Isn’t it interesting when something you haven’t considered is brought to your attention… and then… it keeps on popping up?!
That’s exactly the case for me and Camera Obscura. This post records what happened when one thing led to another…
It all started with a habit a friend of mine has of asking a photography “food for thought” question at the close of emails. A couple of months ago, the question was:
- What 17th century Dutch master is believed to have used a camera obscura in creating some of his masterpieces?
Of course that led to Vermeer… and, notably, into the fascinating origin and use of Camera Obscura.
- The groundwork was set- “camera obscura” came up repeatedly-
- – in answers to a couple questions on Jeopardy,
- – in a Photojournalism course I am taking,
- – in coursework weblinks.
- These are my notes for the lesson:
- To trace the history of photojournalism, you need to trace the history of the camera itself. Though the invention of the camera obscura, whose literal translation means dark room, has been attributed to Leonardo DaVinci, it was 9th century Persian scholar Ibn al-Haytham (known as Alhazen) whose advanced understanding of optics enabled him to explain its workings quite clearly.
- A camera obscura is a box or room with a single hole on one side. The image outside the box is reflected on the opposite wall. Painters, like daVinci and Johanes Vermeer, used the camera obscura as an early slide projector, and sometimes traced over the image.
- I enjoy hands-on, discovery based learning.
- This link in coursework provided inspiration for learning how to-
- This PDF, from the George Eastman Museum, provided supplemental information-
Turning a Room Into a Camera Obscura
|Camera||Nikon NIKON D850|
|Lens||Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (A025)|
|Focal Length||70.0 mm (70.0 mm in 35mm)|
|Exposure Time||0.25s (1/4)|
- I spent a couple of days playing around with the science of light using my “biggest camera!” It’s actually meditative to sit in a dark room to view the scene upside-down and reversed.
- I think the camera obscura will remain for a while longer.
I decided to go with a wider angle lens, a tripod, and timed shutter release on my trusty old Nikon D7100. This set up captured a lot of the backyard as it spilled into the room. These are my “magical photography” images. At least that’s how I felt when modern DSLR technology captured the much darker Camera Obscura images and the color came alive in Lightroom post-processing!
|Camera||Nikon NIKON D7100|
|Lens||AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR|
|Focal Length||16.0 mm (24.0 mm in 35mm)|
|Exposure Time||10s (10)|
|Date Taken||2021-05-29 18:14:45|