And You Thought Your Camera Was Too Big!

In the age of constant miniaturization of things, photography equipment inclusive, I have to say that my equipment is really compact in comparison to the other full frame digital cameras but I won’t offer a comparison of results of big versus small because as we all know, it’s the photographer and not the equipment that creates the images we look at.  That’s my lead into this week’s Thursday Doors, Norm Frampton’s creation that seems to have gone viral; if you haven’t yet participated in his door blogs, just find the Thursday Doors website, read Norm’s blog and press the blue frog thingy at the bottom and get transported to other door posts by other crazy enthusiastic blogers sharing their photos from their neck of the woods.

Last Saturday, I had brunch with the wife and some old friends at a golf course restaurant in San Francisco.  Great weather that day and nice seeing old friends that we haven’t seen in a while.  After brunch, my wife wanted to walk along Ocean Beach, San Francisco’s furthest western coastline in The City and a place that surfers go to for urban surfing.  It used to be the old site of Playland at the Beach (I seem to recall a visit there when I first visited the mainland many years ago).  Wikipedia mentions this, “Following a brief stint as a refugee camp after the 1906 earthquake, the area was touted as a resort. A small amusement park, Playland at the Beach, was built where Cabrillo and Balboa streets now end. Major development occurred in the 1920s and 1930s with construction of the Great Highway and housing in the adjacent Sunset and Richmond Districts. After the destruction of the Sutro Baths in 1966, the neighborhood lost its resort appeal; the amusement park was also torn down in 1972, to be replaced by apartment blocks and a supermarket in the 1990s.”  More about Ocean Beach’s history can be found HERE

One attraction that still remains, is the Camera Obscura, a giant pinhole type camera in a building that was made from the designs of Leonardo Da Vinci.  Wikipedia says this, “When the third Cliff House reopened in 1937, the owner was approached by businessman Floyd Jennings with the idea of adding a camera obscura to the cliffs beside the restaurant. It was installed on the site in 1946 and has been in continuous operation since then.”  More details can be gleaned from this Camera

If you ever have the opportunity to visit SF and Ocean Beach it might be worthwhile to see the Camera Obscura; I think the entrance fee is now $3.00 and while it is a short 1-room exhibit, my recollection is the image projected on the parabolic mirror disk looks like a real-time movie before you and you feel like it is in 3-D and could touch the waves and birds moving about.  The following images are just the exterior of the camera.

Two views approaching the Camera Obscura.  The lens is located in the pyramid-shaped top which revolves 360 degrees projecting a live image on the parabolic mirror inside the building.

The only camera that I can say has “doors”.


Low-tech advertising.


In this photo, you can see the lens in the top pyramid structure.


Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks to Norm 2.0 for his Thursday Doors blog.  For more blogs and photos of doors by others please go to: Thursday Doors.


15 thoughts on “And You Thought Your Camera Was Too Big!

  1. Cool – this sounds like a lot of fun.
    We won’t dabble too deep into the “size matters” debate, but I will say that I am quite comfortable with the size of my camera 😀
    No really, my Nikon D610 is just right 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t seen that camera obscura, but I’ve seen another one somewhere (trying to remember where and failing). I also learned something new from your post. I live down the peninsula, in Silicon Valley. We don’t get up into the city that much but it would be nice to see ocean beach and this camera!


    1. Thanks. Glad to repay the favor of sharing information. Brisbane is not far from Ocean Beach. I think it is San Pedro Ave that crosses San Bruno Mt. to Daly City and just keep going until you hit Skyline Blvd., then head
      north. I also worked on the Murphy’s Windmill project in Golden Gate Park which is near the Cliffhouse and Camera Obscura.

      Liked by 1 person

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