For my PGCE’s Teaching Practice folder we had to produce 6 extra session plans that show a high level of subject specialist knowledge. One of the extra session plans I prepared was to have my learners build a cardboard pinhole camera using Francesco Capponi‘s template and instructions on his website.
Since the learners on my placement have a new brief that is based around the vague concept of time, the idea of pinhole photography seemed suitable as pinhole cameras need a lot of time, both to construct and to use in the field.
I prepared the necessary materials and printed out the template and filed the paperwork away. But ever since I put the documents away I’ve wanted to build one and have my learners build one so they can use it too.
Unfortunately when I asked my mentor if I could teach this session he said “no!” For reasons too vague to even repeat. It’s safe to say I was a little disappointed. Even the learners were annoyed that they couldn’t build their own camera. They seemed to enjoy the concept of building a camera from scratch and using something they built with their own hands to produce works for their brief.
But there is a silver lining, just because they’re not allowed to make one, it doesn’t mean I am. So I bought some self adhesive paper and gathered the rest of the tools I thought I would need from the garage.I printed the template onto a sheet and stuck it to some spare mount board I had lying around from my last exhibition.It took a while to cut the template out on the Friday night as it had to be perfect, cutting the holes was the hardest part. But making the pinhole lens and sticking it to the camera wasn’t as hard as I anticipated.After cutting out all of the parts I taped them together with red electric tape. Unfortunately I didn’t have any black electric tape so the red tape was the closest substitution I could find. It could be an interesting variable; I wonder if it will have any adverse effects?I couldn’t finish the camera on Friday night as I didn’t have any glue to stick certain parts together, fortunately a stick turned up on Sunday and I finished off the main construction phase of the camera.The final piece of the puzzle was getting a bulk load cassette from college this morning to make loading the camera easier.Now it’s finished I just need to shoot it.I might share some quick shots of the camera being used whilst I’m shooting the roll and some of the shots if they’re not terribly under/over exposed after I’ve developed it. We’ll see the results of the roll next week hopefully, if the weather holds out it should be a good experiment.