Visual arts students bring Camera Obscura to campus

Using ancient technology, students successfully presented crystal clear images 

Step inside the camera obscura for a crystal clear, but inverted, projections of our sunny campus (Aidan Grether/The Omega)

Under the warm rays of the Spring Equinox sun, TRU visual arts students presented an enlarged version of what is known as the Camera Obscura to the campus community. This Renaissance period device has shaped the way cameras work today.

From the outside, this Camera Obscura looked like a makeshift shelter with its black garbage bag-esque aesthetics. One look inside presented a crystal clear view of students strolling around in the sun outside the tent.

Camera Obscura is Latin for “darkened chamber” or “dark room,” hence the dark tent on the campus green. Using a collection of lenses and a projection set up, the Camera Obscura is able to display everything outside just inverted.

The Camera Obscura was a project of Donald Lawrence’s visual arts class. Lawrence has done extensive research into the Camera Obscura, making it only fitting to incorporate it into his classroom.

The third-year sculpture class has worked throughout the entire semester, through many workshops, to get to the point of this public display. 

TRU student Kevin Bronnimann, who worked primarily on the design with some help from Lawrence, found that many students who attended didn’t quite know what they were getting into but were amazed at what they saw. 

“It was really interesting to see how amazed people were when they didn’t know what to expect,” said Bronnimann.

The image inside the campus Camera Obscura was surprisingly clear, capturing the sun reflections details of the beautiful day perfectly. 

The Spring Equinox was the perfect day for this event. The sunny day was made for a crystal clear image.