The word camera, describing a device used to capture images, is derived from the Latin camera obscura, which means ‘dark chamber’. The original camera obscura functioned more like a modern day projector than a camera, but the idea of capturing light and displaying images is the fundamental principle on which modern cameras rely.
Cameras function quite similarly to the human eye, in that light crosses a lens (the cornea in the eye), passes through a narrow aperture (the iris), and is then received by a detector. The eye sends the image to the brain where it the data is organized and displayed to us, but in a camera, the image is either printed onto photosensitive paper or displayed digitally on a screen.
Over the years since their invention, cameras have become more and more sophisticated. In their earlier years, cameras exclusively captured photos in black and white, although that was a limitation of the kind of film they were using. To get a clear image, the subject had to sit still for a long time, likely around a minute or two depending on the equipment. Some large photographic plates had exposure times of up to 15 minutes. It is assumed that these lengthy exposure times are the reason why, in many old photographs, people have serious facial expressions; holding a smile for that long is easier said than done.
Now, most phones contain a high resolution camera, many of which can capture pretty impressive photographs. They still pale in comparison to modern digital cameras though, on which you can swap out accessories such as lenses and flashes, and alter a wide variety of settings that can allow you to capture a wider variety of images at peak resolution.
If you’re living in or around Victoria BC, cameras are your best friend. There’s tons of great photo spots all over the island, so if you’re looking for more information on cameras, gear, and more, start by viewing our member offers below.