Camera Obscura!

Students entering their handmade Camera Obscura.

If you visited LASHP last week you may have noticed a small white tent tucked away at the south end of our park. We were lucky enough to visit with Joey and his students from Oakwood who were gracious enough to let us inside their homemade Camera Obscura. For those that may be unfamiliar, Camera Obscura loosely translates to “darkened chamber/room,” and that is essentially what the white tent was. If you look at the last picture you can see a small black square in the center of the tent, this is where the lens was mounted that then reflected the light on to the backside of the tent, creating an image of the park. As the Goldline train passed by, its image grew larger and larger and ruffled the tent, making for quite the exciting experience.

This is basically how a Camera Obscura works

Below is a photograph of what was projected inside the tent; unfortunately, it is really only something that can be experienced first hand. Click on the image to see it larger and see if you can make out the park and remember, the image is upside down.

Sadly, my digital camera was unable to capture the projected image very well.

Not surprisingly, the Camera Obscura was an early precursor to photography and in its day was (and still is) an exciting form of entertainment. Thanks again to Joey and his class for sharing their awesome creation with us here at the park and keep an eye out because they are taking their creation to other exciting spots through Los Angeles.

Joey and his class from Oakwood proudly showing off their Camera Obscura


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