His mind seemed to turn, on the instant, into a vast camera obscura
, and he saw arrayed around his consciousness endless pictures from his life, of stoke-holes and forecastles, camps and beaches, jails and boozing-kens, fever-hospitals and slum streets, wherein the thread of association was the fashion in which he had been addressed in those various situations.
* Canaletto was so good at perspective drawing that some people believed that he copied what he could see in an instrument called a "camera obscura
." A camera obscura
is like a simple camera with a mirror in it but no film (photographic film had not yet been invented).
Photographer Abelardo Morell's just-released book, "Camera Obscura
" (Bullfinch Press, September 2004), celebrates a phenomenon known since ancient times.
Concerning the question of optical aids, there is a possible answer well short of the use of lenses, mirrors, or a pinhole camera obscura
. A simple grid of strings and a fixed eye point will allow the artist to create a correct perspective with the use of a corresponding grid on paper.
Other instances of western imports that may have altered Japanese perceptions include the optique, a kind of camera obscura
, whose effects can be traced in certain prints and in books on geography and natural history.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) understood the optical principle of the camera obscura
. He viewed the crescent shape of a partially eclipsed sun projected on the ground through the holes in a sieve, and the gaps between leaves of a plane tree.
There has long been speculation that Vermeer made use of a camera obscura
, an enclosed device that allowed a detailed image of the world to be projected through a lens onto an inner wall.
Using small mirrors or lenses, Hockney shows how artists created early versions of the camera obscura
. He pegs the advent of mirror-assisted painting to the 1420s, not long after Filippo Brunelleschi had used a camera obscura
to capture the doors of Florence's Baptistry and essentially invented vanishing-point perspective.
His paintings are considered to be reliable documents because he used a camera obscura
to project images onto the canvas before he sketched a city scene.
His most recent books are Popiol i miod (Ashes and honey, 1996) and Camera obscura
The film's overall structure, in which the second half to a large extent mirrors, repeats and alters the first, is somewhat arbitrarily linked to the workings of the camera obscura
, for no better reason, apparently, than to conform to the current vogue for 'apparatus theory' in the study of early cinema.
Her own acquaintance with optical devices seems questionable when she identifies Holman Hunt's attempt to paint the night scene of "Light of the World" while having "good daylight" to paint by as a kind of camera obscura
. Technically, a strong light exterior to the darkened camera obscura
produces an upside-down image on a surface or screen within the box or room on the dark side of the peephole.