Camera Obscura on Greenwood Avenue

A friend of mine who is a retired college professor in the Oklahoma City area posted a link on facebook about a Camera Obscura installation in the Greenwood Area of Tulsa right in the middle of “Black Wall Street” being built by current professor. I decided to go check it out so last Saturday I went down and followed the signs to the third floor offices of the president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. The office had the windows masked over except for a small hole in which was placed a lens of five or six inches in diameter. The amazing thing was that there was image on the other side of the room projected on rolls of paper and the sides of the room.

I used my phone to take a photo of the image.

It was an upside down and flipped sideways image of the scene across the street. I was inside a giant camera! It was amazing. I stood there astounded as the professor, Mark Zimmerman, a photography professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, explained what was happening. This is the earliest form of photography, first started in 500 to 1000 AD. Of course nothing is recorded unless one traces the drawings.

And here is the flipped image. I should have flipped it again left to right. Professor Zimmerman explained that our eyes see upside down and flipped images but our brain does the correctionso for us when it gets the images from the eyes.

Here is an article from Petapixle, with photos and videos showing how Professor Zimmerman made a camera obscura in his classroom.

Here is a link to the Tulsa World article about the installation.

And below is a YouTube video on how to make your own.

So seeing a Camera Obscura was my wow moment this past week.

I am linking with “My Corner of the World.”

5 thoughts on “Camera Obscura on Greenwood Avenue

  1. Penelope Notes

    Such an interesting post. I watched the video on how to make a camera inside a room. Fascinating to think it all began with artists trying to get a “leg up” on drawing perspectives properly. Even more fascinating to be reminded that humankind sees its existence in palatable ways. For example, our brains putting things upright. Yet there is so much more to our environment than we can ever imagine.

  2. Linda W

    The Video is remarkable. I’m old enough to have worked in darkrooms, and one was converted from a room with a window using darkroom window film. There was also a special exhaust fan that did not let in light. It would’ve been easy to convert this room to a camera obscura using the method in the video, plus whiteboard or sheets.

    I loved making enlargements, but developing film was a pain because there was no way to rectify a mistake.

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