Student photo exhibit in Bolinas

03/20/2014

Pinhole cameras are bare-bones devices, eschewing lenses in favor of simple tiny apertures that light passes through to capture images on film inside the camera. They can be fashioned from pretty much any lightproof container: a shoebox, a soup can or even an empty container of spam. For about a decade, science teacher Don Jolley has taught eighth graders at Bolinas-Stinson School how to make them from tins and needles, a hands-on way to teach about concepts like light. For many years, those students have then traveled to Joshua Tree National Monument with larger pinhole cameras made from old suitcases, snapping pictures during daylight and processing them in a darkroom inside a U-Haul truck. They camp out for a few days and also learn about other subjects inspired by their surroundings, such as botany, geology and history. “They love being outdoors. The learning happens through the images and being in such a vast complex ecosystem,” said Cenize Rodriguez, a ballroom teacher at the school who helped start the class with Mr. Jolley, her husband.