Camera Obscura

Our custom-made Camera Obscura pays tribute to the earliest forms of using light to capture images and is a highlight of visiting the Gallery. Find out when its open or how to book a workshop.

A view of Ramillies Street as seen through the Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Our custom-made Camera Obscura pays tribute to the earliest forms of using light to capture images and is a highlight of visiting the Gallery. Find out when its open or how to book a workshop.

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. It's located on the third floor (Eranda Studio Floor) of The Photographers' Gallery. We open the camera obscura on brighter or longer days, when the Studio isn't in use for other activities.

Weather and daylight dependent, hours variable, Eranda Studio, 3rd Floor. 

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.