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The Challenge: Make a camera and film

Nowadays, you can get your pictures developed at the corner store overnight, or at some places, in under an hour! But what's the process by which images are obtained, stored and developed? Follow these instructions to make your own castaway camera, and you'll learn how a simple point-and-shoot camera works!

Most cameras have four main components:

  • a box to protect the film from light other than that entering through the lens;

  • a lens, to gather the light rays from the object and project them onto the film, so creating a focused image. To do this there must be some way of moving the film (or the lens) backwards and forwards;

  • light-sensitive film, on which the image is recorded; and

  • a device for controlling the amount of light passing through the lens, consisting of an adjustable aperture (iris) and shutter.