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I Can See Clearly Now

A camera is just a box designed to collect light. I remember a science project in school when I was a youngster, where we created a camera by taking an oatmeal container (painted black inside and out) and putting a hole in the front with a pin, which we then covered with electrical tape. In a dark room we placed a piece of film against the back of the container and took the contraption outside. Uncovering the hole for a fraction of a second exposed the film, and we ended up with a photograph.

In the oatmeal-box camera, the little pinhole was all we needed for a lens. Camera lenses are the eyes of photography, and a lot of technology goes into developing them. (Not so much into the whole-grain hot cereal box cameras, though.) The little zoom lenses in point-and-shoot cameras are really very sophisticated and they do a great job.


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