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.
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.
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.
You’ll notice his favorite subject is other dumpsters and bins.
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.
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:
|Format||Variable. Full frame up to 22 x 32 inches|
|Manufacturer||Unknown. User modified.|
|Manufacture dates||Whenever you have the time.|
|Viewfinder coverage||None. Had an arrow on the top which has now worn out.|
Stepless speeds from 1 sec - forever
|Lenses||3 apertures, each approximately f500|
Fixed 20 inch focal length
|Accessories||Optional stickers and paint.|
Optional bungie cord security system.
|Flash||If you must|
|Power||Requires good upper body strength|
|Body and lid: |
26 inches tall
20 inch diameter
Contribute to EMULSIVE
EMULSIVE NEEDS YOU. The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically engendering more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas.
Help drive an open, collaborative community – all you need do is drop us a line and we’ll work something out.