In 1490, Leonardo Da Vinci gave two clear descriptions of the camera obscura in his notebooks.
The term "camera obscura" was first used by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler in the early 17th century.
The development of the camera obscura took two tracks.
Someone has tacked up fliers near the entrance: "Dramatic Re-Creation of Leonardo da Vinci's Original Camera Obscura! Well worth a buck!" You pay your buck, you walk inside.
"The camera obscura takes reality and removes it from itself," says David Warren, the San Franciscan who is the Giant Camera's most passionate defender.
But its bloodlines reach back hundreds of years: Eleventh-century Arab scholars knew the camera obscura's wonders, and versions of it appear in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.
Later, he inserted plates into a camera obscura
and obtained, after about 8 h of exposure, the first outdoor images.
The room-sized camera obscura ("dark chamber"), which the viewer enters to observe the image, was a site of wonder, curiosity, research and entertainment in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe.
Artists have long explored the visual peculiarities, such as halation, of camera obscura images.