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Camera Lucida

A camera lucida is an optical device once used by artists to aid in drawing designs and sketches.

It was invented and patented by William Hyde Wollaston in 1806.

However, it is thought the camera lucida is actually just the reinvention of a device described in Johannes Kepler's Dioptrice (Dioptrice 1611), but by the 19th century Kepler's description had been lost, so no one challenged Wollaston's invention.

Wollaston gave it the name "camera lucida" (Latin for "lit room").

(See also: Edmund Hoppe, "Geschichte der Optik", Leipzig 1926)

By looking through a camera lucida, the image of whatever is being looked at is superimposed onto the drawing surface, such as paper, in front of the one person looking through it.

The artist can see both the object or scenery they want to draw and the drawing paper in front of their eyes like a double exposure.

This allows the artist to draw dioramas with the proper perspective and exact replicas of items, because vital perspective points and figure contours are projected from the scene in front of the artist onto the paper at their hand.


1 Camera Lucida Fundamentals

2 Use of the Camera Lucida

Camera Lucida Fundamentals

The name camera lucida ('lit room') was given to contrast with the older sketching aid, the camera obscura (Latin for 'dark room').

They do not have any optical structures in common.

Firstly, the camera lucida, unlike a camera obscura, does not have a 'camera' (room, box).

Unlike a camera obscura, which needs to adjust a special light to darken the inside of the box, a camera lucida is a simpler art support tool that is portable and can be used in bright areas.

Also unlike a camera obscura, a camera lucida can not project images.

In the simplest camera lucida, the artist looks down at the drawing surface through a hlaf-silvered mirror tilted at 45 degrees.

The artist looks down through the glass to see the paper, which superimposes a refracted image of the scene directly onto the paper.

Some also have a weak negative lens (concave lens) built into it, so they can create an image of the scene that is about the same distance as the paper so both are in focus.

Wollaston's first camera lucida used an erect prism to correct the inverted and reversed image.

When the user's eye, E, looks through the prism, half of the pupil directly looks at the paper that will be drawn on, and the other half sees the reflected image of the scene corrected through two surfaces, through prism ABCD.

E superimposes these two scenes together.

Lenses L and L' perform the role of adjusting the distance from the paper and the scene to be equal.

Use of the Camera Lucida

If white paper is used with the camera lucida, the white paper washes out the light of the projected scene, making it hard to see.

As a result, in order to see both properly, using black paper and a white pencil to sketch is recommended.

At the beginning of the 19th century, camera lucidas were widely used by tourists and artists to sketch bright places.

One of the pioneers of photography, British nobleman William Henry Fox Talbot, used a camera lucida on his honeymoon in Italy in 1833 to sketch drawings of places he visited.

He stated later that he discovered photography (calotype) because he wanted a way to engrave natural scenes on paper because, no matter how hard he tried, he hadn't been able to successfully sketch things even with a camera lucida.

Camera lucidas can still be found in art supply stores today, although they are not a well-known or widely-used tool.

Up until the middle of the 20th century, camera lucidas were used by scientists to sketch minute items such as microbes and cells.

It also used to be expensive to reproduce photomicrographs, and so for publication or theses, where someone would want to use a clear illustration of a structure, it was much easier to draw and to understand an illustration done with a camera lucida than to use micrography.

As a result, for many years, most illustrations for histology and microanatomy in textbooks and research papers were camera lucida drawings instead of photomicrographs.

Date of last update:2013-10-25 17:33:12 jewel 1thumbs up   del.icio.usに追加   はてなブックマークに追加   twitterに投稿   facebookでshare
[ Original text ] https://ja.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E3%82%AB%E3%83%A1%E3%83%A9%E3%83%BB%E3%83%AB%E3%82%B7%E3%83%80&oldid=46773474 Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,
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