Using a Pinhole to Simulate
the Rising Front on a camera
We have an article on
a pinhole for your DSLR
please read these first or this article may not make sense to you.
Simulating the rising front on a camera
Most plate and many folding cameras had rising
fronts, something that we have lost with our later cameras. The effect of
raising the front is to take a higher section of the images without needing
to lean the camera, so images of buildings remain upright instead of leaning
back. There are special perspective control lenses that can do this, that we
can fit to a DSLR, but these are expensive, a picture of one is shown at the
end of this article.
If we move our pinhole up from the centre (see
a pinhole for your DSLR
towards the top, we can produce the same effect.
We have another article on perspective and perspective control,
Making Buildings Stand Up
the problem of buildings sloping
backwards, this also shows a
perspective control lens that does the same task as we are undertaking
To demonstrate this I have carried out another
experiment, using similar items to the one in
a pinhole for your DSLR.
In this case I made two holes on the card, one
in the centre and one above, put on the foil and made two holes in this, I
then cut a piece of card to form two doors, cellotaped this in place and
rolled two pieces of cellotape to produce double sided tape, so I could
hold either of the doors open or closed.
Image shows top pinhole in use, central one
has door closed
This allows me to put the pinhole on the
camera with the central hole only open and take a photo, then without moving
the camera close one door and open the other, allowing me to take another
photo with the top door only open.
In practice no two pin holes are the same size so I need to also change the
time to get this to work.
The other way that I could have done this, with a single pinhole would have
been to have had a slot that allowed me to move the pinhole up and down, with
a slot in the card for the pinhole to line up with. If you did this with an
exchangeable slide, with one piece having a larger pinhole in, then you would
be able to use liveview to see the effect, and then replace it with the
smaller hole to take the photo.
Taken through a
ground floor window, so having flair from the glass, they are not the best
pinhole pictures I could have got, but illustrate the point quite well.
The two images below were taken without moving
the camera, the one on the left with the central pinhole, while the one on
the right uses the top pinhole. The camera was pointing level, straight ahead
all the time.
Remember I have not moved or moved the
camera, the image on the right has no converging verticals, as you would
have got with an ordinary lens when pointing upwards, and is probably the
same image as I would have got with the central pinhole or an ordinary
lens if I was to go two floors up, in my case into the loft and took off a
tile or two.
This was taken with 3
tube elements, repeated with one small one, the view was wider so you had an
overlap of the image but I had the same effect.
using a pinhole to Get a zoom/wide angle effect
shows two images, to demonstrate the effect of removing or adding tubes, and
by changing the distance between the pinhole and sensor, the image can be
changed from wide angle to telephoto, but as the hole was not exactly
central in the card, and it was put back in a different position after a
tube element was removed, we have another rising front like effect,
like we have above, but as the movement between hole position was less it is
not as great a change in height.
Now imagine we could arrange for our lens to
slide up and down, perhaps one day I will find a camera attachment that
allows for this, but it would require some lenses to allow the increase in
distance. I have been told one was made in the USA, but I haven't found it