Origins of Photography – Camera Obscura

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In the era of advanced digital photography, the concept of analog photography seems quite unimaginable and slow, specially when everything needs to be posted at once. Except for those for whom the old-fashioned way of taking photographs has a special meaning and beauty, it seems unlikely that analog would ever make a big comeback.

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura

It is illuminating, though, to take a trip back to the phase that came one step before the camera itself.

The camera obscura was most commonly used by painters to transfer a painted scene onto their canvases.  By an essentially primitive system, a scene was projected through a pin hole in a screen to the other side of a screen to form a reversed and inverted image (viz. the picture).

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura, Photo: Shutterstock

The next logical step was to introduce a light-sensitive material, make an exposure, and develop first a “negative”. Placing this “negative” on another sensitive paper and exposing it in a dark room to all the necessary steps of developing and stabilizing produced a picture made with a primitive machine such as, for example, a shoe box.

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura, In the garden / Negative and final photo
Front yard / Negative and final photo, Camera Obscura
Front yard / Negative and final photo
Greenhouse / Negative and final photo
Greenhouse / Negative and final photo
Landscape / Negative and final photo
Landscape / Negative and final photo

 

In the garden / Negative and final photo
In the garden / Negative and final photo
On the balcony / Negative and final photo
On the balcony / Negative and final photo
Roof / Negative and final photo
Roof / Negative and final photo
Front yard / Negative and final photo
Front yard / Negative and final photo

 

Photos from Camera Obscura made from the carton box: Martina Advaney (Exposition appx. 5 – 7 min)

Discover more about balance, composition, and geometry in photography here.

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