tured on the camera's recording surface. In digital cameras, images are
recorded electronically and stored on a memory chip or card. Cameras of
the 20th century used photographic film as a recording surface.
To better understand the basic principles of photography, examine what
is known as a pinhole camera. This device consists o f a closed box in the
front of which a small hole - a lens - has been created. When you point the
lens at a subject, light passing through the hole forms an image of the subject on the side opposite.
The pinhole camera is also known as a camera obscura. Camera is Latin for
the word "room," obscura means "dark." The camera body is a dark room.
Knowledge of the camera obscura has been traced back to ancient times.
The Chinese philosopher Mo Ti described such a device in the 5th century
BC. In the centuries that followed, scholars and philosophers occasionally
made mention of the camera obscura. Italian artist and inventor Leonardo
da Vinci wrote the first detailed description of the device in about 1485.
During the early decades of the 1800s, the camera obscura led to the inven
tion of the film camera.
During the mid-1600s, some artists created camera obscuras by building a dark room with lenses and
mirrors. Light from the subject being "photographed produced an image on one of the room's walls. This
image could then be traced onto paper by the artist, helping to create a lifelike drawing or painting.