Camera Obscura

Pinhole photography works on the basis of the camera obscura, which is the oldest form of camera and photography and thereby makes pinhole photography an ancient technique. The definition of camera obscura is “a darkened box with a convex lens or aperture for projecting the image of an external object on to a screen inside, a forerunner of the modern camera.” (Oxford Dictionary). To do this, you blocking out all light in a room or a box and puncturing a tiny hole in a window shade or container wall. Whatever the scene outside of the room or container will be transferred upside down on the far wall of the camera, or the sheet of paper held a few inches from the hole. To produce a relatively sharp image, the aperture needs to be about 1/100th the distance to the screen, or less. As the pinhole is made smaller, the image becomes sharper, but the projected image fades, However, if the pinhole gets too small, the sharpness worsens, due to diffraction. The earliest use of the term “camera obscura” is found in the 1604 book ‘Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena’ by the German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer Johannes Kelper. However, the first camera obscura was It was treated as a scientific tool by many and as an aid to assist artists accurately represent their subjects. It is believed that the 17th Century Dutch Master Painter Johannes Vermeer was one of the people to use a camera obscura as an accurate drawing tool. Leonardo Da Vinci used a camera obscura as a model of an eye. These are, of course, only a few of the many people over time who have used a camera obscura for various purposes.


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