Every now and then, I cobble together some or other thing I really should have done when I was twelve and gotten it out of my system. I never did then, so now I am doomed to remain twelve all my life. I'm not sure that is necessarily a bad thing.
Anyway, here's one of those impromptu experiments:
A simple shoe box, with a pinhole in one side and a viewscreen made of piece of white paper glued inside, on the side opposite the pinhole. An image of whatever the pinhole is facing will be cast onto the viewscreen. In order to see it, I cut a peephole into the box, as shown. You close the lid to make the inside dark, look through the peephole, and there you have it: an upside down image of the world behind you.
To photograph it, I simply poked the front of my point-and-shoot camera into the peephole. The photo came out even dimmer than my subjective experience of the image:
Here's the same picture, turned right side up:
And here is the same photo, brightened up a bit with the help of Gimp:
Rather out of focus! My pinhole was a bit too large, I think. With a smaller pinhole, the image will be in sharper focus, but also more dimly lit, which would likely make photographing it impossible without a time exposure.
Short of keeping silkworms in it, I can't think of a cooler use of an old shoe box.