Life with Leo

November 15, 2007

How to Make A Lens-free Camera Obscura

Filed under: Photography projects — Tags: , — fehlhaber @ 11:48 pm

I read once that the camera obscura has been known about for centuries and was observed when a knot of wood fell out of a plank and let a small amount of light into a room.  Based on that story, I did the following (all without any lenses, just like in the old days).

If you want to try this at home, here’s how:

1) Block off all light into a room (for anyone who has worked in a darkroom, it doesn’t have to be quite that dark — light can seep in and this will still work).  A small room with one window is easiest, of course.

2) Cut a small hole into whatever is covering the window with the view (about the size of a quarter worked for us).

3) Let you eyes adjust and see what you get. Move the hole (covering old ones) to change what is projected.

4) Take a photo (it’ll show you more than your eyes can see).   This one was done with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/4.0

Here is the very low tech device used to cover the window (leftover cardboard from the Halloween costume & duct tape).  No lens required!

Please post a comment if you have any luck with this.

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You can see that the trees are now losing their leaves. This view was earlier in the day than my original post with great fall colors — things look pretty grey now.

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Below is a more recent photo — all the leaves have gone now (11/27/07)

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November 7, 2007

Camera Obscura in Action

Filed under: Photography projects — Tags: , — fehlhaber @ 3:37 pm

This worked better than I even thought. Here’s the view of the street & fall colors being projected into Leo’s room.

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This may be easier on the eyes (image rotated)

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And here is Leo this morning, pointing to an image of the sun coming through the hole.

November 6, 2007

Camera Obscura Day

Filed under: Photography projects — Tags: — fehlhaber @ 9:45 pm

Leo and I made the most of a rainy day today and built a camera obscura in his room. We blacked out his window using cardboard & tape, and tried various hole sizes (.5 inch to project on a wall 12 feet away worked best) and ended up with an upside-down image of the view across the street. It was pretty dim, but we could make out a couple of trees. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check here and here.