Camera Obscura

Photography is one of the most popular hobby among young people. Although it, as well as the cameras, may seem to be relatively „fresh” invention. It is worth knowing that  this way of obtaining photos is very old. 

Camera obscura (which in Latin means "dark chamber"), because this prototype of the camera is in question, has a history dating back to ancient times. Its mode of action was allegedly known by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Certainly Euclid knew the manner of its operation (from the physical) because he described it in his book "Optics". The first scientific description of the darkroom was provided by Arabic scholar Alhazen of Basra in the manuscripts in about 1020. 

camera obscura

It is known that the camera obscura was used by Leonardo da Vinci and Copernicus. It also served to Roger Bacon to explain the functioning of the human eye. Goethe himself used the camera obscura to "capture" views during his numerous travels. However, how does this „grandfather”of camera work? 

Well it is enough to prepare a box which is blackened inside, do a small hole in the one of the walls (from 0.3 to 1 mm, depending on the size of our device), and on the opposite side put the so-called "ground glass screen" (it may be a dull glass or tracing paper). Picture transmitted by the lens (the hole) will be displayed on the "ground glass screen". It will be smaller and reversed "upside down". If we put a plate instead of  "ground glass screen" we will get the picture. With the help of this device obtained pictures are unique and rather peculiar. 

First of all, they are very "soft" with a very gentle contrasts. They are slightly fuzzy and have infinite depth of focus. They are characterized by a complete lack of distortion (i.e. do not bend the picture, which is one of the effects that can be achieved with the help of modern digital cameras). If we choose color, not black and white photo, the colors will be very soft, pastel. All these features make the camera obscura  most commonly used today in artistic photography. Photos taken thanks to this method are in contrast to the "line-production" of pictures made by means of a digital camera. Unique pictures and ease of construction of the device, induce that there is a lot of enthusiasts of this, it may seem, obsolete invention. Some people even rework digital cameras on the model of camera obscura.