Camera Obscura

I just got back from a trip to Edinburgh where I had such a great time visiting a La Camera Obscura. This is a museum based around optical illusions and camera tricks which is something right up my alley!

The first thing you come across when walking in is the ‘mirror maze’ which is incredibly confusing with lots of different colours, lights and music going on. It is exactly what it’s called, a maze of mirrors! It sounds quite simple but it genuinely does become hard to know whether you’re walking into a mirror or not. A child actually got too excited in there and ran into a mirror at full speed, I myself managed to walk into my reflection a few times trying to record it.

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Next up is this light tunnel in which you walk over a bridge whilst a tunnel of various lights spins around you. Sounds simple right? TERRIFYING. The lights spinning in this circle plays some kind of mind trick on you and your balance making you think that the bridge is tipping to one side and causing you to tip to your side. I went through this tunnel five times. It was so interesting to stand at the start and look at it, it just looks as it is, but once you’re inside your mind tips you over! I’m prone to labyrinthitis/vertigo too so it really got me!

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Slow exposure made the lights look pretty cool on this picture, they were much more dot like in real life. This DOES portray how it makes you feel though.

The next couple of floors show various different optical illusions, images, videos and so on which are all so very interesting but hard to capture on camera! The image below is from a section which was showing holographic images. These were mainly photographs of people and objects which were completely flat but used holography to make them look 3D or to move into a different image. There were some black and white ones of childrenw which were my favourite as when you moved to one side they became monsters.

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The final two floors were more illusions, there was one that really reminded me of modern technology as it was basically just a photo booth that put a face filter on to make you look like an old man or baby. This really reminded me that our technology is actually coming so far with being able to do something like this with ease on apps such as Snapchat now, this was something museum worthy not too long ago.

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I finally got to learn how the camera trick with making two people look completely opposing sizes works! I was on my own on this visit and ended up asking someone I didn’t know to take a picture with me which was a big step for my social anxiety, totally worth it though. Its basically just a giant slope that brings you closer on the higher end and lower on the further end giving the effect below that makes you look on the same level.

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The top floor of the Camera Obscura is the roof of which you have a beautiful view over Edinburgh and the Royal Mile. I had the opportunity to sit in their observatory room where a group of us were talked through the camera they have that lets you view around the city live. It was interesting to get some insight to the building and the purpose and science behind everything. I would definitely recommend a visit here to people of all ages and interests, especially if you love anything a bit unusual.

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