Slit-pinhole photography

Steve Gellman shows us how he uses a slit pinhole to make pinhole images, experimenting with pinholes in cameras.

Writer and photography / Steve Gellman

A slit pinhole in a pinhole camera, Slit-pinhole photographySlit-pinhole is a variation of Pinhole Photography where the pinhole has been converted to a slit. The initial pinhole was made in a small piece of aluminum from a soft drink can using a size #10 needle. The slit was enlarged using an X-acto knife blade to produce a somewhat irregular horizontal slit. The metal shim was attached to a digital camera body cap, without a lens, to capture the images.

The advantages of the slit-pinhole over traditional Pinhole Photography

Pinhole camera with a slit lens

  • The slit can be made parallel to a straight line (such as a horizon) in the image to preserve its linear integrity
  • Less color degradation with the slit-pinhole
  • Exposure times are shorter in view of the larger aperture
  • Unfocused image as expected with a pinhole image
  • Easy to make a slit-pinhole
  • Minimal cost as the slit can be made easily by enlarging the pinhole

Compare the lake horizon images below produced by a regular pinhole and the slit-pinhole. Results are easily reproducible resulting in striking improvements to the image.

Traditional Pinhole image.
Traditional pinhole image.
Slit-pinhole Image
Slit-pinhole image.

Steve Gellman lives in Dallas and is an MFA Photography student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Learn the basics of pinholing in the Pinhole book
From pinhole to print – Inspiration, instructions and insights in less than an hour by Malin Fabbri Gary Fabbri and Peter Wiklund

Buy directly from us

From pinhole to print – Inspiration, instructions and insights in less than an hour

by Gary Fabbri, Malin Fabbri and Peter Wiklund

9 of 10   Rated 9,46 – based on 182 votes

Learn how to build and use a pinhole camera.
Step by step to a quick and easy way to learn pinholing.


Leave a Comment