Dan Hume's Blog

Camera Obscura & Future Cinema Idea
October 12, 2010, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

Now that the pitches have been done, we have all divided ourselves into small groups to create an interactive art installation. In my group I’m going to be looking at using Camera Obscura to create our installation piece. I’m really like the idea of this project as it will give me an opportunity to do some photography work.

What is Camera Obscura?

Camera = Latin for “room
Obscura = Latin for “dark

The camera obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with colour and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.

As a pinhole is made smaller, the image gets sharper, but the projected image becomes dimmer. With too small a pinhole the sharpness again becomes worse due to diffraction. Some practical camera obscuras use a lens rather than a pinhole because it allows a larger aperture, giving a usable brightness while maintaining focus.

Some examples of Camera Obscura displays.

I like this image. The camera obscure backdrop really works in this. Really nice idea!

Photographer Abelardo Morell has published a new book entitled Camera Obscura, in which he captures with incredible clarity the results of this photographic process as experienced in some Manhattan apartments.

I really like how the image of the Empire State building is reflected onto the bed cover.

This is my favorite camera obscure photograph out of the lot. It almost gives the illusion that  it looks like the photo was taken at train station. This image has inspired our group to try and create a simplistic structure to try and create the illusion of being in a outdoor open space, when actually you’re only a in confined space.

Below is a video of some Camera Obscurity in action.

Group Idea For Future Cinema

I’m going to be working with Kavi and Gina for this project. After the crit and hearing everyones individual idea for the project, we decided to go with Gina’s idea of creating a cube environment, which can be explored through abstract visuals. The idea isn’t to re-create a completely realistic environment, but to focus on immersing an audience in this small surrounding environment with visual content. This is where we got the idea for the title of our project idea, which is Cinemerse. Below is a birds eye view plan of installation design and how it’s going to operate.

As you can see from the diagram, there are little dots in random places on the ground, within the cube. They are called the trigger points and will not be visible to the audience inside the cube.  If someone stands on or conflicts any form of movement on top of them, they will change the visuals surroundings. The software we will be using to execute this interactivity is called Max/MSP.



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