What is a camera obscura?

Function and description

The Camera Obscura projects an image on a white concave horizontal screen, like on a table, which is situated in the centre of completely darkened, black painted room.

The projected images are coloured and luminescent and they reflect everything that happens at this very moment outside the tower (moving images in real time).

Thanks to the large focal distance of the lenses the result is a magnificent optical effect which means that even objects which are far away seem to be near.

To focus the different distances the screen moves up and down, which allows the screen to focus, just like in a camera. The images in the Camera Obscura can be moved forwards and backwards to visualize the different parts of the landscape. Above one can see the horizon at a certain distance, and below, examine details.

The principal lenses of the optical instrument have a plane astronomic object which is produced with a degree/level/grade from 4” (10,16 cm) to 12” (30,48 cm) of diameter and with focal radiuses which are designed for each building in particular.

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How to install a Camera Obscura?

The Camera Obscura of the Tavira Tower was opened on December the 22 of 1994 and was the first Camera Obscura installed in Spain. The Tavira Tower has received the patent for the use of the Camera Obscura in Spain N° U9701729 by the Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas.

The idea comes from Belén González Dorao, the entrepreneur and founder of the project in Cádiz. Her brother, Ignacio visited during his holidays in Edinburgh a Camera Obscura and told his sister about the existence of this interesting optical effect. Later Belén started to think that the light in this region and the privileged situation of the Tavira Tower would be ideal to realize a similar project in Cádiz, which was right.

If you want to install a Camera Obscura in your region don’t hesitate to contact us: +34 956 21 29 10 or email: camaraoscura@torretavira.com. We are pleased to help you with any questions concerning the installation of a Camera Obscura.

The support of your request includes, besides the delivery of the optical instrument, the consultation of necessary modifications on the building for an adequate installation of the Camera Obscura. In addition we are pleased to consult you about the necessary marketing strategies and entrepreneurial steps for the future development of your tourist project.

Other Cameras Obscuras installed

With the installation of the Camera Obscura in the Tavira Tower in 1994, we’ve installed further Cameras Obscuras in Spain, Europe and across the Atlantic Ocean. The first Camera Obscura we installed after the one in Cádiz was in Lisbon, in April 1998 and the last one in Béjar (Salamanca) in August 2010. At the moment we are working on various projects to install Camera Obsuras in Spanish cities.

Installed Cameras Obscuras by us until today:

History of the Camera Obscura

Optical games have always attracted human beings; lenses, lights, shadows …or more precisely, stimuli which help us to perceive reality from a different point of view.

The invention of the camera obscura begins in the 10th century and demonstrates the beginning of a new technical innovation which ends in the development of the photography and the art of the cinema.

Get to know its history… here.