meta name="p:domain_verify" content="83432fc69a1d6df071f49df584f9d839 Laurl Designs: Cell phone Camera Obscura for the eclipse and beyond

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cell phone Camera Obscura for the eclipse and beyond

I have searched the web for days looking for some instructions to make a Camera Obscura for my iPhone for eclipse photography to no avail.

So, I decided to make my own. Here is what I scavenged from home to make it. It's quick... it's dirty... but I don't have to wear a box on my head in public!

Step 1- Scavenge a good sized box. I used a box from my recent order. It is about 18" x 9" x 9". Does the size matter? 
I have no idea.

Step 2- Seal all corners with tape and some aluminum foil, or that silvery tape for HVAC ducts. Also, seal the bottom of the box in the same way. This will keep out all light, except the light you want.

Step 3- Cut a square about a 1/2 inch in the center of the short end of the box. You can use a mat knife, box cutter, steak knife, etc.

Step 4- Place white paper inside the box at the opposite end from the square hole. I used a sheet of label paper, because it is sticky and easy.

Step 5- Position your cell phone on the box to determine where your camera will view into the box and trace your camera. I used my cell phone case to align the camera hole. I also dallied with the idea of gluing the case to the box for quick positioning, but changed my mind.

Step 6- Measure the size of the hole on your cell phone camera compared to a drill bit, then drill the hole in the box. Clean the hole to be neat and get the most from your camera.

Step 7- Go outside and test the box. Hold the top closed or temporarily tape it closed and try some pics. Is the view hole too big? Does the camera hole work? Is there any light leaks? 

Step 8- If it all looks good... then seal the final box opening with the tape and foil and get ready for some eclipse fun. If it doesn't look good tweak it! Make the holes bigger, smaller or cleaner. If they are too big, use the tape and foil to make them smaller.

After the Big Day, don't throw your box away! This is still the modern version of  Leonardo da Vinci's camera obscura. And, it still works as a pinhole type camera. Go out there and blow up Instagram with your brilliant cell phone camera obscura photography!

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