Life-sized camera obscura
Calling a camera obscura sorcery is so 16th century. Although its origins actually date back to the 10th century, there is something magical about seeing the world move in full color in real time while inside a dark room without the trappings of television (electricity, wires, endless commercials). The simple invention—a dark room with a small opening that casts images of whatever’s outside inside—is the foundation of all still- and moving-image-capturing devices, which have become integral parts of modern life.
The folks at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts constructed an 8-by-8-foot mobile camera obscura for people to experience as part of its Target Free Saturday: Photo Magic family-event day. Kids and parents should get a kick out of being inside a camera, and if being swept into a dark room with the young ’uns isn’t motivation enough, a gift will be offered to the first 500 families who attend this free event. Maybe it’ll be wizard hats.