Camera Obscura

Early in the mornings on leaving my bedroom, if it was sunny outside, I was fascinated to see a small image that regularly appeared on the wall in the passageway directly opposite the dining room door. Keyhole-shaped and upside down, it was a perfectly-focused and exact image of our damson orchard and barn as seen through the Georgian windows (and half-net curtain) of the dining room. Later, I identified this as a genuine camera obscura image projected four feet from the keyhole onto the wall in the passageway; a darkened chamber when the door was shut.  Quite by chance, the angle of the bright sunlight and a gap of fifteen feet from the window to the door meant that the keyhole acted as a lens. I photographed it much later once I had the skills and equipment to do so.

This is a photograph of an actual camera obscura that I saw in the darkened passageway in our farmhouse as a five-year-old child. Projected through the dining room keyhole the upside down image clearly shows the window (complete with half-net curtain) with barn and orchard beyond. That was 1962, although I was unable to photograph it until much later: the photograph above was taken in the early 70s. This camera obscura was the inspiration that led to my life ‘With Photography’.




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