Photo 1 Camera Obscura – Due 9/10


These are some basics of the camera obscura on wiki…..
Camera Obscura

Turn your room into a camera obscura!

A camera obscura is a step away from a pinhole camera….just add film. Here’s another diagram and some more directions on the pinhole camera…..extra credit for trying this one as a camera obscura…..


This article has some exceptional state-of-the-experimental-art of pinhole photos.


And here is the largest!


Click on the URL 2005 and then in the box at left type in image #439….it’s by someone you know……


In your comments, explain what you find interesting about the camera obscura. What is the most exciting example to you of the pinhole photos and why?


16 responses »

  1. just the whole notion of making a pinhole camera out of a room is super cool. i mean it was so cool that when i made an attempt to explain it to mr perkins he found it super cool too.
    i looked at some pictures done with a pinhole camera from other countries and there was this one that was kinda sweet
    i looked around more and there were others that had the fisheye effect. i would love to learn more about how to work with and make a pinhole camera.

  2. I think the camera obscuras are interesting because generally cameras are incredibly complicated and aren’t something you can easily make yourself with things found around the house, where as this is. I like the picture of the Eiffel tower most because of how it’s disorted, but once you realize what is it, it looks really cool.

  3. I think it’s amazing how simple the camera obscura is. Most photography involving film seems pretty complicated, but the camera obscura is something that just about anyone can do. I also think it’s interesting the way that the light bounces around and makes the image appear upside down and reversed. In this way, the camera obscura gives an easily understandable approach to how light reacts with the lens in a camera. My favorite pinhole photo was the one of the eiffel tower, because it was the most distorted. It seemed like the artist thought more about their pinhole than the other artists and tried to make it more artistic and visually pleasing.

    • True – that simplicity makes it a great introduction to the phenomenon of light. The earliest photographers had to choose and focus their image upside down and backwards too but in a way, that gave them a fresh eye on the composition.

  4. I think that the simplicity of a camera obscuras and pinhole cameras are really what makes them fantastic to me. i am really interested in turning my room into a huge projection and I am sure i will soon. but in the meantime building the camera obsura in class is exciting because its pretty cool being able to say that I built a functioning camera. Even though it is very simple.

    • I agree – even though it is simple, the phenomenon of our physical world is magical. I look forward to hearing about the conversion of your room. Make sure the view out the window is not just sky.

  5. i personally am attracted to the sort of shadowy, mysterious imagery generated by the pinhole cameras. because most of the light fails to make it through the tiny hole, only the rough impressions of the scene are conveyed, leaving much of the image to the imagination and creating a magical half-lit effect. i love in this image: how the light bending through the hole distorts the scene and creates a surreal effect. i also found this one and thought that i should share it, it’s kinda comical:

    • forgot to add one last thing. when i was young, maybe 4th or 5th grade, i hated wearing my glasses. so instead of putting them on like a rational human being, i would press the index and thumb of each hand together to make a tiny little square of light, and then look through that. i didn’t understand what was going on, but the light would be bent through the hole in my fingertips and focused on my retinas, effectively creating a camera obscura with my fingers was how i passed math class, otherwise i doubt i would have ever learned how to do long division.

      • That was a very practical application you discovered to focus the image (and I know some others who do this when they forget their glasses….) Thanks for bringing this to the conversation!

    • I absolutely love that first image too with the distortion of the architectural elements into arabesque like elements. I think the photographer had an excellent instinct with the set up, besides being blessed by some very cool distortion.

  6. I think it’s really an amazing idea to make the room into an camera obscura and let the landscape outside the room reflex on the wall, like the whole world is upside down. On the one hand, it makes you expierence a totally different and fresh world; on the other hand, it just offers you a vivid explanation of how pinhle cameras work, it’s really helpful for students to understand the principle of the camera.

    • I think the most amazing thing about the camera obscura is, it’s not so complicated as I imagined, and everyone can experience the upside down world by making their rooms a camera obscura. And my favorite pinhole photo is the one of seed-stage, I like the angle of the photo, it made those seeds look larger and taller than themselves, this view provieded us with a feeling that seeds are thriving, it expressed successfully about what this photo wanted to show, which is really cool.

  7. I think that most interesting of the camera obscura images were the wide shots. Not only were they disorienting, they also made me think more about how the human eye perceives the world. The camera obscura seems like a simple way to experience the world differently.

  8. I think that its really cool how in the video he made his own room into a camera obscura. It was really cool how outside his window it reflected on his wall. I really enjoyed making the camera obscuras in class too. it was really fun to go outside and look around through them. I really like the first photo too.

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