A camera lucida is an optical device used as a drawing aid by artists.
An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only. The term is often used in the entertainment business, especially in a business context, for musicians and other performers. "Artiste" is a variant used in English only in this context; this use is becoming rare. Use of the term to describe writers, for example, is valid, but less common, and mostly restricted to contexts like criticism.
The camera lucida performs an optical superimposition of the subject being viewed upon the surface upon which the artist is drawing. The artist sees both scene and drawing surface simultaneously, as in a photographic double exposure. This allows the artist to duplicate key points of the scene on the drawing surface, thus aiding in the accurate rendering of perspective.
Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.
The camera lucida was patented in 1806 by William Hyde Wollaston.The basic optics were described 200 years earlier by Johannes Kepler in his Dioptrice (1611), but there is no evidence he or his contemporaries constructed a working camera lucida. By the 19th century, Kepler's description had fallen into oblivion, so Wollaston's claim was never challenged. The term "camera lucida" (Latin "well-lit room" as opposed to camera obscura "dark room") is Wollaston's. (cf. Edmund Hoppe, Geschichte der Optik, Leipzig 1926)
William Hyde Wollaston was an English chemist and physicist who is famous for discovering the chemical elements palladium and rhodium. He also developed a way to process platinum ore into malleable ingots.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. He is a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion, and his books Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae. These works also provided one of the foundations for Newton's theory of universal gravitation.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
While on honeymoon in Italy in 1833, the photographic pioneer William Fox Talbot used a camera lucida as a sketching aid. He later wrote that it was a disappointment with his resulting efforts which encouraged him to seek a means to "cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably".
In 2001, artist David Hockney's book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters was met with controversy. His argument, known as the Hockney-Falco thesis, is that the notable transition in style for greater precision and visual realism that occurred around the decade of the 1420s is attributable to the artists’ discovery of the capability of optical projection devices, specifically an arrangement using a concave mirror to project real images. Their evidence is based largely on the characteristics of the paintings by great artists of later centuries, such as Ingres, Van Eyck, and Caravaggio.
David Hockney, is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
In optics, a real image is an image which is located in the plane of convergence for the light rays that originate from a given object. If a screen is placed in the plane of a real image the image will generally become visible on the screen. Examples of real images include the image seen on a cinema screen, the image produced on a detector in the rear of a camera, and the image produced on an eyeball retina . In ray diagrams, real rays of light are always represented by full, solid lines; perceived or extrapolated rays of light are represented by dashed lines. A real image occurs where rays converge, whereas a virtual image occurs where rays only appear to converge.
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges. He is one of the founders of Early Netherlandish painting and one of the most significant representatives of Early Northern Renaissance art. The few surviving records of his early life indicate that he was born around 1380–1390, most likely in Maaseik. He took employment in the Hague around 1422, when he was already a master painter with workshop assistants, and employed as painter and valet de chambre with John III the Pitiless, ruler of Holland and Hainaut. He was then employed in Lille as court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy after John's death in 1425, until he moved to Bruges in 1429 where he lived until his death. He was highly regarded by Philip and undertook a number of diplomatic visits abroad, including to Lisbon in 1428 to explore the possibility of a marriage contract between the duke and Isabella of Portugal.
The camera lucida is still available today through art-supply channels but is not well known or widely used. It has enjoyed a resurgence recently through a number of Kickstarter campaigns.
The name "camera lucida" (Latin for "light chamber") is obviously intended to recall the much older drawing aid, the camera obscura (Latin for "dark chamber"). There is no optical similarity between the devices. The camera lucida is a light, portable device that does not require special lighting conditions. No image is projected by the camera lucida.
In the simplest form of camera lucida, the artist looks down at the drawing surface through a half-silvered mirror tilted at 45 degrees. This superimposes a direct view of the drawing surface beneath, and a reflected view of a scene horizontally in front of the artist. This design produces an inverted image which is right-left reversed when turned the right way up. Also, light is lost in the imperfect reflection. Wollaston's design used a prism with four optical faces to produce two successive reflections (see illustration), thus producing an image that is not inverted or reversed. Angles ABC and ADC are 67.5° and BCD is 135°. Hence, the reflections occur through total internal reflection, so very little light is lost. It is not possible to see straight through the prism, so it is necessary to look at the very edge to see the paper.The instrument often came with an assortment of weak negative lenses, to create a virtual image of the scene at several distances. If the right lens is inserted, so that the chosen distance roughly equals the distance of the drawing surface, both images can be viewed in good focus simultaneously.
If white paper is used with the camera lucida, the superimposition of the paper with the scene tends to wash out the scene, making it difficult to view. When working with a camera lucida, it is often beneficial to use black paper and to draw with a white pencil.
As recently as a few decades ago,[ when? ] the camera lucida was still a standard tool of microscopists. It is still a key tool in the field of palaeontology. Until very recently, photomicrographs were expensive to reproduce. Furthermore, in many cases, a clear illustration of the structure that the microscopist wished to document was much easier to produce by drawing than by micrography. Thus, most routine histological and microanatomical illustrations in textbooks and research papers were camera lucida drawings rather than photomicrographs. The camera lucida is still used as the most common method among neurobiologists for drawing brain structures, although it is recognised to have limitations. "For decades in cellular neuroscience, camera lucida hand drawings have constituted essential illustrations. (...) The limitations of camera lucida can be avoided by the procedure of digital reconstruction". Of particular concern is distortion, and new digital methods are being introduced which can limit or remove this, "computerized techniques result in far fewer errors in data transcription and analysis than the camera lucida procedure". It is also regularly used in biological taxonomy.
A kaleidoscope is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces tilted to each other in an angle, so that one or more objects on one end of the mirrors are seen as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection. The reflectors are usually enclosed in a tube, often containing on one end a cell with loose, colored pieces of glass or other transparent materials to be reflected into the viewed pattern. Rotation of the cell causes motion of the materials, resulting in an ever-changing view being presented.
A mirror is an object that reflects light in such a way that, for incident light in some range of wavelengths, the reflected light preserves many or most of the detailed physical characteristics of the original light, called specular reflection. This is different from other light-reflecting objects that do not preserve much of the original wave signal other than color and diffuse reflected light, such as flat-white paint.
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process and practice of creating such images is called photography. The word photograph was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning "light," and γραφή (graphê), meaning "drawing, writing," together meaning "drawing with light."
Camera obscura, also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening. The surroundings of the projected image have to be relatively dark for the image to be clear, so many historical camera obscura experiments were performed in dark rooms.
A camera is an optical instrument to capture still images or to record moving images, which are stored in a physical medium such as in a digital system or on photographic film. A camera consists of a lens which focuses light from the scene, and a camera body which holds the image capture mechanism.
An image is an artifact that depicts visual perception, such as a photograph or other two-dimensional picture, that resembles a subject—usually a physical object—and thus provides a depiction of it. In the context of signal processing, an image is a distributed amplitude of color(s).
A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens but with a tiny aperture, a pinhole – effectively a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through the aperture and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box, which is known as the camera obscura effect.
Panoramic photography is a technique of photography, using specialized equipment or software, that captures images with horizontally elongated fields of view. It is sometimes known as wide format photography. The term has also been applied to a photograph that is cropped to a relatively wide aspect ratio, like the familiar letterbox format in wide-screen video.
In photography, a viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and, in many cases, to focus the picture. Most viewfinders are separate, and suffer parallax, while the single-lens reflex camera lets the viewfinder use the main optical system. Viewfinders are used in many cameras of different types: still and movie, film, analog and digital. A zoom camera usually zooms its finder in sync with its lens, one exception being rangefinder cameras.
An optical instrument is a device that either processes light waves to enhance an image for viewing, or analyzes light waves to determine one of a number of characteristic properties.
Precursors of film are often referred to as precinema, or 'pre-cinema'. Terms like these are disliked by several historians, partly because they seem to devalue the individual qualities of these media by presenting them as a small step in the development of a later invention. For instance: the flip book, zoetrope and phenakistiscope are very tactile devices that allow study and play by manipulating the motion by hand, while the projected image in cinema is untangible. It should also be noted that such devices as the zoetrope were not replaced by cinema: they were still used after the breakthrough of film. Furthermore, many early media examples are also part of a tradition that not only shaped cinema, but also home video, video games, computer-generated imagery, virtual reality and much more. The study of early media devices is also part of a wider and less teleological approach called media archaeology.
Bacchus is a painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610). It is held in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
A Claude glass is a small mirror, slightly convex in shape, with its surface tinted a dark colour. Bound up like a pocket-book or in a carrying case, Claude glasses were used by artists, travelers and connoisseurs of landscape and landscape painting. Claude glasses have the effect of abstracting the subject reflected in them from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range of scenes and scenery to give them a painterly quality.
The Hockney–Falco thesis is a theory of art history, advanced by artist David Hockney and physicist Charles M. Falco. Both claimed that advances in realism and accuracy in the history of Western art since the Renaissance were primarily the result of optical instruments such as the camera obscura, camera lucida, and curved mirrors, rather than solely due to the development of artistic technique and skill. Nineteenth-century artists' use of photography had been well documented. In a 2001 book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, Hockney analyzed the work of the Old Masters and argued that the level of accuracy represented in their work is impossible to create by "eyeballing it". Since then, Hockney and Falco have produced a number of publications on positive evidence of the use of optical aids, and the historical plausibility of such methods. The hypothesis led to a variety of conferences and heated discussions.
A zograscope is an optical device for magnifying flat pictures that also has the property of enhancing the sense of the depth shown in the picture. It consists of a large magnifying lens through which the picture is viewed. Devices containing only the lens are sometimes referred to as graphoscopes. Other models have the lens mounted on a stand in front of an angled mirror. This allows someone to sit at a table and to look through the lens at the picture flat on the table. Pictures viewed in this way need to be left-right reversed; this is obvious in the case of writing. A print made for this purpose is called a vue d'optique or perspective view.
A projector or image projector is an optical device that projects an image onto a surface, commonly a projection screen. Most projectors create an image by shining a light through a small transparent lens, but some newer types of projectors can project the image directly, by using lasers. A virtual retinal display, or retinal projector, is a projector that projects an image directly on the retina instead of using an external projection screen.
Tim's Vermeer is a documentary film, directed by Teller, produced by his stage partner Penn Jillette and Farley Ziegler, about inventor Tim Jenison's efforts to duplicate the painting techniques of Johannes Vermeer, in order to test his theory that Vermeer painted with the help of optical devices.
Ryan and Trevor Oakes are identical twin American artists and draftsmen best known for collaborative large scale drawings using a concave gridded easel. They create [[camera obscura] exact drawings using an easel which they devised and built. Their drawings, paintings, and sculptures explore the intersection of art and mathematics.
Veiling glare is an imperfection of performance in optical instruments arising from incoming light that strays from the normal image-forming paths, and reaches the focal plane. The effect superimposes a form of noise onto the normal image sensed by the detector, resulting in a final image degraded by loss of contrast and reduced definition. In scenes where a bright object is next to a faint object, veiling glare from the bright object may hide the faint object from view, even though the instrument is otherwise capable of spatially resolving the two. Veiling glare is a limiting factor in high-dynamic-range imaging.
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