Glass Meet The Future Film Festival 2021

Camera Obscura activity
Flora debechi, UK

GLASS MEET THE FUTURE FILM FESTIVAL 2021

20 march 2021 - 04 april 2021

In a time when so many of us have been stuck inside looking at the view, this workshop is an opportunity for people to turn that view (literally!) upside down, bringing it’s projected image inside to rediscover what we see and frequently take for granted. 

Your window becomes the lens and your room becomes a version of a camera. This workshop will bring together audiences to create a camera obscura in their homes using everyday available materials. 

The discovery of the camera obscura was a magical experience for Flora as a child, and one which set her off on the path to photography and the subsequent investigation into the nature of light and how we see and understand its effect on our concept of our world. 

LET'S HAVE A GO!

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Camera obscuras have been used for thousands of years as drawing aids, in the early development of photography and also just for fun. Some archeologist have theories about neolithic people using camera obscurers to make cave paintings! 
The discovery of the camera obscura was a magical experience for me as a child, which set me on the path to photography and working with glass lenses.

STAGE ONE: CHOOSE YOUR ROOM
Decide which room in your house you would like to make your camera
obscura in. A few things you might want to think about is:
-Where is the brightest spot/light from outside coming from?
-Which view would you like to turn upside down?
-How big is your window? A bigger window will take more effort and materials to cover .
-Is there a blank wall opposite the window?
The image will project onto any surface but a white wall can make seeing the image easier

STAGE TWO: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
When you make a camera obscura you are essentially looking to block out
all the light coming from your window into the room. To do this you can use many different household materials:
-Cardboard
-Bin bags
-Tinfoil
-Black out blind (note: make sure you can make a hole in whatever material
you are using)
You will also need:
-Scissors
-Masking tape/gaffer tape *make sure to ask your parents/guardians for help with this stage!

STAGE THREE: START COVERING YOUR WINDOW!
*Remember at this stage to stay safe and get help from an adult using scissors
or standing on anything*
Make sure all the light is blocked from the window- this means also any light
which may be coming through the tape! I find using layers of tin foil works the
best as it’s light proof, it can however reflect light inwards so be careful to cover
all the gaps.
As it gets darker how do you see the light changing in the room?

STAGE FOUR: MAKING YOUR PINHOLE
When your window is completely covered and no light is coming into the room it’s time to make your pinhole.
This is the hole which will let light in to reveal the projected image- this works like the aperture in a camera the smaller the pinhole the clearer (and dimmer) your image, the bigger the aperture the fuzzier and brighter your image will be.
This will depend on how bright the light is outside your window.

 

Take a small square of cardboard (cereal packet is good) Draw round a 2p piece Fold the card in half with the circle in the middle Cut out your circle Make a hole in the material covering your window a little smaller than the piece of card your pinhole is on Tape it over Your image should start to appear!

STAGE FIVE: LETTING YOUR EYES ADJUST
It will be difficult to see your projection straight away and you may need to let
your eyes adjust to the dim atmosphere.
Cover your eyes and count to 30 when you remove your hands you should start to notice your image. Upside down!! (if you really can’t see anything try making your pinhole a bigger circle)
The cool thing is the image is moving! If you want to test it ask your friend/sibling/parent/neighbour to wave at you from outside your window!
Tip: You can experiment with putting lenses from a pair of glasses in front of the pinhole, how does this change the image?

STAGE SIX: HOW TO TAKE PICTURES
Because you are in a very dark environment it may be difficult to take pictures or video using your mobile phone. Experiment to see if you can!
You can also use a digital SLR to make the image in your room much brighter and enable you to see the image more clearly.
Try using your camera on the manual setting using a slow shutter speed like ¼ second f5.6 ISO to 3200
We’d love you to share your images with us using the hashtag #gmtfcameraobscura #gmtf2021 email us at info@northlandscreative.co.uk and we will add your images to our on line gallery!

ARTIST bio
FLora debechi

My work is concerned with the potential of raw materials from microcosm to macrocosm in differing states of flux. 

Engaging with processes of capturing, waiting and transformation, works span the mediums of sculpture, video, sound, and installation. Pieces coexist and link various elements with one another through subtle interventions in a complex synesthetic field of references.

I am interested in our relationship with the intangible, from ideas and experiences of the sublime to banality in our everyday lives. Focussing on universality and equality of everything being made from the same materials acted upon by elemental change- a continuous ‘liveness’.

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