Camera Obscuras are inexpensive to make and are a great way to look at how light travels. It also provides a glimpse of how our eyes work. A subject is illuminated outside the camera and the subject is projected through the lens and flipped over on the opposite wall. This is what happens in our eyes but our brains flip the image right side round so that we recognize the subject.
To make a pinhole camera all you need is an enclosed box/container, black paint/paper, an alluminum can, black tape, and a pin to make the lens. Ensure your container is light tight by either painting with black paint or covering completley in black paper. Cut out a square inch of the center of your container to place your lens. For your lens cut out a square inch from an alluminum can and tape it over the center hole on your container. Next, use your pin to poke one hole in the center of your alluminum piece. This is your lens. Finaly use a piece of black tape as a shutter to cover your lens.
To capture an image you need photographic paper. All photographic papers consist of a light-sensitive emulsion, consisting of silver halide salts suspended in a colloidal material - usually gelatin- coated onto a paper, resin coated paper or polyester support. This paper is very light sensitive and has to be protected from light before you are ready to take the image. The paper must be loaded in a light tight room where light can't get to it. After loading the paper in your container find an image you want to take. Below is a reference guide of how long to expose the paper for a good image.
Once you have taken your image you must process it in darkroom chemicals to see your image. When you take a picture with a pinhole camera you are making a negative. Below on the left is what develops from the pinhole camera. You must invert it to see the positive of your negative. This can be done in the darkroom using an enlarger or digitally on the computer.
The Fourth Grade teachers alongside Art Teachers at Lee Elementary contribute to this blog by sharing happenings in their individual classrooms.