Sunday, April 5, 2009

Da Vinci's Camera?

In 1490 Da Vinci clearly described the camera obscura in his notebooks. Light travels in a straight line and when some of the reflected rays pass through a small hole in thin material they reform as an upside down image on a flat surface that is parallel to the hole. This is how the camera obscura works. Many of the first camera obscuras were large rooms. The pinhole camera works on the same basis; it could be called a miniature camera obscura.

The picture above is the pinhole camera my husband made out of oak wood. The thin material the light rays pass through on this camera is made of aluminum. He created the tiny pinhole with a very thin needle and spray painted the inside of the camera black. There cannot be any light leakage (except through the pinhole) or the image will ruined.

We experimented with this camera to discover how much time of exposure was needed to produce a picture. We had a range of five seconds to one minute depending on the amount of sunshine available. The following pictures are a sampling of our first experiments with the pinhole camera.

1 comment:

  1. I am fascinated. Those images are hauntingly beautiful.