Photographer Transforms Ordinary Rooms into Camera Obscuras

camera obscura room

If you think you’ve seen beautiful wallpaper, wait till you see these spaces. Abelardo Morell has been creating pretty images inside rooms all over the world by projecting the views he finds outside, on the walls of the interior spaces. The U.S. based photographer began this photo concept called Camera Obscura over 20 years ago in 1991. Today, 22 years since, he has accumulated shots of quarters from around the world using his unique camera obscura technique.

room transformation camera obscura

The process involves covering all the windows of these rooms with black plastic to obscure the light. A tear is made in one of those plastic sheets to allow an inverted image to cast a projection on the wall. The result is the fascinating images you see in his website, which appear to resemble fine, detailed prints of wallpaper.

camera obscura double exposure

He has further enhanced the method two decades later by using color film transparencies. He also adopted the use of a prism to project an upright image, while placing the lens above the hole to acquire a sharper reflection. The result is a room acting as a huge canvas with elegant projections of magnificent to majestic images. The outside panoramas of world renowned landmarks are brought cleverly inside.

camera obscura technique

Morell has also been able to utilize new technology to further enhance his concept/theme. “I have also been able to shorten my exposures considerably thanks to digital technology, which in turn makes it possible to capture more momentary light. I love the increased sense of reality that the outdoor has in these new works. The marriage of the outside and the inside is now made up of more equal partners,” says Morell in his website.

camera obscura room

A brief background of the Cuban born photographer is also offered there, where it reads,

“Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his under grad­u ate degree in 1977 from Bowdoin College and an MFA from The Yale University School of Art in 1981. In 1997 he received an honorary degree from Bowdoin College”.

See the entire Camera Obscura in his website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.