Currently open most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11.00 – 13.00
Eranda Studio, 3rd Floor
a view of Soho in the camera obscura
Looking through the lens and turret of the camera obscura © The Photographers' Gallery
Please note: The camera obscura will be closed on Saturdays 15 February, 1 and 29 March 2014 due to other programmed events.
The Latin words camera obscura can be roughly translated as darkened room or chamber. A camera obscura is created when a small hole or aperture is made in a darkened space, producing an inverted image of the scene outside onto an opposite surface within.
This phenomenon has helped to prove that light travels in straight lines. A lens is used to increase the brightness and sharpness of the image. Camera obscura have been used as an aid to drawing and, particularly during the Victorian era, a popular form of entertainment.
There are many camera obscura located throughout the world including: Greenwich; Aberystwyth; Bristol; Edinburgh; and further afield in Eger, Hungary; Santa Monica, USA; Havana, Cuba; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Photographers’ Gallery’s camera obscura was developed in collaboration with Tony Willett and Dom Patteson from Amazing Camera Obscura.
Our custom made triplet lens was installed on 6 September 2012 and is now affording a 360 degree vertical 'slice' along Ramillies Street up to the sky and back again.
The camera obscura takes advantage of when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. We will also open the camera obscura on brighter or longer days, outside of its stated opening hours, when the Studio isn't in use for other activities.