Pinhole photography is fun for a lot of reasons. You get to make the camera yourself, the images are always a little surprising, and really it's kind of amazing that it works at all - with just a dark box with a small hole in one side, you can make photographs! You don't need to know f stops, worry about whether your battery is working, or carry around a lot of different lenses. What you'll need is a sense of humor and an appreciation for discovery. Join us for this fun, hands-on workshop where you'll get to:

  • Make your own camera!
  • Take pictures using the camera you just made
  • Develop the negatives and print your pictures in a darkroom
Dinosaur by Matt Callow

Pinhole photo by flickr user Matt Callow


Saturday, April 23,
from 1:30pm to 4:00pm

Rain date: Sat. April 30.
Since pinhole cameras require a lot of light, we'll be going outside to take pictures.


Hive 4A, at AEDC Bridgeworks
905 Harrison St.
Allentown PA, 18103

Get directions from Google Maps »

Sign up

There is a $10 fee to cover the cost of materials for the workshop.

Contact to sign up.

What to bring

Bring something you can make into a camera. You'll need a box or container that you make light-tight, that opens and closes, and that you can cut a hole into. For example, you could use:

  • Oatmeal box
  • Shoe box
  • Paint can
  • Cigar box

Be creative! Sometimes making a really unusual camera is half the fun.

If you want, you can bring some things to photograph. Pinhole photography is an interesting way to see familiar things in new ways.

You may also want to bring some basic craft tools if you have them. Things like a hobby knife, glue, or other tools that you like to work with might be helpful.

Don't wear your best clothes. We'll be working with basic hand tools, paint, and darkroom chemistry. Nothing's terribly toxic, but you could easily ruin a good shirt.

Pinhole Cameras

A few improvised pinhole cameras, made from containers that would have otherwise been thrown away (click image to enlarge).

Sounds great! Um... what's pinhole photography?


Pinhole photography is lensless photography. A tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole; an image is formed in the camera.

Pinhole cameras are small or large, improvised or designed with great care. Cameras have been made of sea shells, many have been made of oatmeal boxes, coke cans or cookie containers, at least one has been made of a discarded refrigerator. Cameras have been cast in plaster like a face mask, constructed from beautiful hardwoods, built of metal with bellows and a range of multiple pinholes. Station wagons have been used as pinhole cameras – and rooms in large buildings. Basically a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper at the other.

Pinhole cameras are used for fun, for art and for science.

Designing and building the cameras are great fun. Making images with cameras you have made yourself is a great pleasure, too. But in serious photography the pinhole camera is just an imaging device with its advantages and limitations, special characteristics and potentials. By making the best of the camera's potential, great images can be produced.

Pinhole Bloodroots

pinhole photo by flickr user Voxphoto

Who are you guys?

This workshop is a project of MakeLehighValley, a collection of makers, crafters, artists and tinker-ers who love to build and make things. We are local to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and meet to discuss projects we are working on and help each other.

If you have even the slightest interest in making crafts, electronics, software or hardware, please come and join us. We'd love to hear what you are interested in, share, and learn together as we build really exciting things.

And who's teaching this thing?

Scott Piccotti is a website developer and photographer from Bethlehem, PA. He studied photography at Moravian College, and has been tinkering with pinhole cameras since somewhere around the 3rd grade.