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The Camera Obscura Nicole Croy, Catholic Cemetar , Fort Wa ne, Indiana. Pinhole photograph. Nicole Croy O ne of the most interesting facts about photography is that cameras and lenses were invented hundreds of years before an image was ever recorded. The first camera was called the "cam- era obscura." This device was used in astronomy and, when a lens was added, as a drawing tool. It works because light travels in a straight line, and when light rays are reflected from a subject through a small hole in thin material, these rays cross and are pro- jected upside-down. Camera Concepts The simple pinhole camera doesn't use a lens. Instead it has a thin sheet of metal with a tiny hole in it that projects an image as a glass lens would. The images made by a pinhole camera aren't as sharp as those made by a glass lens, but they have a special look all their own that is quite beau- tiful. Pinhole cameras have a nearly universal depth of field; virtually everything is in focus all the time. Making a pinhole camera is simple: Take a light-tight container and poke a small hole in it to let light The Camera Obscura through. That light enters the hole and an image is captured on photo- graphic paper or film. The film is then processed in a darkroom using chemicals that reveal the image as a negative. The Pinhole Process Learning how to construct every part of the pinhole camera and analyzing the resulting images will give your students an in-depth knowledge of the history of photography. 1. Make sure that the chosen con- tainer is light-tight. If the inside is bright in color, paint it black so that light doesn't reflect off the surface. 2. Cut (for papier-mâché or plastic) or drill (for metal or wood) a sub-hole Pinhole cameras have a nearl niversal depth of field; virtuall ever thing is in focus all the time. M I D D L E / H I G H S C H O O L 38 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts