The photographic camera has evolved from the Camera Obscura. Literally translated it means "darkened room" which came into use during the Renaissance.
Since ancient times it had been observed that light entering through a small hole in the wall of a darkened room casts an inverted image of the scene outside on the opposite wall.
In 1558 the Italian physicist Giovani Battista della Porta described the use of a convex lens in the hole in the wall to improve the brightness and clarity of the image.
In the 17th century versions of the camera obscura were in use by artists and they would trace, with their pencils, around the image projected onto their drawing paper.
In 1676 a smaller and more portable camera obscura was designed with an internal mirror to reflect the image onto a translucent screen set into the top.

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