Brief History of Photography: Camera Obscura and Vermeer

But first, this. A different way of thinking about why we take photographs

Abelardo Morrell: Youtube

Abelardo Morell’s website.

The connection between lens making, photography and Vermeer:
David Hockney’s, A Secret Knowledge. You can find the entire documentary on Youtube. Here is Hockney on the Charlie Rose show

The book.

Not everyone agrees with Hockney’s thesis. Some counter arguments, here and here. The later one is perhaps the most valid because its author is a scholar. Hockney’s project has inspired further exploration and scholarship.

Jerry Spagnoli: contemporary daguerreotypist. A video presentation. His website.

BBC program: The Genius of Photography

George Eastman House on Flickr

“Tim’s Vermeer”a documentary by Penn and Teller (yes, THAT Penn and Teller) about one man’s obsession with discovering Vermeer’s secrets. Hint: camera obscura! Trailer | NY Times article

Camera Obscura made from natural elements


1997_001_Camera-Obscura-Image-of-The-Grand-Tetons-in-Resort-001.jpgMore Abelardo Morell | Above image is The Grand Tetons in the Resort Room, 1997

Short video detailing the Camera Obscura in San Francisco.

The Dyer Star Chamber at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee)

Great source (terrible design) all about camera obscura!

Site about custom camera obscura design.

Contemporary artists using camera obscura: 


Trudi Lynn Smith

Abelardo Morell Tent Camera Obscura in Big Bend National Park

Tim’s Vermeer, in Guelph!

Tim’s Vermeer!

I’ve mentioned the camera obscura and the film Tim’s Vermeer in both Photo I and Photo III. The movie is in Guelph, this week, at the Bookshelf Cinema.  If you’re old-fashioned enough to see movies legally, check it out. It’s playing Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 and Friday at 7pm.

Here is the Rotten Tomatoes Review | Globe and Mail review

Don’t remember what I’m talking about? Review the camera obscura and its profound impact on the history of image making and painting here.