The LEGO lockdown camera was conceived as a way of representing the strangeness of the Covid-19 lockdown. As I write we’ve spent 40 days inside, with occasional forays to the shops or for dog walks. I had intended to get this finished for World Pinhole Day, which was last weekend, but didn’t quite get it together on time.

I’m writing this in April 2020, while the world is locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s World Pinhole Day today, 26th April, and I wanted to do something to represent the strangeness of the last few weeks, which have been spent at home with only occasional forays outside.

One of the characteristics of early photographic processes is that they are slow. This limits their use for indoor portraiture unless a strong artificial light source is available, or a camera with a very fast lens. Regarding the latter, I came across an interesting camera design that gives a fast working aperture of f/1.7 by using a concave focusing mirror rather than a conventional lens. This camera, invented by Alexander Wolcott and John Johnson, was awarded the first U.S. photographic patent…