‘LCC through the pinhole’

Students learn pinhole camera photography from visiting friends from Indonesia

An exhibition of photographs taken using pinhole cameras by the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts students of La Consolacion College Bacolod is currently on display. The exhibits are a product of the Pinhole Camera Photography Workshop facilitated by visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Soleh (SDAAS) in Bekasi, Indonesia.

The visiting students from Sekolah Dasar Alam Anak Sholeh (SDAAS) gave a workshop on pinhole camera photography.  They began with giving the participants coming from the Arts & Design and Digital Media Arts programs theories on how photography works and how to create a pinhole camera using recycled materials.

David Meier introduces the visiting students from Indonesia, facilitators and resource persons of the Pinhole Camera Workshop.
Pinhole camera photography is increasingly gaining popularity. Although the conventional technology has long been existent, it is not something people are very familiar with particularly among the younger generations. In countries like Indonesia, pinhole camera photography has been reintroduced in teaching science, art or simply a hobby.   The camera easily captures interest and curiosity because of its ability to take artistic photos using conventional methods and ordinary materials.

SDAAS is a special school for kindergarten and elementary children coming from poor economic backgrounds. The school was founded by Agustian and offered programs that go beyond the minimum requirement of the Government of Indonesia. For more than a decade, the school survives from volunteerism and support from other organbizations. Agustian’s son, Sultan Aun karbela now operates the school.
The workshop, which was held on August 3, 2016, gave the participants valuable knowledge about historical, aesthetic and technical aspects of this trend said Lj Libunao, a Grade 11 Arts & Design student.  About 170 participants took part in the workshop.

The visiting students guided the participants in constructing their own pinhole cameras.  The students recycled used cigarette and soda cans to form the body of the camera.  A portion was cut from the body to give way for the “lens” and the aperture.  Pinhole photography is non-lens photography. Lens is replaced by a small hole which light gets through and a picture arises in a camera. Students sprayed the interior of the can with a matte black paint to make sure that nothing reflects the light from the inside.  They then placed the negative paper and started shooting, one photo for each paper, which only took about 30 seconds to one minute. The visiting students also taught the participants the conventional photo processing in a portable darkroom and at LCC’s photo processing demonstration room.


Fine Arts students make the pinhole camera from scratch. In this picture, the youngest of the visiting Indonesians, guides them through the process. Agil does not speak English so guidance was done through non-verbal communication. Amazingly, it took only 10 minutes for the students to prepare the “lens” of the Pinhole Camera.


The following day, photos were organized into an exhibit at the 2nd floor foyer fronting the Integrated School Academic Council Office.

David Meier, a German volunteer who moderated the workshop said that the visiting Indonesians did a good job transferring the technology to the Filipino participants considering the cultural barriers and communication issues.  He added that the practical experience the students gained have led them to discover new interests and showed them how photography works in its easiest form.

Tiara Ersha Octari addresses a question from the participants.
SDAAS is a special kindergarten and elementary school in Indonesia for the less privileged but deserving students.  The pinhole camera photography is among the co-curricular programs the school has taught the children.  It is supported by KMF Kalacitra and Artha Graha Peduli.

Ten Indonesians were part of the visiting team.  They are Nur Laila, Mutiara Kasih, Pangeran Agil Karbela, Ridwan, Ardi Nata, Nugraha, Tiara Ersha Octari, Sultan Aun Karbela, Tubagus Muhammad Rafi Rizki Dyadra and the Founder of SDAAS, Agustian.

participants shoot using their pinhole camera.
A picture of LCC campus through the pinhole.

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