Camera Obscura

Niederösterreichische Berufsfotografie

29 Mai – 16 August 2024
17 August – 16 October 2024
Orangerie, Doblhoffpark  

What is a “camera obscura”?

The “camera obscura” (Latin camera “chamber”; obscura “dark”) is a light-tight box with a hole in the front wall. An image of what is in front of the “camera” appears on the back wall. It is considered the first precursor of our cameras and photography and makes use of a simple optical principle that our eyes also work on:

Every object emits light rays that spread out in a straight line in all directions. If the light rays pass through a small opening into a light-tight room, they are bundled and project an image onto the opposite wall – in our eyes onto the retina.

Due to the law of reflection, the image is reversed and upside down. (See illustration)

We owe the discovery and proof that every object illuminated by light reflects rays to the Arab scientist Ibn al-Haitham, also known as Alhazen (965-1040). Many other prominent scientists and artists such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) used the principle of the camera obscura for their scientific research and discoveries.

Thanks to the Fine Art Gallery, Traismauer: Martin Lutz, DI Jutta Fischel (idea) and DI Bernhard Schneider (planning of the art project)

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