Camera Obscuras - by Mike Frost


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Camera Obscuras - a talk by Mike Frost

In a digital age, there is something unexpectedly appealing about the projected image. The camera obscura, literally a dark chamber, allows you to view the outside world with clarity - and in secrecy! Have you ever visited one? Or built your own?  

The camera obscura has a long history. Aristotle knew about pinhole projection from the observation of solar eclipses. De la Porta staged projected entertainments during the sixteenth century. Artists used portable camera obscuras to get their perspective right; soldiers took them to the trenches to observe in safety.


The golden age of the camera obscura was the nineteenth century, when every sea-side resort had one. But in recent years the camera obscura has undergone a renaissance. The talk concludes with a guide to where to find these fascinating instruments.

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