Wk01 - Camera Obscura

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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Wk01 - Camera Obscura

Post by kendall_stewart » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:50 am

Kendall Stewart

Camera Obscura


In Latin, camera obscura means “dark room.” This refers to a law of optics, where light travels through a small hole in the wall of a room or box, and crosses and reforms the image outside, upside down on the parallel wall. Early scholars and scientists used the camera obscura, including Aristotle and Leonardo Da Vinci. In the 16th century the image was improved by the introduction of a convex lens and a mirror to reflect the image down onto the viewing surface. German astronomer Johannes Kepler was the first to refer to this concept as “camera obscura.”

Having taken a few photography classes in high school and in college, I already had a bit of knowledge regarding camera obscura. Upon further research, I was most interested in the projects being done by artists today that relate to this very primitive technology.

Abelardo Morell is a New York artist who is regarded as one of the few contemporary masters of the camera obscura. He photographs images of the cityscapes projected onto unexpected surfaces, creating a “nineteenth-century feel.” He was inspired to do this type of work when he was working in a national park and became fascinated with the desert floor. He wanted some way to project an image of the desert itself onto the sandy surface. Using the same concept as original camera obscura pioneers, Morell fashioned a tent with a periscope in order to create his projected images.






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