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Camera review: Me and my TRASHcam (DIY Pinhole Project) – Erik Gould

Camera review: Me and my TRASHcam (DIY Pinhole Project) – Erik Gould

I’d like to introduce you to Grouchy the TRASHcam.

Grouchy began life as a standard steel trash can from Home Depot but it wasn’t long before it became obvious to me that Grouchy had character and was too good for normal trash duties. So, after a bit of planning, I set about giving him a start in life normally reserved for those Ivy League wine boxes.

Grouchy was to become a Trashcan Camera, or TrashCam.

Trashcam - by Erik Gould

Trashcam – by Erik Gould

I began by customizing him with a coat or two of new interior paint (black, naturally). Next came three handmade artisanal pinhole apertures, approximately f/500 each. They’re made from cinefoil and mounted (taped) to the inside of the camera body behind bigger holes.

Trashcam - by Erik Gould

Trashcam – by Erik Gould

Placement for the lenses was 12 inches from Grouchy’s bottom plate, with 8 inches of spacing between. For the shutters, I constructed an incredibly complex system of three pieces of electrical tape. For convenience, each shutter is operable manually and independently of the other two.

Finally, I added a Weatherstrip light seal to Grouchy’s rim, just below his lid.

Trashcam - by Erik Gould

Trashcam – by Erik Gould

You’ll notice his favorite subject is other dumpsters and bins.

 

Full-er frame

Grouchy’s maximum image area is 22×32 inches…typically less. Normal deployment in the field is two sheets of 16×20 photographic paper placed side by side in a portrait orientation. The paper is positioned and held in place by several micro magnets.

His focal length is 20 inches and a typical daylight exposure for photographic paper (with a nominal EI of 6) is between 10-15 minutes – plenty of time to go make a sandwich or complete a couple of levels of my favorite mobile game, Candy Crush Saga.

Trashcam - Worldwide Pinhole Day - Erik Gould

Trashcam – Worldwide Pinhole Day – Erik Gould

Trashcam - Worldwide Pinhole Day - Erik Gould

Trashcam – Worldwide Pinhole Day – Erik Gould

His original design was created by my friend and pinhole master David Ellis. My modification is the three pinhole feature.

There’s not much more to say about Grouchy. The images speak for themselves. He’s proof again that film photography has very little in the way of boundaries and exemplifies the true appeal of analog; fun, interesting, weird, stupid, cheap. Digital got nothin.

With the information supplied here, hopefully you’ll soon be welcoming a Grouchy of your very own into your family.

Happy modding and enjoy the samples and full specification below:

Trashcam - Worldwide Pinhole Day - Erik Gould

Trashcam – Worldwide Pinhole Day – Erik Gould

Trashcam - Worldwide Pinhole Day - Erik Gould

Trashcam – Worldwide Pinhole Day – Erik Gould

Trashcam - Worldwide Pinhole Day - Erik Gould

Trashcam – Worldwide Pinhole Day – Erik Gould

 

 

TRASHcam specifications

Camera nameTrashCam
Camera typePinhole
FormatVariable. Full frame up to 22 x 32 inches
ManufacturerUnknown. User modified.
Manufacture datesWhenever you have the time.
Viewfinder coverageNone. Had an arrow on the top which has now worn out.
ShutterElectrical tape
Stepless speeds from 1 sec - forever
Lenses3 apertures, each approximately f500
Fixed 20 inch focal length
AccessoriesOptional stickers and paint.
Optional bungie cord security system.
MeteringManual
FlashIf you must
PowerRequires good upper body strength
WeightVariable
Dimensions
(appx)
Body and lid:
26 inches tall
20 inch diameter

 

 

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About The Author

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for this, @ClickErik!

    Reply
  2. I have a Speyburn tin saved destined to be a WhiskyCam

    Reply
  3. Absolutely brilliant! I have to make a TRASHcam now. Or some other really large pinhole. Love the manual shutters. Cheers.

    Reply
  4. Very nice. I can’t wait to make my own TRASHcam. Cheers.

    Reply
  5. Very fun article, made me smile!

    Reply
  6. @ClickErik Haha, nice project Erik! I like the images ‘it’ took. So how does loading work? You take the can into the darkroom?

    Reply

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