To really simplify it, the basic function of a camera is to expose light to a photosensitive material or sensor in order to produce an image. They can be as complicated as the DSLRs that professional photographers use, or as simple as the pinhole cameras that were around in the 1800s. In fact, you could actually make your own pinhole camera right now with very limited resources (here are some instructions).
That is the basic point behind Kalli Anderson’s book, This Book is A Camera. She explains it on her blog:
“For the past couple of months, I’ve been searching for the right sequence of cuts and folds to turn a piece of paper into a camera. Specifically, I wanted to make a working camera within an educational pop-up book—one that connects the dots between design and science / structure and function. Happy to report: it is finally real! The final book explains—and actively demonstrates—how a structure as humble as a folded piece of paper can tap into the intrinsic properties of light to produce a photograph.”
Anderson also made a video showing how to use the book/camera, and if it seems really simple that’s because it is. Like we said, camera technology can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be, as long as your tools are capable of properly exposing photosensitive material to light in a productive way.
If this intrigues you, you can pre-order This Book is A Camera from Anderson’s website, and you should have a copy of your own by February, as the book is on backorder at the moment..
Featured image courtesy of Kelli Anderson