London-based designer Kelly Angood has been a fan of pinhole cameras for several years now. While the technique is ancient (pinhole photography was demonstrated by Euclid way back in 300 BC, reports the Pinhole Gallery), it’s never gone out of style. Enthusiasts experiment with their own designs, adjusting the size of the pinhole to alter the level of sharpness of the resulting image. It’s the ultimate in low-tech, no lens involved.
When Angood decided to make her own pinhole camera, she wasn’t messing around. For her first homemade version she started right at the top with her “pinhole Hasselblad,” something akin to the Rolls-Royce of cameras but made by the people, for the people. Her goal: to make a working camera that was affordable and looked cool, too. Quite revolutionary indeed.
Of course people noticed the unusual, stylish camera and wanted to know where they could get one. Angood responded generously, developing the camera as a downloadable 35mm version that everyone could print out and make into a working model at home.
Thousands of photo buffs downloaded the model, and then everyone started posting photos that they’d taken with their pinhole camera. That early excitement really caught on, snowballing as people shared their snaps, and an online community was born.
These shutterbugs “were active, engaged and keen to explore pinhole photography even further,” Angood says on her website. “It was time for them to have a design they could truly call their own.”
That design was the Videre, which is still popular on Angood’s Pop-Up Pinhole Co. website. The kit is screen-printed and die-cut by hand on thick recycled card, and the pinhole is laser-cut for precision. Don’t worry if you’ve never assembled a camera—Angood supplies straightforward directions to make it an easy project. She wants buyers to have fun with the camera and then the photography, not wrestle with complicated designs and instructions.
The Videre comes in traditional camera black and is screen-printed and die-cut in the U.K. It may take you an hour to put this one together, but think of it as time to nurture the bond between you and your trusty camera. Have some medium-format film ready so that you can leap into action right away.
Angood’s next camera kit is perfect for children: the Viddy helps young students learn concepts in a range of subjects, from science to math, history, art and engineering. Going from a flat kit to a real-life camera that takes great photos conveys the thrill of taking a concept and running with it, bringing it to a natural, practical conclusion.
You don’t need blades or points to put together the Viddy, and we’re told just a dab of glue is all that’s required to finish it. The Pop-Up Pinhole team says it should just take about half an hour to get the camera assembled and start snapping.
The Viddy is cut from tough, durable recycled card, screen-printed and die-cut by hand in the U.K. It takes both medium format and 35mm film, and you can choose it in green, black, blue or red. Choices, choices!