Camera Obscura translates from Latin to “Dark Room”.

A Timeline of Camera Obscura:

400 BC – Mo Ti is the first to mention the concept of Pinhole Photography.

350 BC – Aristotle is the first to use the principles of Pinhole Photography when observing an eclipse by observing the gaps between the leaves and trees.

1000AD – An English monk and scientist Roger Bacon  mention the concept of Pinhole Photography. Also, the reverse image formed by a tiny hole is studied.

1050AD – Shen Ku experimented with camera obscura and was the first to apply geometrical and quantitive attributes.

1200AD  Roger Bacon describes the use of pinhole cameras as a way to safely observe solar eclipses.

1485AD – Leonardo Di Vinci provides the first detailed description of a pinhole camera in the Codex Atlanticus.

1604 – The term “camera obscura” was first used by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

1685 – Johannes Kepler publishes a book which contains descriptions and diagrams of the camera obscura theory (Pinhole Photography).

1827 – Joseph Niepce is the first to capture an image on bitumen-coated metal using a pinhole camera to capture this image. Louis Daguerre then took the image and fumed it in sulphur so it wasn’t light sensitive and could be presented in daylight.



Other Notes:

  • light passing through a small hole produces an inverted image on the opposite wall/canvas.
  • Before a proper pinhole camera was produced, the hole producing the image would be producing it onto a canvas and then the artists would sketch onto the artist and basically trace what was being shown to them. An example of someone who did this was Leonardo Di Vinci.
  • On a pinhole camera, you should use a bigger hole to get more onto the image but to stop the image from going blurry, use a lens to focus it.