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Cameras, Lenses, and How Photography Works
Image: iStockphoto.com/LPETTET

Cameras, Lenses, and How Photography Works

You've probably taken hundreds of photographs, but do you know how cameras take pictures?

Photography has everything to do with the science of optics — how light reacts when it is refracted, bent, and captured by photographic film or photosensors in modern digital cameras. Learn these basics of how practically any camera works.

How-To Geek
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A Photo Revolution

A Photo Revolution

Film and digital cameras both record light to produce an image. Now there's a new camera that also measures the light's direction — and lets you refocus a photo after you take it. Check it out. More...

Images
PhysicsCentral
Imaging at a Trillion Frames Per Second

Imaging at a Trillion Frames Per Second

What's the next big thing in photography? Check out femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it can show light, itself, in motion. More...

Video
TED
Cell Phone Cameras Have Space Origins

Cell Phone Cameras Have Space Origins

Did you know that one in every three cell phone cameras on the planet uses technology that was invented for NASA spacecraft? We're not kidding. More...

Article
Space.com
Geometric Optics Simulation

Geometric Optics Simulation

Cameras offer lots of different options when it comes to their lenses. Play around here to see how the size and shape of a lens affects the image it makes. More...

Interactive
PhET
Underwater Robot

Underwater Robot

Stay dry and get a clear view of an underwater cave, thanks to a robotic camera system that takes panoramic, high-resolution photos. More...

Video
National Geographic
Ask a Scientist: Digital Cameras

Ask a Scientist: Digital Cameras

What happens after the light goes through the lens of a digital camera? Investigate the photoelectric effect and how the image data is read. More...

Article
Cornell University
Experimenting with Off-Camera Light (Sawfly Edition)

Experimenting with Off-Camera Light (Sawfly Edition)

To get an sawfly ready for its close-up, an entomologist-turned-photographer experiments with light sources and direction. Say “Cheese!” More...

Images
Scientific American
Make a Pinhole Camera

Make a Pinhole Camera

The first camera obscuras were small rooms with a tiny hole to let it a dot of sunlight. Steal the concept and create your own simple camera using a Pringles can and some common household supplies More...

Interactive
Exploratorium
Refraction by Lenses

Refraction by Lenses

To truly understand how a camera works, you need to know how lenses refract light. Dive in for a look at the physics at work. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom

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