Wk01 - Camera Obscura

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Camera Obscura - Hannah Boydstun

Post by hcboydstun » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:34 am

To conduct my research, I searched Google for "artist camera obscura." Under this search umbrella, I came across MOMA’s (Museum of Modern Art) personal overview of camera obscura. Interestingly, the origins of the camera obscura date back to Aristotle’s Problems. Within his own series of writings, Aristotle is perplexed by the reflection of light made from a jagged hole in one of his bedroom blinds: despite the hole being jagged, the image reflected onto the wall was circular. Similarly, Aristotle wrote of circular spots of light under shaded trees; during a solar eclipse these spots were no longer round, but rather disk shaped like the sun at the time.


Thus the very concept of camera obscura is a natural phenomena, and had invented itself long before the time of Aristotle’s notes. After Aristotle’s initial findings, camera obscura was adopted by numerous other artists and scientists alike, including the infamous Leonardo Di Vinci and Johannes Vermeer.

Today, camera obscura cannot only be found as a personal, cherished relic of the beginning of photography, but also as a newly revived art form for the public. Beginning in the 19th century, camera obscura buildings became a common attraction to the public.




While earlier models were either large dark rooms or tents, it wasn’t until later that these models were made transportable for the use of single individuals. Popular references to the device can even be found in the media; Girl With A pearl Earring (2003) demonstrates the usage of camera obscura in order to create still-life portraits.


In short, from do-it-yourself tutorials (on how to make your own camera obsucra) to art forums, it is clearly a misjudgment to say that the camera obscura was only the beginning of photography today.



http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/l ... ra_obscura
http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//ful ... 4.000.html

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Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by glegrady » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:38 pm

Research and report on what you find about camera obscuras, past & present. Include reference links, and pix. Post your research as a response to this
George Legrady

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by amandajackson » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:37 am

The Camera Obscura: Past and Present

A Chinese philosopher was the first to found the concept of the Camera Obscura: in the fifth century he discovered that light passing through a pinhole creates an inverted image on the opposite wall of a dark room. Aristotle made similar observations a century later. When the object or scene that is illuminated is recorded through a small pinhole the images are received upside down, just like the human eye. The outside light enters the hole at an angle as light reflects off the tops of trees and other various landmarks; the image is then crossed and formed upside down. The human brain, just like the Camera Obscura receives an upside down image from the optic nerves, fortunately for us, the brain corrects the image. According to an article written by Isabelle Pantin, the Camera Obscura shows the process of formation of images and concepts in the mind.Image

Small altercations were made to the applications of the principle for centuries to come: in the 16th century a lens and a diaphragm were added to control the aperture for superior focus and depth of field, in the 17th century a German mathematician re-invented the projected image with mirrors so that the scene could be traced and recorded on to translucent paper. It was not until the 1800s that photography was first used in conjunction with the Camera Obscura by inserting chemically treated paper or metal on the opposite surface of the pinhole to capture the projected image of light. It is also thought that the concept of the Camera Obscura was used as a painting aid dating back to 1430. While there is no documentation of this practice until the 17th century, there is evidence that suggests that cityscape painter Vanvitelli relied on the light projection to create his masterpieces.Image

A Cuban photographer by the name Abelardo Morell took the Camera Obscura’s role in art and photography to new heights. By giving a darkened room a pinhole opening, Morell turned entire rooms into magical landscapes. Morell first created a “room with a view” in his son Brady’s bedroom with an inverted image of the New York City skyline. ImagePerforming this simple project through the use of the Camera Obscura gave the artist a chance to be inside the camera as the image from outside bathed “bare walls and plush, well furnished interiors” with “significant buildings or empty coastlines.” A video produced by National Geographic demonstrates how you can make your own room-sized Camera Obscura:http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/ ... cura-video. Stephanie Zettl, a contemporary photographer used the same idea of inverting an image into a darkened room, but also added a live, nude model to her photograph. Using an advanced design of a Camera Obscura, the iPhone camera, to give the body and face of the model more light exposure, Stephanie created a masterpiece with a digital, pinhole camera.Image

There have been several advances in the concept of the projection of light and visible images since the Camera Obscura was first used in the fifth century; Stefano Marchesini created an x-ray hologram of small objects at the Advanced Light Source at the Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory. Marchesini used coded apertures, inspired by the pinhole camera, to “explore methods of making images of nanoscale objects on the time scale of atomic motions, a length and time regime that promises to become accessible with advances in free-election lasers.”Image More simply, every camera that is used is an advanced Camera Obscura, created to process images just as the human eye does. A timeline, Cameras: Past, Present, and Future, illustrates the developments in the camera from the Camera Obscura, color film, the iPhone camera, and future projects in technology such as 3D cameras. http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/came ... and-future. “Using special perpendicular lenticular sheets to create nine parallax image layers,” 3D technology will no longer be a concept, but the standard for future viewing of images.


Miha Čekada, et al. "The Use Of Camera Obscura In Sputter Deposition." Vacuum 84.1 (2009): 45-48. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.

Pantin, Isabelle. "Simulachrum, Species, Forma, Imago: What Was Transported By Light Into The Camera Obscura? Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.

Mussuiman, Joseph. “Camera Obscura- How it Worked” Discovering Lewis & Clark. 1 Oct. 2012. Web. http://lewis-clark.org

Highfield, Roger. "Shadow Play." New Scientist 211.2829 (2011): 26-27. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.

O'Neill, Tom. "Rooms With A View." National Geographic 219.5 (2011): 118-129. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.

“Making Your Own Room With a View” National Geographic. 1 Oct. 2012. Web. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/ ... cura-video

Zettl, Stephanie. “A Nude Photographed in a Camera Obscura and lit by an iPhone” Photography by Neil can Nickerk. 15 May 2011. 1 Oct. 2012. Web. http://neilvn.com

Preuss, Paul. “The Brightest, Sharpest, Fastest X-Ray Holograms Yet” Berkeley Lab: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 1 Aug. 2008. 2 Oct. 2012. Web. http://www.lbl.gov/publicinfo/newscente ... grams.html

Coles, Olin. “Why 3D Camera Technology Will be the Future” BenchmarkReviews.com. 21 Oct. 2010. 1 Oct. 2012. Web. http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?o ... 1&Itemid=8

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by crismali » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:01 am

Alicia Crismali
October 2, 2012

The camera obscura is a device that has been used for thousands of years. Aristotle, one of ancient Greece's most important philosophers, discovered the use of the main principles of the camera obscura from a hole in a tent: he saw how when the light passed through the small opening into the darkened room, an image appeared on the opposite wall. This had very possibly been noticed by many men long before Aristotle, and continued to be a visual tool used for centuries to come.
The camera obscura phenomenon was used by the Arab scientist al-Hassayn in the tenth century to prove that light moves in straight lines, and even 300 years after this by astronomers to view the sun.Proven to be at the very least an interesting anomaly, the camera obscura continued to develop in sophistication and importance in both the worlds of science and art.
Later still, in the 1500's, artists began to use the camera obscura to help with creating drawings and paintings that were more accurate, more perfect in scale and perspective. It wasn't until 1604 that German astronomer Johannes Kepler coined the term: "camera obscura", which is derived from Latin and means "darkened room".
This device continued still to develop, and became much smaller than original models and it could even be portable. This made it easy for artists to document their travels. But soon thereafter, an even bigger change happened that would change the world in many ways.
Louis Daguerre and William Fox Talbot created a type of camera obscura that could retain the image seen on film- the first photographs.
In this manner, the modern camera used today was developed and along with it, extreme changes in how fine arts such as painting, drawing, and sculpting are seen by society. With the advent of photography, commissioned portrait paintings were no longer necessary, and in fact, were much too troublesome when you could have a more accurate representation of reality on a photograph for much less time, trouble, or money. Also, the art form of photography developed, and a changing sense of what an image is, what a photograph means, and what information can be derived from a photo. Even in the past 50 years, photography and the image have changed in drastic ways, with the introduction of disposable cameras, personal cameras, digital cameras and media, computer technology, editing software, iPhones, etc.
The world of photography, and by extension other areas of art are in a constant state of change due to never ending improvements in technology. The cameras used today, which work on a basic level in the same fashion as the camera obscura, may be completely different in the years to come. However much it all may change though, "old" techniques are still very important to the art world. Film photography cannot be replaced completely by digital, and in the same fashion the camera obscura still appears in art today.
There are many artists still working with camera obscuras in the modern art world.
A friend of mine made a camera obscura in her bedroom while studying abroad in Florence, Italy:
This shows how relevant "old" art forms can be, and how beautiful as well.

http://camera-obscura.co.uk/camera_obsc ... istory.asp
http://www.photography.com/articles/his ... a-obscura/

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by kateedwards » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:42 am

“Camera obscura,” a term invented by German astronomer Johannes Kepler, translates into “darkened room,” descriptive of the dark box in which a small pinhole is used to allow light to pass through and project an upside down image on the opposite surface. Variations of the camera obscura have existed since at least the 5th century BC, and have since been utilized as a tool for artists, astronomers, and various other professions in which image projection is an important component to further understanding of our visual and physical world. While the first camera obscuras could be as large as an entire room, their development also led to portable, handheld devices with which people could document their travels and studies.

Function of a portable camera obscura

The use of light through the pinhole and eventually an adapted lens creates detailed, accurate images which can be traced or projected, transforming the way people interact with fleeting images from everyday life by allowing them to capture such images through drawings and have permanent evidence of a particular scene. While the initial camera obscura was used as an optical device for scientific purposes, modern usage has adapted its capabilities to capturing photographs as well.

Photographs by Abelardo Morell

I particularly liked the work of Abelardo Morell, a photographer whose series titled “Camera Obscura” features full sized rooms being used to project images from extraordinary outside landscapes juxtaposed against ordinary bedroom furniture and household items. The magnitude of the images projected is obviously impressive, but my favorite part of his work is the unexpected combinations of the fabrics, materials and manmade products within the rooms overlaid and consumed with scenery from the natural world.

http://www.photography.com/articles/his ... ra-obscura
http://photography.lovetoknow.com/Camer ... ra_History

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by sydneyvg » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:53 pm

The camera obscura is an optical device that casts a projection of its surroundings on a screen. Its served drawing and entertainment purposes and eventually led to the development of the photography and camera. The machine is partially composed of a box with a hole in one of its sides. It functions by letting in light from a surrounding scene through the small hole, this light is refracted inside the box allowing for it to be reproduced upside-down while still maintaining the color and perspective of the scene. Because light travels in a straight line, passing through the small hole makes the rays of light cross and reform, rather than scatter. The lit image is therefore projected onto whatever surface is outside around the box, enabling one to either view and study such image or trace it.
Changing the size of the hole can affect the quality of the projected image. For instance, a clearer image may arise from a smaller hole. However, should the hole be too small, the image quality will suffer due to diffraction that occurs when the waves of light bend and spread out from the opening.
camera_obscura.gif (11.38 KiB) Viewed 6953 times
The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first used the term “camera obscura” in the 17th century. The device is rightfully named in relation to how it works; in Latin, “camera” translates to “room” and “obscura” translates to “dark.” Kepler used the device for astronomical purposes, although the device had been used for various reasons since the 5th century. Mo-ti, Aristotle, Alhazen, and Da Vinci are some of the prominent figures who have used the camera obscura. Mo-ti felt the camera obscura created a magical scene, calling it his “treasure room.”
google images

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by aleforae » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:36 pm

Christin Nolasco - Report on Camera Obscura

I had briefly learned about camera obscura in some of my art and art history classes before. However, through my research, I was able to learn more in-depth details/facts about this device and understand concepts that were not thoroughly explained to me before.

Latin-English Translation: camera=room, obscura=dark

According to a website devoted to the appreciation of camera obscura, the reason that the image reflected in a camera obscura appears upside down is because light travels in a straight line. When some of the reflected rays of this light travels through the small hole of the device, they are crossed and reformed which then create the upside down image. A "law of optics" they call it.

A colorful picture outline the basic mechanics of camera obscura. May need to be opened in a new window to view the whole picture.

The first known mention of the camera obscura was by Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti in 5th Century BC. Thereafter, it was mentioned, described by, and experimented with by the likes of Aristotle, Islamic scholar/scientist Alhazen, and artist Leonardo Da Vinci. By the 19th Century, the camera obscura had eventually developed into a photographic camera. This development eventually lead to the creation of today's cameras.

Today, camera obscura are still used for their artistic value through the creation of camera obscura rooms. Formerly, such rooms were located in public places like Central Park, New York City and Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. Unfortunately, most of them no longer exist in public places such as those mentioned. However, it is still preserved by modern-day artists such as Abelardo Morrell. Though Morrell is mainly known as a photographer, he hopes to open up people's eyes by blurring the boundary between "landscape and dreamscape". Thus, getting viewers to gain a deeper appreciation of their surroundings.

An old flier for a camera obscura room.

A camera obscura room by artist Abelardo Morrell.

http://wernernekes.de/00_cms/cms/upload ... sar/CO.jpg
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/ ... neill-text

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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by kevinalcantar » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:23 pm

To understand the concept and overall science behind the camera obscura, it is perhaps necessary to examine it's origins.

The name camera obscura literally translates from Latin into "dark chamber" or "dark room." Indeed, the first proposed iterations of the camera obscura were dark rooms in which light was allowed to enter from the outside. The light would enter through the opening and the project an upside-down reproduction of the scene outside the room. As such, the camera obscura can be considered the ancestor of the modern photo camera.

In this image from camera-obscura.co.uk, a man during Paleolithic times examines a projected image of a bison, with the hut or tent serving as a makeshift camera obscura.

The first recorded mention of camera obscura is attributed to a Chinese philosopher by the name of Mozi around 470 to 390 BCE but it is theorized that the first camera obscuras may have been created by accident by humans during the Paleolithic. In this case, the camera obscura was literally a darkened hut hastily assembled by men to survive the harsh climates. Accidentally, small holes found in these shelters would then project an image of the external scene outside. Oftentimes, there would be animals such as bison or deer outside which would then be projected inside the hut.

By the 16th century, the technology behind the camera obscura was a understood more fully as demonstrated by this image.

Obviously, the camera obscura has many applications, chiefly in the arts. Many artists used the camera obscura in understanding the use of perspective in art. While researching the camera obscura, I came upon a very interesting report done about a year ago by Philip Steadman for BBC which examines allegations that the great 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer used the camera obscura to create some of his most well known works. One example given as to why it is believed that he used a camera obscura in his art is the 1657 painting Officer and Laughing Girl.

Officer and Laughing Girl c. 1657

The painting is considered unsual because of how large the gentleman in the foreground seems in comparison with the girl in the background. Although correct and seemingly not unusual, it is important to remember that this use of perspective was extremely rare at this time. Steadman states that, "Vermeer's contemporaries would have made human figures in a composition of this kind much more nearly equal in size."

I find the idea of Vermeer receiving criticism for his alleged use of camera obscuras fascinating because nowadays, the advent of the photographic camera has made tracing from images or using photographic reference a common practice amongst artists. And why shouldn't they? As modern technology advances, artists receive more and more tools to their repertoire to use as they see fit. If the artist has certain tools at his disposal, why not use them to reach his or her desired effect in whatever they may be creating?

Sources used for research:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/em ... a_01.shtml
http://camera-obscura.co.uk/camera_obsc ... istory.asp

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Darcey Lachtman-Camera Obscura

Post by dslachtman » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:27 pm

"Camera Obscura" literally translates to "dark room" in Italian. The phrase describes the phenomenon of being in a dark place and looking through a peep hole. The waves of light come through the whole at a diagonal angle so that the image appears upside down to the person who is in the dark room. The first mention of the Camera Obscura was from Chinese philospher Mo-Ti in the 5th century; he recorded the inverted image of light that he saw through a tiny hole in a dark room. Aristotle also understood the marvel, and Leondardo Da Vinci mentioned it in his notebooks.
Camera_Obscura2.jpeg (8.43 KiB) Viewed 6940 times
To make the image sharper, a convex lens was used, and eventually a mirror was put in place to reflect the image onto a surface. This occurance was commonly used as a tool for artists starting in the 15th century to aid them in drawing and projection. It also helped aid in astronomy, the lens adding a magnifying element which was never before possible. Adding photographic paper to the device is what directly led to the common "film camera", which changed the course of history by allowing images to be recorded and easily repeated.

With repetition of images as an option, information which was once unavailable to many is viewable to all. Since the discovery of Camera Obscura, the way information is shared has changed from mostly text or word of mouth to images that anyone with sight can understand. It has allowed for ideas to spread around the world by messages that cross language barriers, as well as recording history for later generations to see.
imgFGP10114-0CO-1.jpeg (9.46 KiB) Viewed 6940 times


http://physics.kenyon.edu/EarlyApparatu ... scura.html

http://camera-obscura.co.uk/camera_obsc ... istory.asp


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Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by rosadiaz » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:13 pm

The Camera Obscura became one of the leading innovations that led to photography and the camera. It is an optical device that took an image from its surroundings and projected it on a screen mainly used for drawing and entertainment. Developed for scientific use it turned out to appeal to artists aiding them in drawing outdoors.

Before the Camera Obscura leading innovators and philosophers once idealized and hypothesized on a pinhole camera. The first record came as far back as Ancient Greece as Aristotle noticed how light passed through a small hole in a darkened room produced an image on the opposite wall. At first they were large rooms used to arrange the physics of the Camera Obscura and later on changed to a compact box. By the 16th century Camera Obscura’s were improved with the convex lenses allowing for a sharper image. Vermeer then used this device as an aid to his paintings as he believed that an artist needed a great understanding of the laws of nature to paint realistically. The use of perspective with the figure in the image and the viewer’s eyes wrapped up the picture as a whole and did not askew the figures from a lower angle. It gave his drawings a sense of realism and life through his observation of perspective and light. He brought vanishing points to certain levels of the painting where the most interest is being taken or where he wants the viewer to look such as a maiden’s eyes. It brought the viewer to a closer and intimate feeling towards his paintings and the subjects giving the composition an overall feel of beauty and prominence.

Modern artists such as Alberto Morell plays with a hand-made camera obscura by covering his windows with black plastic then piercing a small hole and the same results are shown of an inverted upside down image. He took this innovation and brought the outside inside an interior setting creating these miraculous landscapes within a darkened room. The walls then function as a camera, an image, wallpaper in a sense as he takes a picture with a handheld camera. Just as Vermeer wanted the audience to view the world differently through his paintings so does Morell. The function of the Camera Obscura has then been changed depending on the era. First it was thought to be produced for scientific reasons but artists took a great liking to it. Once artists became attuned to using the device it helped them make their art as realistically and close to nature as possible as well as playing with perspective. Now in modern times it can be used for multiple purposes such as clashing exterior with interior or creating a trompe-l’oeil.

James Nizam also took this method but instead of using rooms that he owns or others own he took abandoned houses that were about to be demolished and fashioned a Camera Obscura. It project an outside scenery towards this old and forgotten building and has invested and brought back life into it. In a sense this technique that was used to study nature and realism to implement in paintings has now projected nature into an enclosed space.


http://www.essentialvermeer.com/camera_ ... o_one.html
http://camera-obscura.co.uk/camera_obsc ... v_film.asp
http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/l ... ra_obscura
http://www.mocp.org/collections/permane ... elardo.php
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/ ... neill-text
http://www.lifelounge.com.au/photograph ... nizam.aspx

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