Pinhole Camera with Scott Hilton

Photography unplugged! In a full day of low-tech photo fun you’ll walk into a room-sized camera, build your own pinhole camera and find out how photos were made before digital.
Upcoming Workshops

No workshops currently scheduled

Make a camera… out of a shoebox and a soda can?

While it’s always fun to explore the latest trends in camera equipment and software, being a good photographer is also a question of getting the basics right- and nothing helps you understand the basics more than Pinhole Photography. This one-day workshop will explore the absolute fundamentals of optics, exposure, and image capture, using technology that is thousands- you read that right, THOUSANDS- of years old.

This class will start with experiencing a true walk-in Camera Obscura and progress to making a pinhole camera. The pinhole camera is a real camera and functions with the same basic principles as all film and digital cameras. Along with learning how to make and use pinhole cameras, you will get a chance to produce a variety of in-camera paper negatives and direct positive prints using traditional darkroom methods and chemicals. Later in the day, you will have the opportunity to experiment with exposure times or double exposures. You can even go offsite to take photos and return to develop in the darkroom.

You’ll come away understanding the scientific principles of light and imaging that are shared by the pinhole cameras, the human eye and modern digital cameras. You’ll even get to keep the camera you made!

Regardless of your level of photographic expertise, everyone has something to learn from getting back to basics.  And everyone can appreciate the magic of pure photography.


  • How to build pinhole cameras
  • How to load and shoot with pinhole cameras
  • A brief history of the science of photography as well as the history of photography as an art form
  • Darkroom processing
  • Creative exploration of both negative and positive prints
  • Final critique and sharing of discoveries made during the creative process


  • Workshop price includes lunch, materials and chemistry lab fee, so all you need to bring is something to take notes with.

  • Cost per person is $240 early registration, $260 late registration.
  • Workshop price includes lunch, materials and chemistry lab fee.
  • Doors open at 8:45am.
  • Workshop starts promptly at 9am and ends at 5pm.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 12; minimum number to make a class is 8.
  • Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent lot at Electric Light & Power.
  • Please see age guidelines in the FAQ tab.

Q: Is lunch included in the workshop?
A: Yes, we will be bringing in lunch.

Q: How will I know if a workshop makes or not?
A: If a class doesn’t make and has to be cancelled, you will receive an email no later than 2 days before the scheduled class date.

Q: What ages are encouraged to attend?
A: The classes are not based on age but on ability and curiosity. If you want to learn and a class outline looks interesting to you then chances are you’d benefit from the class. Children under 16 must take the class with a parent or adult friend.

Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive no refund or 50% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Q: I have other questions. Who do I contact?
A: That’s easy. Use the Contact page to email us directly with any questions.

Scott Hilton

Scott Hilton is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Texas at Arlington.  He has been working in photography for over 30 years, concentrating for much of that time on various alternative photo processes.

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