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Pinhole Project, Inc

The Pinhole Project has been creating pinhole photography at Burning Man every year since 1999. It has been a labor of love and an amazing way to experience this incredible community. Our primary mission is to document the art at Burning Man with an act of art-making. We also thank the creators of these amazing installations by gifting our photography to them - and to the community.


The Pinhole Project combines raw energy and the traditional technique of pinhole photography to gift the community an artistic record of achievements at Burning Man each year.

We provide the observer with a uniquely alternative way to peer into the radical self-expression, innovation and art that is the driving force of our ephemeral Black Rock City and its citizens. We also teach others to explore their creativity through this centuries-old technique.

We work with 12 pinhole cameras made from 50-gallon cardboard drums. These include a single pinhole “lens” and a 30 x 40 inch sheet of light-sensitive gelatin silver paper.

Each day, we insert this photosensitive paper into the cameras under the red safelights of the darkroom. We then take the cameras out to the playa, where we use the unique combination of light, location and collective imagination to document our city.

To capture these images, concentrated beams of sunlight are funnelled through the pinhole and into the camera, creating a negative image of the recorded subject. Exposures can range from 40 to 300 seconds.

We then return to our desert darkroom where we develop photographs and exhibit them at Illumination Village and at Centre Camp. We also gift photographs to the artists who created the art installations we capture.