Last Friday was our first venture into art experiences rather than exhibits. While showing regional work for retail sale was important, it didn't feel fulfilling as a community contribution. When Nick started talking about doing a camera obscura a while back, we though it was the perfect opportunity to show our visitors that programming can be affordable, but highly enriching.
We had two waves of people come through with free tickets, ready to experience the inside of the camera obscura, which translates to "dark room". If you make a box or in this case, a room, completely dark and only let in a pinhole of light, light fills the space with the exterior image, inverse and upside down. I still can't explain the physics of it but this is what happens inside our eyes, inside a camera, inside a pinhole camera. It's really quite extraordinary.
The first experience yielded fairly good representation of the street and particularly the farmers' market building across the way. We learned that late morning light gave us the best image in terms of sharpness and vibrancy but people were in awe all the same. The second wave was not as strong as this time, the sun had moved lower in the sky (around 6:30 pm) and we were getting less of an image. But when people and cars went by, it was quite thrilling. And although we were the ones in the "box", it felt quite voyeuristic as people didn't know we were seeing them. Upside down.
Here's a short visual story on the process. We want to thank everyone that took the time to come out and get locked in the studio with us. It was a wonderful learning and social experiment. Lots more to come!