Camera Obscura

A Camera Obscura is an darkened room or volume into which light can shine through a pin hole, sometimes a pin hole combined with a lens. On the wall opposite to the entrance hole an image of an object placed outside the camera will form. If the wall opposite the entrance hole is not opaque but a milk glass screen, the object can be drawn from the screen by tracing its silhoutte and other details.

The size of the Camera Obscura spans from entire rooms, which have to be darkened for the projection to hand-held devices which go by the same name.

In our HistoLab we hold a large Camera Obscura on the Model of Brandner and a hand-held version for travels on the model of Goethe.

further reading

Müller, Matthias (2012): Camera obscura, in: Heering, Peter; Markert, Michael & Weber, Heiko: Experimentelle Wissenschaftsgeschichte didaktisch nutzbar machen. Ideen, Überlegungen und Fallstudien., Flensburg, Flensburg University Press. 67-92.

Müller, Matthias (2010): Die Camera obscura von Georg Friedrich Brander (1767), in: Breidbach, O.; Heering, P.; Müller, M.; Weber, H. (Hrsg.) (2010) Experimentelle Wissenschaftsgeschichte, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. 125-154.

Lefèvre, Wolfgang (Ed.)(2003): Inside the Camera Obscura - Optics and Art under the Spell of the Projected Image, PrePrint 333 des Max-Planck Instituts für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin. (Volltext als PDF)