You’re Invited: Camera Obscura at The Photographers’ Gallery

This video presents “The Camera Obscura at The Photographers’ Gallery.”

  • “Janice McLaren, Head of Education at the Photographers’ Gallery talks about our camera obscura.”

Looking through the lens and turret of the camera obscura<br />

Looking through the lens and turret of the camera obscura
© The Photographers’ Gallery

The Photographers’ Gallery


Camera Obscura


Currently open most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11.00 – 13.00.

The camera obscura will be closed on Friday 20 June, and Friday 27 June to Sunday 29 June.

Eranda Studio, 3rd Floor
The Photographers’ Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW, UK

Phone: +44 (0)20 7087 9300

“Camera obscura” is a latin phrase which translates to darkened room 
or chamber (Latin; camera for “vaulted chamber/room”, obscura for “dark”). By today’s definition, camera obscura is a darkened box with a convex lens or aperture for projecting the image of an external object onto a screen inside.

  • It is also known as a pinhole camera.

It is important historically in the development of photography and camera.

  • “Camera obscura is created when a small hole or aperture is made
 in a darkened space, producing an inverted image of the scene outside onto an opposite surface within.”
    • The Photographers’ Gallery’s camera obscura uses a lens to increase 
the brightness and sharpness of the image.
  • Camera obscuras have been used:
    • to prove that light travels in
 straight lines,
    • as an aid to drawing and,
    • a popular form of entertainment, particularly during the Victorian era.

There are many camera obscuras located throughout the world including:

  • Greenwich, UK
  • Aberystwyth, UK
  • Bristol, UK
  • Edinburgh, UK
  • Eger, Hungary
  • Santa Monica, USA
  • Havana, Cuba
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • London, UK.
    • The Photographers’ Gallery’s camera obscura was developed in collaboration with Tony Willett and Dom Patteson from Amazing Camera Obscura.
    • The gallery’s lens is a custom made triplet lens which is “affording a 360 degree vertical ‘slice’ along Ramillies Street up to the sky and back again.

Please click here for more info.