camera obscura site
Why we created this site:

1840 camera obscura

Illustration from Light: Its Properties and Effects published by the Religious Tract Society, London, 1840 in our collection

Why we created this site:

We are photographers, educators, and collectors with a shared passion of more than 30 years for the history and prehistory of photography. One of the many points where all of these interests intersect is in the camera obscura (Latin for dark room). Early in our study of the origins of photography we realized that the camera obscura and its history is of primary importance to the development of the photographic camera.

We also discovered on a trip to Edinburgh in the late 1970s the magic and joy of the room sized camera obscura. These relics of the Victorian era can still work their magic today. We visit working camera obscuras whenever we can. On several trips to Britain and around the US we have visited as many of the historic and newly built camera obscuras as possible and plan more trips in the future. Maps and diary entries can be found on the site that chronicle our visits.

We collect a wide range of subjects (See our site: A Collection of Collections) It is not surprising then that our interest in the history of the camera obscura let us to collect stereo cards, books, cartoons, postcards, objects, and encyclopedia pages that show a camera obscura as well as a number of vintage instruments. These range in age from the 18th century to contemporary. Several pages on our collection are included in this site.

Illustrations from our collection have been used on many web sites (sometimes without permission although we have always given it when asked), in magazines, books, and television productions.

This is a personal site to share our enthusiasm for the camera obscura. We are happy to hear from others with information on working or lost camera obscuras that we do not know about. Because of work and numerous projects we we may not be able to answer all e-mail. Please check our FAQ page for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Magic Mirror of Life Home Page and Site Map

What is a camera obscura?

Why we created this site < You are here

Frequently Asked Questions about the Camera Obscura (please check this page before sending email questions)

Links and a Bibliography about the camera obscura

Map and illustrated diary of
our visits to
US camera obscuras

Map and illustrated diary of
our 1996 trip to
Great Britain camera obscuras

Images of camera obscuras from our collection.

Some Images from our collection
Trade Cards with Camera Obscuras
Lost UK Seaside Camera Obscuras
Other Lost UK Camera Obscuras
Lost US Seaside Camera Obscura
Lost US Park Camera Obscuras
Other Lost US Camera Obscuras
No, it's not a camera obscura

Portable and box camera obscuras from our collection.
Wooden Camera Obscuras
Metal Camera Obscuras
Camera Obscuras with the Lens at the Top
Cardboard Camera Obscuras
A French Artist's Camera with supplies
Vermeer's Camera, a 1934 teaching camera
Camera Obscura Publications

Bright Bytes Studio Home Page (Jack and Beverly's Home Page)

Contact us at
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions before sending an e-mail.

© Bright Bytes Studio. Do not use images without permission.

Modified 10/2004