Some Assembly Required: David Mingay’s IKEA Hack Pinhole Camera

This series focuses on those who take the making of pictures a step or two further, creating their own photographic tools.

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David Mingay, Worcestershire, UK

IKEA “hacks” are all the rage these days, but back in 2006, one photographer turned the beloved Scandinavian company’s product into a beautiful pinhole camera. The Bjuron plant pot holder, a simple wooden box with a galvanized tray inside, made for the perfect pinhole camera body. Mingay cut down the height of the pot to get the desired focal length. Cutting a two-inch hole into the bottom and drilling a smaller hole into the tray, the pinhole itself is a section of aluminum cut from a coca cola can and taped to the tray. Mingay painted the inside of the camera a matte black and varnished the wood. The most expensive materials were the toggle catches from the local hardware store to allow him to load in 4x5 sheet film. The camera produces large, beautiful negatives that are anything but a hack job.

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View more of Mingay’s work on his website.

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