Sunday, April 24, 2011 is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Each year, on the last Sunday in April, pinhole-photography enthusiasts break out their cameras and start making images. Then they select their best shots from that day to submit to the WPPD online gallery.

If you’ve messed around with pinhole photography in the past, but drifted away from it, this is a nice occasion to get re-acquainted. And if you’ve never tried pinholes before, it’s a great incentive to start.

Bamboo Dish Pinhole Cameras

Homemade bamboo-box pinhole cameras, courtesy Ross Togashi. (Click photo for more information.)

Your wiki editors are observing Pinhole Day this year too: we completely revised one article, “Pinhole camera,” and added a new one, “Homemade pinhole camera.” But that’s just the beginning of the helpful pinhole resources scattered around the web.

The WPPD website has its own page of resources; there is a very active community on Flickr for pinhole photography and homemade pinhole cameras; and there are forums at whose contributors experiment with pinholes, zone plates, and other curiosities. For a homemade camera, one requirement is fabricating a clean, round hole of the right diameter; for some advice about that that, I can offer a blog post of my own.

Curved-film Pinhole Sample

A pinhole image exposed onto curved 4x5 sheet film

Pinhole cameras offer an atmospheric kind of imagery quite different from the sterile perfection of a color digital photo. While there are a number of pre-made pinhole cameras for sale (and ways to adapt conventional cameras for pinhole use), crafty DIY-ers love building entirely homebrew cameras—because their construction is so forgiving. And the freedom to create any size or shape of camera means the image format can be anything you desire.

I hope you’ll be out shooting a week from Sunday with a pinhole camera of your own!

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