A couple of years ago I visited Kentwell Hall in Melford Suffolk. With it’s orchard gardens and moated grounds the Tudor house is magnificent. After a walk to find a very old ice house, through too long grass, where my legs got bitten by gnats, we came across a wonder, a built in room camera obscura.

Stepping into the pitch black room, it seemed very puzzling. You need to stand in front of the small hole in the wall and look at the opposite wall. Standing there at  that instant, I thought this would never work, but it did. It was like magic, the trees that the hole looked out on, were projected clearly with detail and colour, but upside down.

“If the facade of a building, or a place, or a landscape is illuminated by the sun and a small hole is drilled in the wall of a room in a building facing this, which is not directly lighted by the sun, then all objects illuminated by the sun will send their images through this aperture and will appear, upside down, on the wall facing the hole.
You will catch these pictures on a piece of white paper, which placed vertically in the room not far from that opening, and you will see all the above-mentioned objects on this paper in their natural shapes or colors, but they will appear smaller and upside down, on account of crossing of the rays at that aperture. If these pictures originate from a place which is illuminated by the sun, they will appear colored on the paper exactly as they are. The paper should be very thin and must be viewed from the back.”Leonardo da Vinci

Image shown is a projected image of Central Park, New York.


Writing Tasks

You find after looking through a camera obscura the world is not the same as it used to be. Free write. (15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about the image created by a camera obscura.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!


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