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Science Lab Experiment: Pinhole Camera

Demonstration: Upside-Down Image

Object: To determine how an image (picture) can be formed by using a "camera obscura".

Materials: candle, matches, wax paper, light-proof container (crispy potato tube), scissors, and tape

pinhole camera lab set up

Method: The apparatus was prepared as shown in the diagram. A pinhole was made in one end of the container. Wax paper was placed over the end of the container and fastened with tape. The candle was lighted and placed about a foot from the pinhole. The viewer looked through the wax paper to see the candle flame at the other end of the pinhole. The lights in the room were off.

Observations: The candle flame appeared upside down on the wax paper.

Conclusions: This is similar to what happens in a camera or even the human eye. The light passes through the lens opening of the pupil and the image forms upside-down, as shown in the diagram.