An image created with a pinhole camera, by artist Daniel King. Throughout the next month, King will instruct a pinhole camera class at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster. (Submitted)

Create Your Own Pinhole Camera at DACO With Artist Daniel King

Posted on:

< < Back to

Pinhole cameras have been around for thousands of years – some of the earliest examples found in Chinese Mozi writings, dating back to around 500 BC.

The process for capturing an image is incredibly simple. Essentially, the pinhole camera is a light-proof box with a hole in one side and a sheet of film or photographic paper on the other. There is no aperture, there is no shutter. Exposures can take a long time, and the images produced by the process are strikingly unique from other types of images captured by other means of photography.

An image created by one of Daniel King's pinhole cameras during WOUB's Emily Votaw's interview with the artist. (Daniel King)
An image created by one of Daniel King’s pinhole cameras during WOUB’s Emily Votaw’s interview with the artist. (Daniel King)

Starting on November 4, those interested in learning how to make their very own pinhole camera will have the opportunity to do so with local artist Daniel King at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.

King said that he first utilized a pinhole camera while an undergraduate in the photography program at the Columbus College of Art and Design in the late ‘90s.

“As soon as I started at CCAD, one of the first things I had to do was construct a pinhole camera. A pinhole camera really strips away all the bells and whistles that can be associated with photography; like instead of paying attention to the font that you use to write, you just pick up a pencil and paper and start writing,” said King. “Building a pinhole camera opens you up to all types of possibilities, you can experiment with size and shape, and you can build it in exactly whatever way you like.”

Another image created by Daniel King's pinhole camera. (Daniel King)
Another image created by Daniel King’s pinhole camera. (Daniel King)

The class will take place over the course of three Saturdays; November 4, 11, and 18. Each session is two hours in length, and designed in such a way that participants can utilize common household goods to create their own camera and subsequently their own unique images.

In particular, the class is intended to tie into DACO’s current exhibition, In Our Own Image: the Genesis of Photography and the Contemporary Eye, which is on display through December 31.

“For me, I’ve never really been too interested in high end commercial photography. I have always been more drawn to sort of DIY photography, which pinhole photography really lends itself to,” said King, who said that he regularly utilizes pinhole photography when teaching. “This class works particularly well because it’s fairly cheap, and we can highlight the historic architecture on the grounds, and we can develop the film right there in the bathroom of the art education building.”

A pinhole camera image created by Daniel King. (Daniel King)
A pinhole camera image created by Daniel King. (Daniel King)

The workshop costs $68 for DACO members and $75 for non-members, and includes all materials, although King said that he encourages participants to bring their own containers to transform into pinhole cameras, if they wish. Register online at this link.

Pinhole Workshop 2017-web