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Maybe a good (re)make? –

YOU walk across the green-lawned, palm-hemmed park overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California, and climb the stairs to the little house in the picture above. Your party gathers around a circular rail in the center, the door is closed and at first all is darkness.

Then, slowly and as if by magic, the scene you left outdoors a few minutes before appears on the revolvable table in front of you. Colors are perfectly natural. Strollers in the park move about, quite oblivious to their observers.

Periscope house – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


7 Responses to Periscope house

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  1. Ken Junkins on said:

    Also known as a “Camera Obscura” (Lat. dark chamber) there are several in Scotland. J.M. Barrie (of Peter Pan fame) gave a camera obscura to the town of Kirriemuir. It sits on a hill overlooking a rugby field. (I’ve been to that one.) There is also one in Edinburgh and Dumfries scotland. There are several in England and Wales, as well as Portugal and throughout the world. Highly recommended to visit any of them if you can.

  2. I covered my bedroom window with cardboard and put a 1 inch hole in it. I could vaguely see what was outside upside down on my walls. With a medium format camera with the shutter open for an extended period of time you can capture these dim pictures on film.

  3. The city has changed and grown, but the Santa Monica Camera Obscura is still there:

    http://brightbytes.com/cosite/santamont.html

  4. Andrew Reid on said:

    We have one on the Isle of Man dated from the late 1800s.

    See:
    http://www.iomguide.com/douglas/camera-obscura.php
    and
    http://brightbytes.com/cosite/2iom.html

    It truly is wonderful and after being inside for a few minutes and letting your eyes adjust it is like ‘free’ non-powered live cinema.

    If you have never experienced it then it is worth a view.

  5. If I remember correctly from a visit a long time ago, there’s one in Greenwich, England as well. Very cool.

  6. Sleepydog on said:

    There has been a camera obscura in San Francisco’s Cliff house for about as long as anyone knows.
    http://cliffhouseproject.com/photos/camera.htm

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