Form and Function: A LEGO Camera
Photographers with an engineering streak are always looking for creative ways get an image from an unexpected source. Sometimes invention starts with a big (and heavy) box! Other times, innovation comes in a smaller format, the challenge for a reduced (or upcycled) footprint being part of the novelty and the fun. Turning empty mint tins into pinhole cameras, for example, is an irresistible DIY project for some — and one that can turn out surprisingly good, and characteristically dreamy, pinhole-style photos!
When it comes to point and click, the intersection between art, design, form, functionality, and quality provides a framework for thinking both outside the box and "about" the box, and starting with unexpected materials — or "kid" materials — can yield exciting results and new perspective. An unexpected LEGO camera built by professional photographer Cary Norton has garnered an overwhelming thumbs up recently for its novel construction. He constructed the housing for his Legotron 4x5, a working, large-format, manually-focusable camera out of the classic, colorful building bricks.
If you've ever made a basic square house or "parking garage" from LEGO bricks, you've got the basic shape, but Norton's camera housing slides in and out to focus and integrates a 127mm Æ’4.7 lens. The Legotron took many months to create, from initial idea to the working model. Norton has posted technical specs on the process and implementation on his blog, and the sample photos are impressive!
Reading Norton's blog notes suggests many possible ways you might branch out and further his exploration of LEGO camera modeling to create your own fully-functioning camera. As you consider what's possible, the following science projects can help you learn more about camera construction:
- Point, Click, Shoot! Photography with a Pinhole Camera
- Digital Pinhole Camera
- Pinholes, Light and Aperture Size
You Might Also Enjoy These Related Posts:
- 10 Reasons to Do the Fluor Challenge in Addition to $10,000 in Prizes!
- Women's History Month: 50+ Women in Science and Engineering to Learn More About
- Learn More About these 28 Scientists for Black History Month
- STEM is for Everyone: Jane Goodall, Zoologist
- Coding Activities for Beginners and Beyond
- STEM is for Everyone: Annie Jump Cannon, Classifier of Stars
- 2020 Nobel Science Experiments for K-12 Students
- Halloween STEM Activities
Explore Our Science Videos
Make Fake Snow - Craft Your Science Project
4 Easy Robot Science Projects for Kids
How to Make a Bristlebot