Camera Obcsuras

As explained in the first post on Basic Pinhole, camera obscura works on fundamental principles of physics and it’s fairly easy to make one yourself. So right after we finished the Advanced Pinhole session with George, we had planned to convert a room into a giant pinhole. George had with him big pieces of black paper to cover the windows and tape. I took us while to cover every window of the room, but in the end we had a pitch black room.

The area behind the window, where the light will be projected had a magnetic wall material, which allowed us to hang the photo-sensitive paper. The paper was about 4 x 1.5 metres and quite heavy to hold it with magnets. That is why the project was better in this collaborative way of working instead individual work. Two people were holding the paper still; one person was operating the shutter, two people taking readings with light meters in and out of the camera obscura. Melissa Stapleton was operating the digital camera and of course everyone helped out in light proofing the room. When we were putting up the paper we used a couple safelights in order to find our way in the room.

Thanks to a useful application on my phone I was able to take readings of the environment outside the camera as well as keep them logged.



Below are some digital photographs from inside the camera obscura, taken by Melissa Stapleton.

Light-proofing the room
Long exposure digital still of the obscura image
The inverted image

After we exposed the paper we rolled it up and put in two lightproof bags and moved it straight in the darkroom. We cleaned up the room and head to the darkroom to find out how we were going to develop this massive negative. We used two big tanks we have in the darkroom. The first one filled with developer and the second one with water. Happily Jason Tilley was around at the time and he gave us hand rolling the negative in and out of the developer, the water bath, the fixer and finally washing it. We sure did a mess in the darkroom, but it worth the time and effort.

Below is the converted digital positive of the negative, by George Rippon.

The final print. Printing assistance from Joseph Kesisoglou.


Finally a photograph from the inside of the camera.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s