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The Santa Monica Senior Center Has The Truly Fascinating Camera Obscura

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By Deb Flomberg

rsz camera  1  The Santa Monica Senior Center Has The Truly Fascinating Camera Obscura

(Credit, Dana Robinson)

The history of optical inventions is actually a very fascinating and varied story. There have been many different inventions, all designed to take photos, increase vision and provide scientific answers to different visually-related questions. If you have never seen a camera obscura, then you definitely need to take the trip to the Santa Monica Senior Center for a look at one of the last remaining public camera obscuras left in the world. 

A visit to the Santa Monica pier with your sweetie is already a fun and relaxing way to spend a sunny weekend day, however, take a short walk from the pier to the Santa Monica Senior Center and you can use the camera obscura. You’ll be asked to leave your driver’s license and then you’ll get a key to the obscura, located at the top of the stairs. Once you are there you’ll find a large white disk that has a wheel and allows you to steer the mirror and lens around. The combination of mirror and lens then projects an image of anything that happens to be passing by onto the the disc.

The camera obscura is believed to be a very early invention, and has been traced back to the days of Aristotle. These primitive cameras were the very first methods of recording and taking photographs, eventually becoming a fun roadside attraction. Now, a visit to the Santa Monica Camera Obscura can be a fascinating trip for anyone interested in photography or 19th century optics. This particular camera was given to the city in 1907 and sat on the Santa Monica Beach until 1955, when it was installed in the Senior Center. Today, it is on display with many images from its storied past, making it fun to compare and contrast the different photos from yesterday to today.

For this fascinating trip into local history, you’ll want to arrive in the 2013 SL63 AMG Roadster from Mercedes-Benz of Encino. You’ll love cruising down the highway with the wind in your hair as you prepare to enjoy this interesting little-known gem of the Santa Monica Pier. Plus, you get to enjoy the ride in total luxury, making the trip home just as much fun as the destination itself. 

Deb Flomberg grew up in the mountains, developed a love for the beach and has found happiness on the open road. She is now a freelance writer, theater professional and travel enthusiast happy to be writing about the things she loves most.

This is a “sponsored post,” meaning the company who sponsored the article compensated me for writing the article. The opinions I have expressed, however, are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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