Understanding How a Camera Works by Making a Camera Obscura From Cardboard

If you are a geek, an avid DIYer, a painter, or a curious photographer, this one is definitely for you. Learning how the camera works by making a camera obscura that is actually usable is such a fun project.

A camera obscura is a device used by the painters of old time to be able to perfectly reproduce geometry and colors of environments and people. This camera projects the image onto a glass or some sort of a canvas and then artists simply draw or paint on top of it. In this video, photographer Marcin Lewandowski shows how to create such an amazing device with everyday materials which is a great way to understand how our expensive high-tech image-capturing machines actually work at their basic core.

The camera obscura is built out of a cardboard box that is sealed so there's no other light coming in except from the lens. For the lens you can use either a small hole or a magnifying glass covering the hole. Lewandowski creates a box within a box in order to have an ability to vary the focus for different situations. The sensor is a semi-transparent paper where the image is projected onto. The image from the "sensor" is captured with a cell phone. If you are a painter you can "record" the image using pencils and brushes.

If you want to build an even more impressive room-size camera obscura, check out this older Fstoppers article.

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