How Do You Make a Camera Obscura?


Quick Answer

One way to make a camera obscura is to cut two holes in a shoe box, cover one with a magnifying glass, tape laminated tracing paper in the middle of the box, and cover the camera. This 20-minute project requires a shoe box, a magnifying glass, tape, laminated tracing paper and scissors.

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Full Answer

  1. Cut the holes

    Remove the shoe box lid, and set it aside. Cut an oval hole in one of the box's short sides. Make it large enough to accommodate both of your eyes. Hold the magnifying glass up to the other short side of the box, and cut a circular hole of the same size.

  2. Install the lens

    Tape the magnifying glass to the outside of the box, so that the glass covers the round hole.

  3. Install the screen

    To install the camera screen, cut out a sheet of laminated tracing paper the same size as the short ends of the box. Set the screen inside the box, about halfway between the lens and viewing hole. Point the camera lens at a window, and observe the projection on the screen. Adjust the screen's placement to focus the image, and tape the screen to the box in that position.

  4. Cover the box

    Set the cover on the box. To use the camera, pick it up, and look through the oval hole.

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