Roger Smith's Story

Author: Roger Smith
Roger Smith's Story

The aim of Roger’s Fellowship was to report on the condition, use and technical specification of camera obscuras throughout continental Europe.

His journey covered 7000 miles as he visited 19 camera obscuras in 11 different European countries. Some of those he observed were unusual or made by significant scientific instrument makers and inventors such as Fahrenheit and Daguerre - the French inventor of photography. These discoveries helped Roger better understand how far camera obscuras have come since the 17th century.

On his return he was able to apply the learning from his Fellowship to his work as a maker of camera obscuras. He also set up a specialist website. Through his links with The Museum of History of Science, Oxford University, he was commissioned by The Bodleian Library to make a camera obscura for their Summer Exhibition 2010. This was followed by a public lecture, also at the Bodleian.

Since then Roger has made camera obscuras for Compton Verney Art Gallery, Warwickshire and more recently for The National Trust, who commissioned a camera obscura for their ‘NT Uncovered’ events. He has also demonstrated the use of the camera obscura at Chartwell, linking to Sir Winston Churchill, the artist.