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Camera Obscura: The Magic Mirror of Life

Hi everyone, I believe that even the effect of simple physics can be very beautiful. Camera obscura is Latin for ‘dark room’. It is given its name because the beauty that emerges takes place in a very dark room with a tiny hole that allows a very small beam of light to enter the room. Then, this camera obscura goes under a huge wonderful transformation, similarly to how a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly,but except almost immediately. In full color and movement, you will see the outside world exactly as it is but upside down! This phenomenon is explained by light traveling in a straight line and some of the light reflecting through the small hole in thin material such as a curtain but the light particles do not scatter; instead, they cross and reform as an upside down image on a flat surface which is the walls held parallel to the hole. It is amazing how the law of optics can make something already aesthetically pleasing into something even more beautiful and magical.

The process of creating a camera obscura and the end result is shown and explained in BBC’s documentary called “Genius of Photography”. I highly recommend watching the entire video to the end- you won’t be disappointed! 🙂



This is the classic demonstration of what camera obscura is. It is just like an old-fashioned pinhole camera. Take a notice at the lightbulb or...lightbulbs?
















Can you believe what you see here used to be just a regular extremely dark room? You don't even need to look directly outside to see how the outside world looks like!


1 Joseph Kabariti { 09.20.11 at 1:22 am }

Wow. This is so amazing; I can barely believe it. I would love to see this in action, as I still don’t fully believe what I’m seeing. It is eerie and spooky, and yet I want to see so much more. It is extremely beautiful as well. The idea that that tiny hole could do so much is mind-boggling. This is truly art at its finest.

Joey Kabariti

2 Emibee Wong <3 { 10.25.11 at 2:18 pm }

Hey Joey, sorry for such a late reply! If you have the time, you should try to create this effect in your home! 🙂 I’m confident it’ll work (unless there aren’t any windows in your home)!
-Emily 🙂

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