Sirius (α CMa)

Sirius is a tiny camera exposing black and white photographic paper inside a 35mm film canister.


There are a multitude of reasons why people are attracted to pinhole photography. The simplicity of capturing pinhole photographs, which typically involves nothing more than positioning the camera to achieve the desired composition and deciding how long the shutter should be open for. While it is possible to purchase a variety of commercially made pinhole cameras, for many there is a satisfaction in being able to make their own camera for little to no cost. The goal of this camera design is to take these factors to the extreme by building a tiny camera for capturing solargraphs. Those involved in analogue photography will often have a pile of 35mm film canisters which are ideal for turning into pinhole cameras at essentially zero cost. The construction process is simple enough that it can be done in a matter of minutes with just scissors and a knife by anyone no matter what their level of hobbycraft skills. As an added benefit the construction enables upcycling of something that would otherwise normally end up in landfill. In use the 35mm film canister camera even manages to eliminate the one of the two decisions – that of exposure length. Solargraphs can be exposed for anywhere from a couple of days to many months, or even a year or more and still achieve acceptable results, enabling the camera to be set up and forgotten about for an arbitrary amount of time. Finally, unusually for most analogue photographic techniques, the image is visible immediately after removal of the paper from the camera, without any need to pass through toxic chemical baths, so it is also environmentally friendly and suitable for use by children.