How to Transform a Room into a Camera Obscura



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A camera obscura, also known as a pinhole camera, is the concept that made modern-day photography possible. Now use the same principal to turn a whole room into a walk-in camera!

Step 1: Find a room
Find a room that has a window with a decent view. Look for a blank wall opposite the window, since that’s where the picture will be projected. If it’s not blank, hang a white sheet on the wall.

Step 2: Create the lens
Unscrew the ring from the top of the flashlight and remove the lens. Place the ring in the middle of the sheet of poster board, and cut a hole around it. Then, tape the ring to the cardboard with duct tape. This will be the lens for the camera obscura.

Step 3: Prepare the room
Tape the remaining poster board over the window, overlapping if necessary. Leave an area uncovered in the middle of the window for the lens.

Step 4: Add the lens
Tape the lens backing to the window with duct tape. The window should now be completely covered, and aside from the lens hole, there should be no light passing through.

Step 5: Darken the room
Turn off all lights in the room and close the door so that the only light entering the room is from the camera lens. After a few minutes, your eyes will adjust to the dark, and an image should appear on the wall opposite the window.

Tip
You may need to place a blanket under the door to block out any extra light.

Step 6: View the image
You should now see an upside-down image of the outside world projected onto the wall. Why? Since light rays travel in a straight line, they hit the objects outside, pass through the small opening of the lens, and transmit an upside-down image of the objects on the opposite wall. This is the same method cameras use to capture images.

Step 7: Capture your creation
Unless you want to cover your entire wall in photographic paper, you’ll need a way to capture what you see. Grab a camera with an adjustable exposure setting and set the exposure to around 30 seconds, which is ideal for low-light photographs. Take a moment to marvel at your contraption; it’s not every day that you get to walk inside a camera!

Did You Know?
The first digital camera offered to the general public went on sale in 1990, cost $995, and took grayscale photos.

how to transform a room into a camera obscura a camera obscura also known as a pinhole camera is the concept that made modern-day photography possible now use the same principle to turn a whole room into a walk-in camera you will need a room with one window three or more 28 by 22 inch sheets of black poster board a flashlight a utility knife and duct tape optional a white sheet a blanket and a camera with exposure settings step 1 find a room that has a window with a decent view look for a blank wall opposite the window since that's where the picture will be projected if it's not blank hangul white sheet on the wall step 2 unscrew the ring from the top of the flashlight and remove the lens place the ring in the middle of the sheet of poster board and cut a hole around it then take the ring to the cardboard with duct tape this will be the lens for the camera obscura step 3 tape the remaining poster board over the window overlapping if necessary leave an area uncovered in the middle of the window for the lens step 4 tape the lens backing to the window with duct tape the window should now be completely covered and aside from the lens hole there should be no light passing through step 5 turn off all lights in the room and close the door so that the only light entering the room is from the camera lens after a few minutes your eyes will adjust to the dark and an image should appear on the wall opposite the window you may need to place a blanket under the door to block out any extra light step 6 you should now see an upside down image of the outside world projected onto the wall why since light rays travel in a straight line they hit the objects outside pass through the small opening of the lens and transmit an upside-down image of the object on the opposite wall this is the same method cameras used to capture images step 7 unless you want to cover your entire wall in photographic paper you'll need a way to capture what you see grab a camera with an adjustable exposure setting and set the exposure to around 30 seconds which is ideal for low-light photographs take a moment to marvel at your contraption it's not every day that you get to walk inside a camera did you know the first digital camera offered to the general public went on sale in 1990 cost nine hundred ninety five dollars and took grayscale photos

34 thoughts on “How to Transform a Room into a Camera Obscura

  1. …and now you can buy a vastly superior digital camera for like $10. Hasn't even been thirty years. Even computers have dramatically advanced. Most of us carry around a computer that is more powerful than whole rooms of computers in the past, right in our pockets, and, these portable pocket computers even have rather decent digital cameras. I'm sure some of us can relate to how teachers used to tell us that nobody will be carrying around calculators, so we need to learn mental math. Twenty years later, practically everyone carries around calculators. Not just calculators, but cameras, magnetic field measuring equipment, microphones, phones, games, internet-connected computers, and more. It wasn't that long ago that corded home telephones were a thing and portable phones were more of a curiosity. The human mind can't imagine with reasonable accuracy what technology we will have in fifty to a hundred years. My guess is robots, AI, "smart homes", self-driving vehicles that actually work well, maybe even personal flight devices. Who knows, someone may figure out teleportation and market it. First revisions would be huge and tied to physical locations, but in time, there will be portable teleportation devices and humans will have to rethink security.

  2. Okay, but it looked like the view was the side of a brick house in a Long Island suburb. Why then does the reflection look like a desktop image of sunrise in a Pacific Northwest rainforest?

  3. I learned about this, without purposely trying.
    I was inside of a barn. There were some nail size holes at the top of the barn.
    Projected on the ground was a section of the blue sky with white fluffy clouds… I even saw a plane go by.

    This seemed more memorable because I stumbled upon it..

    Other discoveries…
    Looking through a telescope at the eastern night sky, I saw Jupiter rising with its four visible moons.

    Another time, seeing crescent shape Venus… Realizing Earth is further out.

    One time, I realized an easy way to find the North Star, was to point the telescope in a direction where the stars were drifting slower and slower off the eyepiece. Finally I found the star that I didn't need to manually track.

    Other observations…
    Looking at the Jordanian mountains from the lowest point on Earth… The Dead Sea, I observed the sunset orange color seemed different.

    I also felt more energetic there. Could this be due to greater air pressure or oxygen at below sea level?….. The opposite of altitude sickness?

    In seeing a total solar eclipse, it was like someone turning off a dimmer switch. I saw the planet Venus, in the daytime, close to the eclipse. Birds became quiet right at totality. Minutes before, and after, they were loud. It was like a day in a day.

    Our faces quickly got sunburned. Could this be because the edge or slice of the sunlight is more concentrated or intense?

    During the totality, like an umbrella, I saw the daylight part towards the horizon.
    The difference of 99% of the Sun's disk being blocked and 100% blocked, where the last bead of light disappears, is like day and night.

    The total eclipse made me appreciate the beauty of each day. I realized no manmade Lost Wages, I mean Las Vegas display can compete with G-d's world.

    And now, time for two more..
    In observing the night sky on a regular basis, it becomes easy within an hour or so to tell time.

    In watching up close, a very large clock, you can see the minute constantly moving.

    If a clock is a mile long, would the end of the minute hand move so many miles per hour?

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