This Artist Creates Eye-Popping “Roomscapes” with a Camera Obscura

1

Notice something strange about the wall mural in the above photograph? It’s upside down! That’s because it was created using a “camera obscura” — the favored technique of Cuban born artist Abelardo Morell, who has been experimenting with this approach since 1991.

2

Latin for “dark room,” conceptually, a camera obscura is the precursor to the pinhole camera, but the effect dates back at least to Aristotle. (The earliest mention is found in the writings of Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti, circa 5th century BC, who called it a “collecting place” or “locked treasure room.”)

3

All you need to create your own camera obscura is a small hole in a shade or a wall, so that light can pass from a sunlit garden, for instance, into a darkened room, projecting an inverted image on the wall opposite the pinhole.

4

That inversion is due to a quirk of basic optics. Light scatters off each point of an object and travels outward in all directions. The pinhole acts as a lens, letting in a narrow beam from each point in a scene.

5

Those beams pass through the hole in a straight line and then intersect. The result is that the light from the bottom of the scene outside hits the top of the opposite wall, and vice versa. Hence the inverted image.

6

“I made my first picture using camera obscura techniques in my darkened living room in 1991. In setting up a room to make this kind of photograph, I cover all windows with black plastic in order to achieve total darkness. Then, I cut a small hole in the material I use to cover the windows. This opening allows an inverted image of the view outside to flood onto the back walls of the room. Typically then I focused my large-format camera on the incoming image on the wall then make a camera exposure on film. In the beginning, exposures took from five to ten hours.”, explains Abelardo Morell

7

Morell’s interest in this ancient technique began in 1988, when he was teaching photography in Boston. On a whim one sunny day, he covered all the windows in the classroom with black plastic so that it was pitch dark inside, punched a small hole in the plastic, and then savored his students’ enthralled reaction as upside-down moving images of the street scene outside appeared on the back wall.

8

“When I saw how these savvie, techie students were charmed and disarmed by the image on the wall, I knew this was something very potent,” Morell told National Geographic back in 2011.

9
10
11

Via Laughing Squid, National Geographic, Gizmodo

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below


If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Photographer Perfectly Captures Captures Hidden Parallel Worlds Of Everyday Puddles
The Most Impressive Photos From The Ocean Photography Awards 2021 Finalists
42 Wonderful Behind The Scene Photos From Classic Movies
"New York State On Pause": These Photos Show How COVID-19 Changed Daily Life In NYC
"Fantplastique" By Ausra Osipaviciute
Street Scenes of the U.S. From the 1960s Through 30 Wonderful Color Real Photo Postcards
Photographer Takes Funny Pictures Of Herself And Her Dog In Silly Costumes
European Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2019 Winners Announced
Microsculpture: Insect Portraits Under The Microscope By Levon Biss
Artist Highlights Mothers of Victims of Violence in Venezuela
Featured Entries For The 13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
UK Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 Winners
Revolve Camera Dolly
Spectacular Winning Photos Of The Landscape Photographer Of The Year 2018 Contest
Stunning Studio Portraits Of Nuns Taken By Thérèse Le Prat From Between The 1950s And Early 1960s
Spectacular Images of Northern Lights Captured from Space
Bloggers Show How Their ‘Ideal’ Instagram Photographs Are Taken
The Superb Atmospheric And Poetic Black & White Photo Artworks Of Gabriel Guerrero Caroca
Meet Some Crazy Bikes of 90s
Vintage Men's Magazine: Cool Pics Of Cavalier's Beauties During The 1960s
Different Types of Rebirth: Stunning Underwater Series by Marta Syrko
Edwardian Criminal Faces Of North Shields: Vintage Mugshots Of Women In The Early 1900s
Beautiful Black And White Photos Of Kim Basinger In 1977
These Stunning Drone Photos Would Be Completely Illegal Now
Ronnie Wood Art Exhibition: Rolling Stones Guitarist Portraits Include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Fine Art Photographer Captures Mesmerizing Fairytale Photos Of Women In Natural Landscapes
The Velvet Kingdom: Diverse Regions of Southern Europe in Cinematic and Melancholy Photoworks by Henri Prestes
Fascinating Vintage Photographs of Dutch Men In Traditional Volendam Worker Pants
Outstanding Color Autochromes from Pre-Revolutionary Russia
This is the End... Bitch!