Pinhole Camera Workshop

First year students from Falmouth University run a community project every year as part of their degree in photography. This year we were lucky enough that they chose Stowe Barton as their location for mixing old and new photography skills by running a workshop in pinhole and digital photography. Pupils from Kilkhampton, Whitstone and Jacobstowe Primary Schools came to the National Trust offices for a day each to learn new skills from the experts.

The pinhole cameras proved a huge success and the pupils produced some exceptional work (much better than the adults in many cases!). Who’d have thought that just by using an empty aluminium can with a pinhole in the side covered with a little piece of electrical tape, a removable lid and some photographic paper rolled up inside you could make a camera! Once the children had been shown how to use them they were off exploring the courtyard and grounds of Stowe Barton looking for exciting objects to photograph. This was done by removing the tape from the pinhole and allowing the light into the can and on to the paper inside for several seconds. When the photo had been taken and the tape safely back over the pinhole the pupils were then taken into the dark room to watch their photographs develop before their eyes.

The photographs produced were negatives but were simply inverted on a computer to produce these amazing images.

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The digital photography session was equally enjoyable and it was fantastic to see students encouraging the pupils to think creatively, to take pictures from different heights and angles and to look at the world differently. We were all hugely impressed by the works of art that were produced by the pupils and shown to the group at the end of each day. I have my money on the next David Bailey being from one of our local schools!

At the end of each day every child was given a pinhole camera loaded up with photographic paper and two cable ties. On the 20th June, the longest day of the year, the children will be attaching their cameras to a south facing object and leaving it producing a photograph for 6 months! The result will show the sun moving across the sky from the longest day to the shortest day of the year and will hopefully produce some fantastic images. If you would like any more information about this please look at the following website:

Finally, we’d like to say a big thank you to the students of Falmouth University and the teachers and pupils of Kilkhampton, Whitstone and Jacobstowe Primary Schools for coming to Stowe Barton and being so wonderfully creative. We had a great time working with you all.


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