Vintage and Classic Cameras

Making a room into a Camera Obscura.

Well, it's simplicity itself. Choose a room with as few windows as possible to make life easier, and one with a spectacular panoramic view out of the window would be great... but any well illuminated scene will do. Black out the windows with flattened cardboard boxes, leaving just a small hole, say 15mm in diameter, in the middle of one window. Stand in the room and look at the wall inside and opposite the hole... there will be projected an inverted image of the outside world. No lens, nothing technical, just a hole in some card. The lighter the internal wall the easier the faint image is to see. To record this, you can set up a digital camera on a tripod and make a long exposure, The image below was taken in my kitchen, it's not artistic in any way, it was just proof of concept. This image was exposed for 30 seconds, f3.5 and the ASA set to 800. To get the full surreal effect, the image has been published upside down, so that the projected image is the correct way, and the room itself upside down.

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