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The Pinhegg
December 5, 2011 6:12 PM   Subscribe

The Pinhegg – My Journey To Build An Egg Pinhole Camera
posted by Confess, Fletch (8 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Go easy on the stop bath or it will dissolve the eggshell.

Neat idea.
posted by DarkForest at 6:26 PM on December 5, 2011

It's honestly a pretty cool idea.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:27 PM on December 5, 2011

I'd love to see that done with an emu or ostrich egg... though the breakages would be much harder to bear.
posted by twirlypen at 6:33 PM on December 5, 2011

There's something quite moving about these. The symbolism is obvious, I suppose, but there is a definite sense of the egg delicately holding the image. The naked crouching emphasises this, of course. It makes me think of Plato's cave too. It highlights the illusion of photography by making it feel actually magical.

posted by howfar at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2011

Nice, thanks for posting.
posted by janerica at 7:54 PM on December 5, 2011

Note to anyone thinking of crafting one of these: tin or copper foil works just as well for creating the aperture. No need for a drilled piece of brass. The key is to make sure the hole is perfectly round, and slightly smaller in diameter than a standard sewing pin. (poke the business end of the pin in about 1/32nd of an inch and give it a little twirl)

Also, you can change things up by putting the pinhole on the "pointy" end of the egg, which will give you a slightly telephoto effect compared to putting it in the side.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:31 AM on December 6, 2011

In terms of doing this, I think he would have been better off using shelac or polyurethane on the eggs before cutting the opening. Hell, I'd also consider painting it with nail polish.

Ostrich eggs a much stronger than chicken eggs - no brainer there.

As far as pinhole size goes, there is a relationship between F/stop and the focal length and aperture size:
f/stop = focal length / aperture diameter
So you can see that to get a decent f/stop on an egg, you really need a tiny, tiny pinhole. You might also consider putting a barrel on the egg to extend the focal length some.

If you want to be totally badass, you would make your own album emulsion using the egg whites.
posted by plinth at 1:36 PM on December 6, 2011

Ostrich eggs a much stronger than chicken eggs - no brainer there.

They're also about infinity times rarer in grocery stores, so again, no brainer.

So you can see that to get a decent f/stop on an egg, you really need a tiny, tiny pinhole.

In this case, of course, a "decent" f-stop means "as small as possible," since we're without the benefit of a lens. Pinhole camera f-stops are optimized by making the diameter of the hole about 1/2 the square root of the focal length multiplied by the wavelength of yellow light (500nm). In other words, about 1/5th of a millimeter in this case.

I like the idea of albumen emulsion (seems appropriate enough), and was constantly surprised while reading the article that it never occurred to the creator. He kept on calling it "egg juice" or whatever. Hmph.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:16 AM on December 7, 2011

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