Turn Your Smartphone Into a Pinhole Camera

by Robyn Wright on January 17, 2014

in Living

Here is another fun project for you to try. Pinhole cameras and the idea behind them have been known since the 10th century when a Persian scientist wrote about naturally-occurring rudimentary pinhole cameras. The essence is that light from a scene passes through a small point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side. It is a lot like how the human eye actually works. While this project is a bit of a twist, it is a fun way to experiment and get different effects. If you have kids this is a great learning experience in history and science in a very hands on way. You can find more about pinhole cameras on Wikipedia also as a jumping off point. Thanks to Verizon (disclosure: I have a working relationship with Verizon) for supplying these step-by-step images for the project.

1. All you need to turn your smartphone into a pinhole camera is scissors, tape, a needle or similar sharp object, small pieces of cardboard and, of course, your smartphone.

Supplies needed for the Smartphone Pinhole Camera #VZBuzz

2. Take a small piece of cardboard or cardstock paper (half-inch squares work best), and poke a hole in the direct center using a needle or similar sharp object.

Poke a hole in your cardboard square for the Smartphone Pinhole Camera #VZBuzz

3. Next, line up the hole with the smartphone camera lens. Using the camera function as you do this will make your job a lot easier.

Turn your camera on and line up the hole in the cardboard with the lens on your smartphone #VZBuzz

4. Once the cardboard is in place, secure it with tape. Make sure not to cover up any other device items with the tape like flash, speaker, mic, etc.

When in position, tape the cardboard to your smartphone #VZBuzz

5. Using a sheet as a backdrop, a few props and your child’s favorite dress up clothing items, you can create an at home DIY photo booth for your new pinhole camera. Make sure to set up in a well-lit area of your house to take the photos.

Set up a photo booth in a well lit area to start taking pictures with your smartphone pinhole camera #VZBuzz

6. Import photos into Instagram. Crop your image so the subject is front and center and the pinhole “circle” takes up the edges of the crop square.

Now you can pull up your pinhole images into Instagram (or other apps you like) #VZBuzz

7. Now add Instagram effects to your photo to get the result you want.

Add any of the filters and effects you want in Instagram #VZBuzz

8. Share your old-timey pinhole camera photos with family and friends online, or print your photos and frame them.

diy-pinhole-smartphone-camera-8-vzbuzz

That is all there is too it! If you try this project please let me know and share some of your finished pinhole camera photos with me!

Do you think you will try this?

Robyn    

PS – Here are the DIY steps all in one image if you want to share this on Pinterest!

Easy project to turn your smartphone into a pinhole camera for old timey photographs look #VZBuzz @RobynsOnlineWorld.com

© 2014, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

  • http://historyinculture.wordpress.com/ Robin

    Neat trick! I don’t think this would work on my (old-fashioned) phone, but I like how it comes out. Good tutorial.

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