Not your ordinary pinhole camera: James Guerin’s 25-lens DIY creation makes stunning mosaic images
posted Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM EDT
Yesterday was Worldwide Pinhole Day, and people around the globe celebrated by taking photographs with a range of the most intriguing, improved and simple of cameras. But one photographer has taken a very different approach to a pinhole camera, making something unlike anything we've seen before. He created a pinhole camera with 25 different "lenses," producing bizarre and interesting mosaic images, far removed from the pinhole photography we're used to.
James Guerin has created more than one "multi-cell" camera like this, including a robust, 20-lens permanent version. Our friend Chris Gampat at the Phoblographer talked to him about his 25-pinhole camera recently, and it's an impressive piece of DIY ingenuity.
The camera is based on a simple shoe box, with a 5x5 grid made out of cardboard installed, creating 25 independent little cells. For lenses, he cut up a soda can, and then pierced the pieces with a needle, and sanded down any burrs. To keep the aperture as close as possible between each lens, he made far more than he needed, and then scanned and compared them so he could use the most similar ones possible. The camera has a sliding piece of cardboard as a simple shutter, and the shoebox lid serves to hold the photographic paper.
By Guerin's calculation, the camera has a 100mm focal length, and an aperture of around f/333, shooting directly on 8x10 photographic paper. The images it records are slightly scattershot, so he transposes them digitally to make a slightly more coherent image. You can see more of his "multi-cell" photography here, of which some were shot with the pinhole, and some with his 20 lens rig.