Ostrich News: Pinhole Camera Eggs-treme!

Guess what time it is. Time for some Ostrich News!

This week, we received a most egg-cellent email here at Big Fat Ostrich. The email came from photographer Simon Pizzey from Stroud, Gloucestershire. Simon, 45, is a press photographer for Gloucestershire Media and has been shooting  for 25 years.  You might say that Simon is the kind of photographer who thinks outside the darkroom.

Now, if you know anything about pinhole cameras, you’ll know that they’re very simple cameras employing the bare basics of photography to put together.  Simon has built them out of various containers including a Pringles tube, but the Ostrich Egg camera was a new one for him, and quite possibly a world’s first.  So what do you shoot with an Ostrich Egg?

You shoot ostriches!

But why go through the trouble of making a pinhole camera when you can buy a simple digital one for like, 50 bucks?

Simon explains, “My digital computerized camera produces fairly predictable results, but simple pinhole cameras constantly surprise you with the images they produce. I use pinhole, or lens less cameras to teach the basics of photography and the science of light to school children, students learn a lot more about light and the nature of photography this way rather than using digital cameras straight away.”

But as simple as a pinhole camera may be to make, getting your ostrich Mona Lisa is no easy feat: “The exposure need for the image was about 5 to 10 seconds, ostriches tend to stand still for about two, they constantly move their necks making it very difficult to capture a true likeness.”

With perseverance however, he gets the shot (click for full size):

Ostrich pinhole 2

And to achieve these results was no walk in the park. Ok, it was sort of a walk on a farm, but you know what we mean. Ostriches may not be too bright, but they can be intimidating:

“I’ve swam with sharks which was a far calmer experience, ostriches are basically dinosaurs they move like the velociraptors off Jurassic Park, they can give a very nasty peck and cause serious injury with a sudden kick, you need to keep looking over your shoulder, they creep up on you in pairs.”


Yikes! Well we’re glad you made it out unscathed.

Ostrich pinhole 6

Ostrich pinhole 5


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