pinhole-cameras-a-diy-guidePinhole Cameras: A Do-It-Yourself Guide
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Author: Chris Keeney

5-1/2 x 8-1/2 in; 144 pp ; 35 color and 175 b/w images
Hardcover Book
ISBN 9781568989891
ISBN10 156898989X
Available June 8, 2011

Writing this book on do-it-yourself (DIY) pinhole photography for Princeton Architectural Press was a lot of fun. Being that this is my first book, you could probably guess I’m pretty excited about it. From looking at my old and new website, you can see I’ve had a passion for lensless photography for a while now. Now to see a published book with all the fruits of my labor in photographic exploration in print, is very fulfilling for me. It makes me happy to think that someday, someone will make a pinhole camera inspired from this book only to go on their own creative journey. I’ve always thought that pinhole photography is a lot like open source programming. You create something, then pass that knowledge onto the next person so they can try their best at it. What a beautiful concept.

In this book you can learn about making simple pinhole cameras with everyday household items. From finding the right container to developing the negatives in your home or office. It’s a great feeling knowing that this book will become an educational tool for people who are interested in getting into the art of pinhole photography. Empowering themselves by making a photography that they can touch that was created by a camera they made with their hands.

I’m not sure what it is about lensless photography, but once you try it you will be amazed with the interesting ways you can view the world through the eye of the pinhole. Infinite depth of field (DoF) and super-wide angle perspectives. Photos, you step back from and think “wow” that’s _____.

You can purchase this book from Princeton Architectural PressChronicle Books, Borders and yes of course Amazon.

My sister-in-law, who is in the publishing business was in New York City today attending the BookExpo America (BEA) conference and kindly snapped this iPhone of the book on display at the Princeton Architectual Press booth and emailed it to me. Thanks Jen, nice pic! I was pleased to see that the publisher had some of my oatmeal cameras on display too. After all the hard work creating the book, it’s nice to see that the book is now out for the public to see and read. In the future I plan on using this page as a place where people who have purchased the book can ask questions directly to the author using the comment feature below.

Book Reviews to date:

ForeWord Reviews

“Pinhole cameras typically evoke an idyllic childhood pastime: matchboxes, a needle, sunny days, and curiosity. The tools of this memory have not changed, though the remembering mind has likely matured. In contrast to the hectic demands of daily life, those moments have become treasures and will always elicit a smile. Photographer Chris Keeney’s new release, Pinhole Cameras: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, offers both photography buffs and nostalgic dreamers a chance to recreate that youthful joy.”
Read the entire review written by Joseph Thompson on the ForeWord Reviews website


A honest and helpful review written by a fellow pinhole photographer, teacher and author, Paula, posted on Amazon’s website.

“Chris Keeney’s pinhole book is the best of a recent crop of books about pinhole photography to come out in the last year or so. His information is solid though he leaves out a formula for the size of the pinhole, I like Abney’s Rule: Diameter of the pinhole = square root of the focal length divided by 120, and doesn’t mention pivot drills for getting the pinholes the exact size. Probably this would only matter to a purist like me so in the overall scheme of things, this may not matter much. He offers specific detailed information about how to convert a number of found objects into pinhole cameras and provides darkroom basics in clear, concise language. 

The chapter on Practical and Creative Tips at the end of the book is very helpful and could only have come from someone who loves and uses pinhole cameras. The approach he takes is the approach of an artist not a curious tinkerer. That is doubly clear from the examples of pinhole photography, most done by the author. They are all gorgeous and worth the price of the book by themselves. The design of the book is unusual. It is printed on card stock and spiral bound, perfect as a classroom reference—there won’t be any wearing this one out! “

CK – Paula makes a great point about the advantage of using mascot carbon steel flat pivot drill bits to create precision sized pinholes to match the focal length of the camera you want to make. Thanks for your nice review and for calling attention to this useful pinhole resource. I’m going to order a set for myself and test them out and share my results in the future on this webpage

iPhone 3GS snapshot of the mascot pivot micro drill bits - set of 12 (.004-.026" inches) used for making precision pinholes into aluminum, copper, or thin brass shim metal sheets photo of bits right out of the box by photographer Chris Keeney


News Update for August 2013

I’m happy to announce that Pinhole Cameras: A DIY Guide book was featured in Cut Magazine which is published in Germany00_Cover_CUT9_Umschlag_13-05-07_Auswahl_ma2•RZ.indd cut-magazine-pinhole-feature