Monday, September 16, 2013

Camera Obscura in Mülheim/Ruhr

Recently, we visited the Camera Obscura in Mülheim an der Ruhr. The Camera and the Museum of antique movies are located in an old water tower which was used to provide steam powered trains with the water the need to produce steam:

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The are is a little park near the Broich castle, which is also rather pretty but run over by marriages in summer. I think we saw around 3 during the 20 minutes we wlked through the castle... Anyway, the Camera obscura was located in the highest level of the water tower and the three stories underneath it were a museum about the development from shadow plays with stick figures to moving pictures. We saw a lot of amazing stuff:

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This is a picture made from raw porcelain, if you turn on the light, the thickness of the porcelain creates darker or lighter shades!

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These 3D pictures were about 1m long with several layers. You have to look through a small hole in front and can see the the scenery as if it was in three dimensions. Feels like you are directly looking at the Arc de Triumphe in Paris aged 1850!

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They also had warped pictures that could only be seen clear when looking at a mirror rod.

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These barrels with slits are the first moving pictures. When spinning the barrel, you can see the pictures drawn on the inside through the slits. The pictures have consecutive movements, so the figure on them seems to move.

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They even had thumb movies! I remember drawing them on school books (sorry!) when I was young, but mine were never longer than 20 pictures. This one had a thousand pages!

 
The camera obscura itself works like a periscope in a submarine. A mirror on top of the building is used to capture the light and surroundings and reflects everything on a plane white surface. In older times, many artists used such camerae obscurae to draw amazingly natural landscapes. Old fakers! ^^ I was really surprised how much details were visible and how much we were able to see when the mirror was moved!

All in all, we had a lot of fun. The entrance fee is 4,50 Euro, which really isn't that expensive. If you have a Ruhrtopcard, it's free of charge!

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