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Pinhole Camera

James
 
Benham


The Pinhole Camera was developed in response to an ‘outdoor’ themed brief, set by the ‘Tools for Everyday Life’ project in 2016. Our response was to invite people to reconnect with their surroundings through an updated interpretation of the age-old practice of pinhole photography. From the act of policing a finite amount of shots, to the anticipation of waiting for your images to be developed, the attention that shooting with film demands can transform the images from something instant and ordinary, to something physical and evocative. At every stage, this analogue product requires you to take more time, to use your imagination and to better understand the foundations on which many of our modern products are built.

The aim was to produce a camera that would utilise a standard 35mm film to allow multiple shots, a shutter mechanism that allowed for both short and long exposures, and a durable housing that would stand up to being thrown in a bag or hung out of the window of a moving train (bad idea, wouldn't recommend). More importantly, we wanted to produce something that anyone could pick up and understand. The result of which is version one, complete with a rubber over-moulded casing, ABS internal body, anodised aluminium top and enamelled graphics. These are the first refined prototypes that have been used for testing and to gather feedback. Following a positive response, we set out to refine the prototypes with a view to larger volumes of production. Working closely with several companies to gain an understanding of injection moulding and metal pressing, version two has now developed into something commercially viable through extensive re-distribution of component roles and refinement of form, function and material. Four prototypes of version two are currently being made (June completion), with soft tooling in place to produce more. It’s just a matter of time.