Room Obscuras 

Bringing the Outside In


Using these resources, we encourage you to black out a room and project an inverted image of the outside world onto your walls and ceilings by letting in light through a small hole in your blackout material.

The experience can be enjoyed by all, and the projected image can be photographed with a long exposure using a digital camera. This is a great opportunity to combine 21st century innovation and creativity with a 3000 year old technique.


For inspiration have a look at room projections by Abelardo Morell (the master at this sort of thing), the wonderful Marja Pirila, or Chris Fraser.

Materials required:

Card from a large cardboard box
Gaffer tape, pins for fixing card
Digital camera / phone which does time exposures. (optional)

Room Obscura (hole)

Download or view our guide on how to make a room camera obscura using a hole. 

Obscura PDF image.jpg

Video on making a camera obscura in your own living room or any room in the house. Sit back and experience 2400 years of optical wonder in your own home.

Room Obscura (lens)

Download or view our guide on making a room camera obscura using a lens. 

Lens obscura PDF.jpg

More detailed video by Di Stoppard from the Whangarei Camera Obscura New Zealand. (Be aware the window used in the northern hemisphere should face North).

Camera Obscura FAQs

Where can we get the lens?

In the materials pack we sent out to participants or you can search on google for plastic wallet magnifiers or 1 diopter lenses to buy online.

Can we get more materials packs?

yes we can send out some more packs - email in with your address to

Room Obscura Gallery


Images by: Alex Grove, Liz Hammond, Ruth Jacobs, Patrick Roger-Jones, Wendy Leocque, Sebastian Michnowicz,
Justin Quinnell, Andy Sherlock and Sophie Sherwood.

Alex Groves

Alex Groves

Patrick Roger Jones

Liz hammond

Justin and Chrissy Quinnell

Justin and Rosa Quinnell

Ruth Jacobs

Sophie Sherwood 2

Sophie 2 copy

Wendy Leocque

Andy Sherlock



St Pauls Learning Centre, 94 Grosvenor Rd, Bristol, BS2 8XJ, United Kingdom (see on map) Tel. 0117 914 5470


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