Camera Obscura (Edinburgh - Scotland)

The first ever place I entered into when I visited Edinburgh (oh yeah, only recently did I figure of its pronounced Edinbara!!!), was Camera Obscura. It opens at 9 AM much to my advantage. With 3 types of curved mirrors that distorts the reflection of the body, even at the entrance you can't miss what is it all about! Its a 6 floor building filled with various curiosities that completely mess with the visual sense!
This was originally set up in 1776 in Calton Hill. However it was only in 1827 that it was taken over by Maria Theresa Short who made it bigger and better as a proper tourist place and Observatory for general public with telescope etc. In 1850 she bought the present building and called it the Short's Observatory. In 1892, Patrick Geddes bought this in a auction and brought it to its present look!

Once every hour, a show happens in the topmost floor. Its a pinhole camera like attachment atop the building that shows live image with a periscope like attachment that transfers the pinhole image to a larger wooden canvas. It's the live image of whole Edinburgh city seen from atop with the people walking, cycling, buses moving, birds flying etc. If a slight elevation is created on the surface, it looks as if a bridge has been formed on the road!!! The amazing fact is that it was made in the Victorian era without any technological advancement!!!

The 4 floors below it are filled with various stuff. The most important feature was the forced perspective. A particular room is set up in a certain way and photographing from a certain point would optical illusion like above!!! That was definitely fun!!! I wanted to take a video of myself walking from one end to another but sadly, I forgot!!!
The lowest (1st) floor was pretty sober. Wasn't very impressive. It was just the regular optical illusion images that we see in internet. 

The 2nd floor was impressive with the play of light & mirrors. This is a check pattern of mirror set in different angles which reflects in a weird way! The same mirror maze and spinning vortex tunnel that were in Ripley's were here too! There was also some play of lights which was definitely mind blowing.
There were some play of concave & convex mirrors. There were also some interesting vintage optical illusions & 3D models. 

There were some interesting photographs that were normal from one angle and scary from the other! Few other interesting features include multicolored shadows, frozen shadows etc!
There was a floor filled with some quirky displays of static electricity. Quite literally our body serves as the conductor of electricity that makes the lights take new shapes & dance!!! I was a bit scared to touch them and there was a note that said some may feel the static electricity! But when I touched it, I didn't feel any shock.


To Get There:
Entrance ticket is £14.50 can be bought at the entrance.

P.S: I was invited by VisitScotland to experience the Edinburgh for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.


Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

21 comments:

  1. Looks great although a bit on the expensive side. There's one in Douglas on the Isle of Man too but it's just the camera no touristy stuff. That one is free for children & golden oldies! The camera was originally used to spy on other tourists at the bathing baths or cuddling on the headland. A popular form of fun and entertainment in its age!!

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  2. sounds like a fun place, the perspective certainly looks interesting

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  3. Wow. That's great and wonderful. A place where fun and enjoyment are being derived like this is worth visiting. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Mirrors can really make a lot of illusions as well as our perspective. Taking a picture of the many angles possible is fun especially for photography enthusiasts here.

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  5. Illusion museums like these are always fun especially with loved ones! Loved looking at your photos :D

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  6. Camera Obscura seems like a good tourist spot for to go to. Are those stones in the 6th photo? They are colorful.

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  7. I've tried going in places with optical illusions like huge painting and the room similar with checkered floor. I haven't tried the mirror thing though and would love to experience it. It would be nice to go with group of friends especially with this kind of activity.

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  8. I really love to visit such place! It's really tricky and fun! If only such is available in the country, I'll definitely be bringing my son with me.

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  9. It looks quite similar to Alive museum here in Singapore and quite interesting.

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  10. This is such an interesting place! I love that there are different levels to explore which makes it more exciting since you're eager to see what's in store for you on the next level. It's definitely fun!

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  11. Very fun place! I remembered Alive Museum in Singapore when I look at a few photos of yours. This place provides great photos ops.

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  12. This reminded me of trick eye museum where there's a lot of illusion and play with lenses... I'm not sure if I will want to pay £14.50 for the attraction though~

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  13. I love the optical illusion shot. Edinburh is one of the places I would love to visit.

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  14. It's like Trick Eye museum in Seoul. I like fun places like this which also provides additional information and knowledge, particularly on photography tricks.

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  15. Nice place! I thought the mirrors mean something else like girls having distorted image of themselves caused by eating disorder. That illusion room is AWESOME!

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  16. This is such a fun and quirky place to be in! Optical illusions with concave and convex mirrors, playing with line of sights, trick eye angles - great to get hilarious photos out of them.

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  17. Such a cute place to visit.. I'd love to go there and explore those camera too..

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  18. These illusion type museums are very popular all over the world, I see. I hope they have a mirror place here in our city. Probably not a place I would visit if I go to Edinburgh.

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  19. Looks like a very fun place and the shots are really nice, thanks for sharing.

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  20. 1776 building is kinda creepy and souns like theres so many ghosts in the building. Lol
    Anyhoo i like the art musuem you went. Group of friends will enjoy their for sure

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