The pinhole camera, from the Greek stenos (straight) and opê (hole), is the simplest camera you can use to take photographs. Light enters through a pinhole on one side of a box camera and falls on photographic paper on the other. Developing the paper produces an inverted negative image. Pinhole photography is called lensless photography.
Pinhole photography was especially popular in the 1890s. It produced softer images that appealed to the public. Inexpensive pinhole cameras were sold by the thousands in Europe, Japan, and the United States. In the first decades of the 20th century, pinhole photography faded into obscurity. It has enjoyed a revival in art photography since the 1960s.
The pinhole camera has four basic parts: the camera body, the aperture, the light sensitive material inside the camera, and the shutter. Each part can be varied to suit the photographer's needs. Pinhole photographs have been taken in a hole in the ground, an eggshell, a toilet, a washing machine, and even the human mouth.
Anyone can make a pinhole camera.