A very simple form of camera which does not use a lens. A pinhole camera is simply a container of any size with a tiny pinhole at one end. Light enters this hole and exposes some photosensitive material mounted on the far wall of the camera.
Pinhole photography is often a slow process, since the tiny size of the hole means very little light enters. Several second or minute exposures are usual. Pinhole photographs are notable for many reasons - they have almost infinite depth of field and tend to be very soft towards the edges because of diffraction.
Though not a practical form of photography for snapshots, many artists and hobbyists enjoy the creative possibilities of pinhole work. A big part of the pleasure is building unusual homemade cameras - cameras from oatmeal containers, beautifully handcrafted wood, fabric-lined cars or rooms, film canisters put inside the photographers mouth to get a mouth-eye view of the world, and so on.
cf. camera, depth of field, diffraction.
Entry last updated 2002-04-04. Term 926 of 1487.
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