Camera is the latin word for room, or chamber. Obscura is the Latin word for dark or darkened.
So the camera obscura is basically just a darkened room.
Any kind of room can become a camera obscura. Even a small box.
First we have to make sure our box is completely dark inside.
Then we’ll cut a small opening to allow light to come in.
We can put out camera obscura in the landscape. Rays of light reflect of objects in the landscape
and bounce off in all directions. Most of the light will be scattered, but some
will make it though the opening in our camera obscura.
The reflected light will be the same color as the object in the landscape.
Light reflects off other objects too. All of the spots of light combine to form
an image on the back of the camera obscura. If the opening in the camera is large, the
rays of light are large. This makes a bright projection because a lot
of light is allowed in. But, it also makes a blurry picture because
the projections are large and overlap quite a lot.
If the opening in the camera is small, the rays of light are small.
It makes a darker picture because less light is allowed into the camera.
It also makes a sharper picture because the projections are smaller and do not overlap
as much. You’ll notice that the projection is always
upside-down and backwards. This is because light travels in a straight
line. Now it’s your turn.
Try making a camera obscura at home. You can use a cardboard box, or you can darken
a room in your house. Simply cut an opening to allow light to come
in and enjoy the projection. That’s how you do it.