Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Giant Camera !?- Envelope #4

When I opened this envelope I was ultra curious - Camera Obscura of San Francisco?  What in the world?

Last Sunday we all piled into the Honda Pilot and headed to discover a new San Francisco treasure.

Right at the Northern end of Ocean Beach, next to the Cliff House is a 25 x 25 ft little shack. It looks like a boxy retro camera.  On the side it reads "Giant Camera". It's ultra kitschy.

We paid the older gentleman running the show; $3 per adult and $2 for the kids. Stepping inside transported us back in time...    

We all gathered into the small room. He sealed the door from the intense sun and introduced us to the "Giant Camera".

My Girls at the SF Camera Obscura

In the pitch black room, centered is a waist high disc about 6ft around. This is where the magnified image of the outside appears.  The operator slowly rotated the mirror 360 degrees. The surfers, the ripples of waves, Seal Rock, dogs running on the beach... were so perfect that the kids tried to pick them up.

It might sound simple... But that's why it was great. It was breathtakingly beautiful.  We were all mesmerized.

Camera Obscura Projection

The camera obscura device is believed to date back before the 15th century. Sketches exist from Leonardo Da Vinci and other famous artists. It was believed the device was used to help create their paintings. This one was built n 1946 and is now a National Landmark. It has a 10" mirror at the top of the little building, a convex and concave mirror below and then the projection surface...

The images I post here can't begin to capture the magic of the Camera Obscura. So instead of taking my word for it, check it out for $3! I'll be posting more images of sunset soon !

©  2012 by©  2012 photography by Hayley Thistlethwaite all rights reserved Hayley Thistlethwaite all rights reserved