An associate professor from Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) developed a giant pinhole camera to offer students a view of how a camera works from the inside:
“Think back to high school photography class and recall the pinhole camera. Remember nothing? A quick refresher: “When light comes into any light-tight chamber, through one relatively small hole called an aperture, light travelling in a straight line casts images upside down and backwards,” explains photographer Mitch Kern, associate professor at the Alberta College of Art and Design. “It’s the natural way light behaves, and it’s truly magical.”
This isn’t new—in fact it’s very old. This principle of the “camera obscura” was theorized by Aristotle, used in experiments by Greek architect Anthemius and described in detail by Leonardo da Vinci, who used it to help with his art. “It was a 15th-century aid in drawing and painting, as well as the precursor to the modern-day camera,” says Kern, 50.
The modern pinhole camera is most commonly an arts-and-crafts project made of a toilet-paper tube and construction paper, which doesn’t exactly make for thrilling teaching. “I always start with photography basics and technical stuff,” says Kern. For 15 years he’d been dreaming of a lesson plan with more wow: A pinhole camera so large that students could experience how a camera works from the inside.”
Read more about the project in Maclean’s here.