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GALLERY : Pinhole Peeker

April 18, 1993|BETTIJANE LEVINE

Shutterbugs, forget for a moment your dependence on auto-focus, point-and-shoot, precision-image cameras.

Consider instead building your own picture-taking device (called a pinhole camera) from just about anything.

Can't be done, you say? That's what Peggy Ann Jones of San Clemente thought when she came across the primitive idea while studying art at the University of California, Irvine. But she decided to try it anyway, using her ancient Volkswagen Dasher as her first camera. Jones darkened the back, hung light-sensitive paper inside, made a pinhole and aimed.

She liked the results so much that she soon progressed to making similar cameras from bathroom plungers, candy boxes, cardboard cartons, and other objects. Says Jones: "There's excitement and mystery to this kind of work. Though I've learned to predict the kind of image I'll get, there are always surprises waiting."

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