is a Camera ? - History of the camera obscura
concept and use of the camera is much much older than photography
as we understand it.
word camera is derived from camera obscura (Latin for dark
chamber) and the principal can be traced back to Aristotle.
It was noticed that if a very small hole penetrated the
outside wall of a darkened room, an image of the scene outside
was projected onto the opposite wall.
Later, through the dark ages, reference to it can be found
in the writings of Arabian scholars who preserved aspects
of ancient Greek knowledge. It was found that the
brightness of the image related to the size of the hole,
( the larger the opening the brighter the image) and the
distance the light traveled from the hole to the wall where
the image was formed, (the further the distance the dimmer
the image). This effect is termed the inverse
square law. It was also discovered that while increasing
the hole allowed more light to enter it also made the image
recognition of this phenomenon where an image
of the outside world is projected back through
a small opening is very old.
Gemma Frisius, observing the
solar eclipse apparently the first published illustration
of a camera obscura. 1544