lens off your camera.

2. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover your lens mount.

3. Place your lens cap on the foil and draw around it with your marker pen.

4. Leaving a little extra space, cut out the circle.

5. Take the foil away from your camera and pierce a hole in the centre of the foil circle with the drawing pin.

6. Carefully tape the circle over your lens mount, keeping the foil as smooth as you can.

It’s now time to put your newly created pinhole camera to the test!

Experiment with combining other tips and techniques and see what stunning images you can create.

Elevate your images

The photographers of the 19th Century didn’t have the powerful range of tools available in Lightroom to bring their artwork to life like you do. Challenge yourself to see what you can create with this perfect mix of old and new.