If you know your photography history, then you should know the camera obscura – Latin for the “dark room” – is the oldest known way of projecting an image onto a surface. Even before the invention of glass lenses that bundle rays of light, camerae obscurae were built with a simple hole to let in light – the precursors of later pinhole cameras.
Even today, you can still find it used in many places, some even in public locations for everyone to enjoy. Of course, since the basic design of a camera obscura is so simple, anyone can theoretically build their own. Which is just what photographer Daniel Tellman of Timişoara, Romania, did with his daughter’s room.
By covering the window with a large piece of cardbord fitted with a small pinhole in the center, he transformed the room into a camera obscura that projects the outside world onto a surface opposite of the window. For lack of a proper projection screen, Tellman simply made use of the drapes that were already in his daughter’s room – quite ingenious. (Tellman calls it, the “Draperia Obscura.”)
The result was not only the beautiful time-lapse video of the world outside the room that you can watch below, it was also a lesson for his daughter on some of the most basic principles of optics and photography. So, here’s a fun way to teach your kids about photography: turn their room into a camera obscura, and let them gaze in awe.
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