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Want to Know How to Turn a Beer Can Into a Camera? This Guy Did It…


"I traveled across the world with my pinhole in my mouth and tried to take some great pictures."

Justin Quinnell takes photographs using weird containers: a beer can, a toilet roll, his mouth. He is a pinhole photographer. Using really any device that consists of a light-proof box with a small hole and light-sensitive photographic paper, Quinnell takes photographs of everyday items with a unique perspective.

Beer Can, Time-lapsed Images

Quinnell took these images using a beer can (if you're interested in making your own, watch the tutorial video at the end of this post) over a six-month period.

According to New Scientist, which recently featured one of Quinnell's images, the curved streaks along the photograph are the path the sun took during the time frame he filmed:

After three months, Quinnell removed the photographic paper the can contained, which now held a negative latent image of the apparent movements of the sun, which are caused by the Earth spinning on its axis. "The image forms with time, like a suntan," he explains.

The paper was then scanned into a computer and the image inverted using software to create the positive version shown here. This type of photography is known as solargraphy.

The highest path represents the sun's "peak", when it appears highest in the sky, which takes place on 21 June in the northern hemisphere. After this day the trails grow shorter and climb lower in the sky, revealing the approach of winter.

Open Wide

Quinnell took these photographs by inserting a 110 cartridge pinhole camera into his mouth and opening up.

The Daily Mail reported last month that Quinnell, from Portishead, near Bristol, in the United Kingdom, was even inspired to stop smoking by his experiment that took photographs from a perspective inside his mouth:

'The pictures showed me the inside of my mouth and in turn helped me to come to the right decision about smoking,' said Justin.

'I traveled across the world with my pinhole in my mouth and tried to take some great pictures.

'It was very difficult to take the pictures of the Lincoln Memorial.  'You try and stand in front of one of the most guarded sites in America with your mouth open for one minute, looking slightly deranged.'

If you're interested in making your own pinhole camera, watch Quinnell himself explain how:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/Hp-JMGQUAMA?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]

Check out more of Quinell's photographs here.

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