And then an exhibition came that completely mesmerized me. The exhibition was photographer Abelardo Morrell's "Camera Obscura." Camera Obscura, and I didn't know a thing about this, was a device that was invented by a Persian around 1000 AD which eventually led to photography.
Here's the wikipedia definition of camera obscura:
The camera obscura (Latin veiled chamber) is an optical device used, for example, in drawing or for entertainment. It is one of the inventions leading to photography. The principle can be demonstrated with a box with a hole in one side (the box may be room-sized, or hangar sized). Light from a scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface where it is reproduced, in color, and upside-down. The image's perspective is accurate. The image can be projected onto paper, which when traced can produce a highly accurate representation.
Using mirrors, as in the 18th century overhead version (illustrated in the Discovery and Origins section below), it is possible to project a right-side-up image. Another more portable type is a box with an angled mirror projecting onto tracing paper placed on the glass top, the image upright as viewed from the back.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 obscurae use a lens rather than a pinhole because it allows a larger aperture, giving a usable brightness while maintaining focus.
The photographer's exhibition was fascinating to me and I fell in love with the Morell's work. Here's just a few reasons why (all photographs are copyright of Abelardo Morrell):
The Empire State Building in Bedroom, 1994
The Eiffel Tower in the Hotel Frantour, 1999
At the exhibition they had a walk-in camera obscura where you could observe the phenomenon yourself. The complicated set up and length of time it takes to capture these images, in so many different settings, is as elaborate as can be although the images themselves are beautiful in their simplicity.
I especially enjoyed his Alice In Wonderland series and the Book series!
Check out the trailer for a documentary film about Morrell titled Shadow of the House:
To order the DVD: http://www.shadowofthehouse.com/
If you're like me I just can't get enough of the beauty that this guy creates. Please visit Abelardo Morell's website at http://www.abelardomorell.net/photography/recent_01/recent_01.html to see the rest of his work. And please check out one of his exhibitions if it comes to your town.
Have a beautiful day!