How it works - Basic

~ Single Pinhole ~

Fundamental Law: Light travels in a straight line

A candle emitting light behaves in this way:

Tracing out some of the light rays illustrates this point

Adding a light tight box blocks light from entering box

If we add a small hole at the center, some light can enter

We can trace light reflecting off of the rest of the candle in the same way

And form an image of the candle upsided down at the back of the box

If we now add film at the back of the box, a cap at the hole to control when light enters the box and exposes the light sensitive film, we have a camera.

That's it. This is a basic pinhole camera and all that is needed to make images.

The rest is refinement to a specific end.