It's always nice to have a little side project on the go, something creative that you don't have to do for work or study, but something that you want to do. In many ways, I find that this sort of work can often be the most beneficial in aiding creative growth. Today I'm sharing my side project of the moment! And it's this - the seriously adorable Dirkon paper camera.
I actaully discovered this little beauty when researching for an Illustrator project for university. The Dirkon cut out paper camera was originally printed in the magazine 'ABC mladých techniků a přírodovědců' (An ABC of Young Technicians and Natural Scientists) in 1979 in Communist Czechoslovakia. The creators of Dirkon, Martin Pilný, Mirek Kolář and Richard Vyškovský, came up with a functional pinhole camera made of paper, designed for 35mm film. The name Dirkon is a combination of the words Dirk (the beginning of the Czech word dírka, meaning pinhole), and -kon (you guessed it - the end of that well-known Japanese camera brand). Today, the PDF template is available online to print off for free! One weekend, I decided to make it my mission to assemble this little paper camera.
To make the camera, first you'll need to print out the template on paper that's a bit thicker than your standard copy paper. The reason for this is obviously durability, but also that it needs to be opaque so that no light can shine through (once I had finished assembling my Dirkon, I also painted the inside black to aid with this). You can download the PDF template here, this version also includes a translation of the original Czech instructions. You'll also need some scissors or a craft knife, glue, one paperclip and a press stud. To use the camera you'll need a 35mm film and an empty film roll to act as reel on the other side.
I'll warn you now, this takes patience! I had to combine various different instructions from other websites when assembling the camera, since the original ones are quite vague at points. My boyfriend is really great at anything like this, so I admittedly had to ask for his help with some of the more complicated parts. It was a really fun little project to do though, and it was nice to switch off from 'regular work' and spend some time figuring out this puzzle.
Once I get around to buying some film, I will be testing this baby out and will definitely write a follow-up post! For now though, you can check out some gorgeous examples of photographs taken using the Dirkon on this Flickr group. I think the final result is just beautiful and I'm so pleased that I stuck with it!
Have you ever tried to make the Dirkon or had success using a pinhole camera?
I'd love to hear your experiences!