So, the pinhole camera, how did it pan out?
Because the 'negative' is made on light sensitive paper inside the tin, it is very important to keep it in pitch black. Any light that seeps into the container will render the picture useless. You don't see it until you develop the negative, but then, there it is, as black as the ace of spades, right across the paper. Nothing but black.
Bearing this in mind, the next thing you need to know is that in order to take more than one picture, you have to have a changing bag in which to swap over the paper. Inside the bag, by feel alone, you take the lid off your camera and remove the paper, leaving it in the bag to protect it from the light, and then put a new, fresh, unused sheet into the tin and replace the lid.
The next feat of impossibility is to remove the camera from the bag without allowing light in to destroy the other sheets of paper!!! Quite a comical performance indeed. I had at least thought ahead, having placed 10 individual pieces of paper into my bag that would fit in my camera. I had also considered how to overcome the problem of needing to know which pieces I had used and which were blank. I considered a couple of options and settled on a large paper clip over an ordinary piece of folded paper that I could clip over the exposed sheets as I removed them from the camera. Thus the unclipped pieces would be available to use. Genius.
I took 3 exposures in all, ranging from 2½ minutes to 4½ minutes exposure time. Not because I got bored and didn't want to take anymore. I had figured with 10, maybe I stood a slim chance of getting something recognisable!!! When I was fishing around inside the changing bag, as I removed the third exposure from the camera, it was quite clear that the loose pieces of paper had pushed themselves in between the used pieces and I now had a very neat little bundle of paper, all clipped together!! Not so genius huh?
So I had to call it a day at 3. I left the paper in the bag the rest of the week, awaiting Thursday evenings college time.
When I got to college, the tutor mixed up some fresh chemicals for me and I took the changing bag into the dark room.
"Where's your box of paper" he asked.
"I didn't bring it tonight, I just brought the bag and the paper I used for my photographs" I replied.
Even in the dark, I could see he face change expression, and there was no mistaking the sharp intake of breath before he asked me if I had left them loose in the bag all week!! He said they would probably have been damaged by light seepage after a full week like that and explained that when he does pinhole work he puts his box of paper in the bag and removes one piece at a time from the black plastic bag inside the box. When he wants to swap the paper in his camera he removes the used piece and puts it underneath the black plastic bag inside the box, thus always knowing what he has used AND protecting all his paper from the light!!!
If only I had thought of that. If only he had mentioned that the week before!!
So, feeling a little despondent, I began to pass the 10 pieces through the trays of chemicals, knowing full well that only 3 would have anything on them at all. Each one in turn had black edges. That meant that light had entered the bag and the edges that were protruding from the stack had been exposed. First one piece, then the next. No images yet. Then there it was, a white area, then some grey, then.... damn, nope, it was just some chemicals from the table top that had got onto the paper, still no image. I continued 5...6....7...8...9... nothing at all... 10... yes, yes, hop, skip, jump, yes! There it was. The one image I had been waiting for!!
I was ecstatic. To be fair it is a pretty bad photo, but I LOVE it! It is MY photo, I took it, I did it with MY camera that I made, I developed it MYSELF and it was bloody brilliant!!
If you pretend there are no fingerprints, no blotches, and no scratches, ooohhh, and no light infiltration that has misted the top of the picture, then, it's a masterpiece.... what do you reckon?
It's a pinhole version of the first picture under my blog entitled 'New Camera'.
Never one to be beaten, and always striving for perfection I will try some more. Only this time, I will keep my box of paper inside my changing bag, boy is that going to make things easier!! I have already taken one photograph of a bunch of daffodils at the base of a tree in my garden. The background should come out crisp, and the flowers very fluffy as they were moving in the breeze. We shall see!!