January 15, 2013

How to construct the Camera Obscura ( Pin Hole Camera)

Make a circular hole in the shutter of a window, from whence there is a prospect of some distance; in this hole place a magnifying glass,
either double or single, whose focus is at the distance of five or six
feet; no light must enter the room but through this glass. At a
distance from it, equal to its focus, place a very white pasteboard,
(what is called a Bristol board, if you can procure one large enough,
will answer extremely well;) this board must be two feet and a half
long, and eighteen or twenty inches high, with a black border round
it: bend the length of it inward to the form of part of a circle,
whose diameter is equal to double the focal distance of the glass. 

Fix it on a frame of the same figure, and put it on a moveable foot, thatit may be easily placed at that distance from the glass, where theobjects appear to the greatest perfection. When it is thus placed, allthe objects in front of the window will be painted on the paper in aninverted position, with the greatest regularity, and in the most
natural colours. If you place a swing looking-glass outside the
window, by turning it more or less, you will have on the paper all theobjects on each side the window.

If, instead of placing the looking-glass outside the window, you placeit in the room above the hole, (which must then be made near the topof the shutter,) you may have the representation on a paper placedhorizontally on a table, and draw at your leisure all the objects reflected.

Observe, the best situation is directly north; and the best time of
the day is noon.


  1. See also http://bit.ly/107hDzS