26_Camera Obscura (with 4x optical zoom)

3 Jul

Did you know you can take pictures with a cardboard box with a tiny hole in it? Did you know you can also make pretty accurate drawings using the same device? And that great artists such as Leonardo, used something similar to trace the outlines and minor details of their paintings?

Well now you´ll be able to do great drawings to cause today we´re gonna make a pin hole camera, zoom included. (for making drawings, no photos)

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

It´ll take you about an hour and a half to make and as much time as you like to make your drawings.

You`ll need:

_To print and download the following files:

cameraobscura_1

cameraobscura_2

cameraobscura_3

cameraobscura_4

_4x A4 cardboard pieces (you could recycle cereal boxes or the back of paper blocks)

_Tracing paper

_Ruler

_Rutter/Exacto knife and a cutting mat or surface to cut on.

_Pin, needle or the pointy end of a compass/circle cutter.

_UHU glue.

_Glue stick or Spray Mount (I’d suggest you go for Spray Mount, it´s easier to use, just remember to use it in an open space)

_Black throw or piece of thick fabric, maybe a T-shirt or a jumper (sweater).

_Black felt tip pen or thin liner

_Coloured pencils, crayons or markers.

How to make your Camera Obscura:

1. Print the files above and stick them to the A4 pieces of cardboard. Use just enough Spray Mount (or glue stick) so that the prints stay while you cut and still you are able to “peel” them off when you’re done)

2. Cut all the pieces over the black lines. Pass the cutter a few times over the red dotted lines without going all the way through. This will allow you to fold all the sides and tabs back.

3. Using a pin, needle or pointy end of a compass/circle cutter, punch a tiny hole where indicated with a tiny purple cross. .

4. Peel the prints off and fold all the pieces where indicated. (make sure you mark, maybe with your knife, where the tiny squares are supposed to go; they are marked in purple in the prints)

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

5. Put UHU glue on the tabs and stick everything together. When putting together the piece with the pin hole, make sure you stick the funny shaped bits inside the square sides. (check image below) This will make a kind of rail for the other piece to slide back and forth into this one without going out. This will make the zoom of your camera obscura.

6. Stick the tiny squares in place.

7. You should now be able to slide the piece with the tiny squares into the one with the rails. Make sure the “frame” in the inner piece is facing out. If you feel like it´s too loose, add an extra tiny square on each side.

8. Stick the remaining piece together. It is some sort of cap with a frame on one side.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

9. To make your Camera Obscura a bit more fun, make a drawing on the side that has the pin hole. Mine has a huuuge eye….

10. We need a surface to capture light and be able to draw. Cut a 9.5×9.5 cm square out of tracing paper.

11. Without using any glue, put the tracing paper square into the “cap” piece.

12. Now put the “cap” with the paper on the camera.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Great! Your camera should work now…Ready to make some drawings?

13. Get the black throw or piece of fabric and your black pen and go outside. (you could do it inside but you have to look out the window, it doesn’t work indoors).

14. In order to see what the camera produces you need to be in complete darkness, so, cover the camera and yourself with the throw. Leave the pin hole free. (check the intro photo or the one below)

15. Give your eyes a few moments to adjust and TA DA!!! You’ll start to see the image on the paper! Zoom in and out by sliding the inner cube back and forth.

16. Now you can draw on the paper whatever you see. You`ll need to be really coordinated for this: hold the throw and the camera with one hand and draw with the other!

17. When you’re done tracing, get the piece of paper out of the camera, add details and colour and that’s it!

Cut more tracing paper squares to make as many drawings as you like.

© 2011 Fernanda de Uriarte

Bet your drawings are looking great (and that you look great while using your camera).

Beware great artists… you’ve got competition!

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One Response to “26_Camera Obscura (with 4x optical zoom)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 32_Invisibility Box « 52weeks52toys - September 6, 2011

    […] the actual box. (check this posts out to see a few examples of nets so you know how to make yours camera obscura, Spyscope, cubic Transformers). Make sure you make 2 openings: 1 for your hand and other objects to […]

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