Pinhole Cameras

The 80% solar eclipse of 20th May 2012 at San Diego, California imaged by leaves. Tiny gaps between leaves act as multiple pinhole cameras. Picture by David Wilson and Lynne Williams.

©David Wilson & Lynne Williams, shown with permission.

About - Submit Optics Picture of the Day Galleries Previous Next Today Subscribe to Features on RSS Feed
The inverted images are formed by simple geometric projection of rays through small gaps between leaves.

For a clear image the gaps or holes must be very small compared to the distance between them and the screen. The smaller the hole the more detailed is the image but the penalty is that it also gets fainter.

Solar images are nearly always there beneath trees but the dappling of the ground by tiny suns mostly passes unheeded except at eclipse time.