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Pumpkin Pinhole Camera

As we have seen from previous camera tutorials and outlined in the book, a camera can be constructed from virtually anything. Before you toss your Halloween pumpkin, consider it for your next camera project. Pumpkin Camera
paper negative

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
I found this painted pumpkin in my grocery store on the clearance shelf for only a dollar.
Material List
So if you are ready, let's walk through the process of creating the camera. Prepare a clean, flat work surface such as a dining room table and gather the following materials so that we can get started:
  1. Any type of pumpkin
  2. Black electrical tape
  3. Carving knife and spoon
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Aluminum square cut from soda can
  6. Small sewing needle
  7. Black and white photographic paper

Companion Book Chapters
Consult these chapters of The Pinhole Camera for additional tricks, tips, and help: Chapter 2 (Beginner Track), Chapter 2 (Advanced Track), and Chapter 10.
Step 1
Nearly everyone is familiar with carving a pumpkin. With your knife, proceed by removing a portion of pumpkin from around the stem to access the vegetable's innards. Use your spoon to remove the pumpkin pulp and seeds.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
Larger pumpkins will permit a larger work area within the camera. Smaller pumpkins are more portable. Choose the one that suits you best.
Step 2
Select a center region on the outside of your camera and penetrate the pumpkin. Make the hole large enough, approximately 1/4" wide so that enough light can properly reach your negative.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
to make a hole in my pumpkin, I used a screwdriver. I twisted it in a circular motion to open up the hole.
Step 3
Construct a standard pinhole and mount it to the outside of your camera. Consult Chapter 2 (Beginner Track) for instructions on creating a basic pinhole aperture.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
Common black electrical tape should be strong enough to fasten your pinhole plate to the pumpkin surface.
Step 4
I tossed a few extra seeds and strings of pulp back into my camera, hoping that those pieces would stick to my paper negative and enhance the final image. Create a black tape shutter and place it over your pinhole. Your camera is finished now.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
You Can see that this camera is really easy to create and does not require much effort.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
In a darkroom, load your pumpkin with a standard black and white paper negative. Seal the top seams with black tape.
Step 5
Load your new creation with black and white photo paper. If you are new to working with photographic paper or in a darkroom setting, consult Chapter 4 (Beginner Track) and Chapter 10 in the book for practical advice. Take your pumpkin outdoors and make an exposure.
I often look at common objects and imagine them as a camera. It could be a child's toy, a cigar box, or even a vegetable. Once you start to think along the sames lines, you will find a new perspective and appreciation for pinhole photography.

Lastly, are you wondering where you can find my sample image created from this camera? Let's just say that I'm still trying to obtain a usable negative. Not all cameras are complete success stories, but sometimes the process of creating a camera is just as enjoyable.
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