The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Story 7: Case of the Camera Obscura

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Posted by manigen, 5:14am, 1 Nov, 2005

Cameras can also be buildings, circular ones with domed roofs. If I remember correctly the first "camera" was a projection of an outside scene set up inside just such a building so it could be painted. I can't seem to remeber what building it was, though I think it was in rennaisance Venice.

Now I wonder what the plot device Jason mentioned is? Flashbacks maybe...

Posted by venusEnvy, 11:24am, 1 Nov, 2005

I think I remember what you're referring to -- I think it was Vermeer. It has also been speculated that Da Vinci used a camera obscura, and that the process created the image on the Shroud of Turin via photosynthesis.

(backing away slowly from the heavy subjects . . . )

This message was last edited on 1 Nov 2005.

Posted by manigen, 8:31am, 2 Nov, 2005

We managed 24 pages on the thread from story 6. Just imagine how many we'll create with a longer story this time around...

Posted by anbusc, 9:59am, 2 Nov, 2005

There was a book by David Hockney ( that suggested that many paintings by the old masters were created by this optical device. It may be worthwhile to note that the book was widely discredited (thhough not in the case of Vermeer, I think, and anyone who saw the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring saw this device in use) but I'm not sure of the details of the argument.

I also think that the plot device may be telling the story in reverse, which has been popular lately. The camera obscura usually projects subjects upside-down.

This is mere speculation on my part, especially since we'll know soon enough and there was a lot of poor guessing in the last story (thus the large number of pages). I know I was wrong in what I was thinking.

I wonder, does anyone know if Jason uses information from these boards in future stories? The joke about Alex and Annabelle hooking up in the graveyard being "just wrong" appeared just after some speculation on the board about their relationship.

Posted by smjjames, 10:56am, 2 Nov, 2005

he does read the threads, he did say that he enjoys reading them and I know he uses the input and what ppl are saying to adjust the story and improve things.

Posted by Deverien, 1:22pm, 2 Nov, 2005

Well, on the studio page, he says that the title

"plays on the theme of the story, with each character slowly revealing their interpretation of events as seen through their own views"

So I wonder if the 'plot device' will be a multiple-perspective technique (a la 'Rashomon', 'Boomtown', and 'Hero'). That would be VERY interesting, indeed. Verrrrrry interesting.

Posted by jasonblue, 1:47pm, 2 Nov, 2005

You people are too clever! I just watched Rashomon last weekend.

Posted by Deverien, 3:37pm, 2 Nov, 2005


Posted by manigen, 5:21pm, 2 Nov, 2005

Hockney's book was about a concave mirror, used to focus an image on a screen . The effect is similar to a camera, but achieved in a different way. Hockney's argument fell down on two points; one he seriously overestimated the engineering capabilities available to the artists he was talking about, and two although he did set about analysing a selection of paintings for the optical features the technique would correct his results were... questionable.
I like Hockney, I like his work. I just think he's a rubbish scientist.

Oh, and everyone should definitely speculate wildly as much as possible. When you go back and read a thread at the end of a story it makes for a great laugh.

Posted by Deverien, 10:57pm, 2 Nov, 2005

"Oh, and everyone should definitely speculate wildly as much as possible. When you go back and read a thread at the end of a story it makes for a great laugh."

Yeah, it's fun looking back to see who posted good ideas and who made corny ones.

After looking through the thread for episode 6 again, I notice that about halfway through I commented that it was weird how Barlow's fauna axe was able to cut through the coffin wood.

Man, that was a close one.

Posted by manigen, 3:27am, 3 Nov, 2005

Oooh, that was close.
Personally all my guesses were daft.


Posted by don'tmilkpuppies, 5:45pm, 3 Nov, 2005

i think flashbacks would be sweet. especially flashbacks of crystal's past, although that would have to be censored a bit for the wee ones.

i believe the whole camera-obscura thing is a reference to independent films. Annabelle will probably try to make a horror indie and go goth, but cas members start mysteriously disappearing when her cam takes a shot of them, and when viewing the film, all that shows up in the actors' places are grinning skulls, or maybe a mysterious aura. And of course, a mysterious stranger in a black suit will appear in everyone's dreams, with an uncanny resemblance to Barlow's long-lost father, who also disappeared in similar but uncertain circumstances.*
*this theory is a joke

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