Students got a chance to use their creativity and experience a novel form of picture-making on a pinhole photography project recently. The Pinhole Workshop-Experimental Teaching Scheme, organised by art group 1a Space and sponsored by the Hong Kong Art Development Council, started demonstrating pinhole photography techniques to art teachers in August. The teachers in turn teach the skills to students back at their own school. On the pinhole photography workshops, students take pictures using a hand-made box with a tiny hole on one side covered with a movable magnet and painted black on the inside. Students place a piece of photographic paper on the inside of the box opposite the hole. The box is then placed in front of the object to be photographed. The magnet covering the hole is removed, allowing light to hit the paper on the inside. After exposure, the paper is treated in developer, stop bath and fixer solutions to bring out the image. Three schools are currently involved in the scheme: St Peter's Secondary School, Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo) and SKH Chi Fu Chi Nam Primary School. One of the curators of the scheme and art teacher at St Peter's Secondary School, Lam Hiu-tung, said students at first did not believe it was possible to take pictures with a hand-made box. Scores of students from all forms have joined workshops at his school, which started last month. 'They are keen on taking photographs with their pinhole cameras and are able to generate many pictures with graphics on them,' Mr Lam said. First former Betty Fong Pik- mei, 12, had never taken photographs before, but she enjoyed taking pictures with her pinhole camera made from an old mooncake box. She enjoys watching trees, flowers, people and all kinds of things around the school she has captured appearing gradually as she develops the photographic paper. She has to keep still and be patient while taking pictures. She said she had to stay late to take part in the workshops after school, yet she enjoyed the extra- curricular activity. Pik-mei said she hoped her parents would understand her interest in art and support her, but they saw extra-curricular activities as a waste of time. 'They want me to go home immediately after school, but I want to stay with my classmates and learn something not found in textbooks. 'I like Mr Lam too. He has a sense of humour and he teaches us with passion, not in a stiff, formal way,' she said.