Gay Pride in Edinburgh 2016

At Camera Obscura we are excited to support Gay Pride here in Edinburgh as you can see with our colourful addition to our Rooftop.


Scotland’s national LGBT pride festival, starts with a March and rally, and afterwards is a festival encompassing live music from Scottish and international acts. It takes place on the 2 July 2016.

If you are looking to support Gay Pride in the city here are some events to look out for; of course the Gay Pride march that will take place here in Edinburgh. The March route will start later than previous years due to the Queens March taking place on the same day.

March Route this year will take place down Royal Mile, Past Scottish Parliament, Abbeyhill past the Regent Bar, Royal Terrace, down onto Leith Walk (onto the pavement at RBS at corner of London Road/Leith Walk Roundabout).The march will disassemble at The Omni Centre at Greenside Row at the top of Leith Walk.

The march is expected to take between 45-60 mins with a possible stop briefly at bottom of the Royal Mile to allow the Police to reopen the road at Parliament following the Queens Parade. This information and more is available at if you are interested.

At Camera Obscura we will add photos on the day is show the exciting events in Edinburgh and how our staff support Gay Pride 2016.


written by Christine McCleary


The Camera Obscura Christmas Trail

Here at Camera Obscura & World of Illusions we’re really getting into the getting into the Christmas spirit and want to spread the joy!  That’s why, this year, every family who visits can take part in our Christmas Trail –  all included in the admission price.

Every weekend, throughout the building, you’ll find some of Santa’s “little helpers” holding up a sign with a letter. If you manage to find all nine of the letters it’ll spell out a special Christmas word and that could win you a prize!

We haven’t left the grown-ups out either. Alongside our “helpers” you’ll find a QR code which you can scan with your phone (be sure to take advantage of our free Wi-Fi!) and find out more about Winter in Edinburgh, the history of Camera Obscura, the National Museum and other goodies!

So if you visit us during the weekend and would like to take part, grab a pencil and a sheet at the front desk and of course… Happy Hunting!

Be sure to find our "helpers" to win a prize!

Be sure to find all our “helpers” to win a prize!

There’s something spooky going on at Camera Obscura…

This Halloween, Camera Obscura & World of Illusions will be transformed into a haunted house full of ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

You may may find some spooky characters going around the building and they may even offer you a special show inside the Camera Obscura and tell chilling ghost stories to make your blood run cold. Also, during the 27th October – 4th November any child who comes along to visit and is dressed up will receive 20% off admission price.

There will also be a “Thaumatrope making workshop” in the building so kids can make their own Halloween themes thaumatrope! If you don’t know what a thaumatrope is then we have added a small video to show you how they work…

We’ll take some photos to share with you and if you do visit remember to share your own photos if you find anything (or anyone!) spooky or scary.

Exclusive New Exhibit: The Autowed

Fancy getting married? Or to renew your vows? Or simply declare you and a friend are “Best Friends Forever”? Well now you can at Camera Obscura with our new exhibit, the Autowed.

No need for preparation, the Autowed will handle everything for you. Simply insert a pound coin and let the Autowed know what kind of service you want, enter both your names in the machine and it will effectively “marry” you and your partner. The Autowed will also give you a certificate and even provide you with rings!

There are only two of these Autoweds in the world and we have the only one in the UK!

Please remember to share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr!

Disclaimer: Just so you know, you don’t get officially married. This is just a bit of fun!

New Exhibit: The Light Painter

We have just added an exciting new exhibit here at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. It is called ‘Light Painter’ and it enables you to create your own abstract works of art, using only light.

It is very simple: simply shine any light source at the screen and the light magically appears there. We supply three coloured torches to draw with; blue, green and pink, and a ‘space gun’ that combines colours (with a wacky space gun noise effect!).  The tighter the light source the smaller the ‘brush’.

Anything that emits light will work,  for example, if you own a phone that has a torch built in (or simply a flash for the camera), and point it at your face,  then you will see yourself appear on screen.  You can make multiple images of yourself, or scribble on your own face if you wish!  To start over and do a new painting, press the button provided.  Like many of our exhibits, Light Painter encourages you to play, experiment and use your imagination to create something truly unique.

Here are our first light paintings…

Rather sinister looking don’t you think?

We also gave ourselves four arms!

Of course we know you can do better, so please do share your photos on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter!

Visiting during August

Like most of Edinburgh, we can be very busy here at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions during the festival period.  Of course we want everyone to come and visit us and have some fun throughout August but we thought it might be handy to give you all a little advice on how to get the most out of your visit.

First of all, we are open every day from 9:30 in the morning until 9:00 in the evening and our ticket is valid all day, meaning you can spend all day here if you want to. It also means that if you need to take a break, maybe for lunch or for ice-cream, then you can leave and come back later on.  Just head to our ticket desk or to our gift shop and ask for a hand stamp.

As you may expect, our busiest time of the day is roughly between 12:00 and 5:00 so if you want a quieter experience then we suggest visiting earlier in the morning or after 5:00 in the afternoon. Although please do bear in mind that we are right next to Edinburgh Castle, which hosts the fantastic Edinburgh Military Tattoo nearly every night during August. This means that part of the street does get cordoned off for security but if you tell one of the security workers at the barrier that you want to visit Camera Obscura then they will let you through.  If for any reason they do not, please call us on 0131 226 3709 and we will come to the barrier to collect you.

Also, we are an official Fringe Festival venue meaning that you may also buy your admission ticket at the Fringe Festival box office.

Finally, a small reminder that you can download the “Welcome to Scotland” app for iphone (and now Android devices as well) which offers you a 20% discount. You can download the iphone app here and the android app here.

We hope to see lots of you here at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions during August and of course, enjoy the Fringe Festival as well! 

We Now Offer Free Wi-Fi!

Good news for all you tweeters, facebookers, bloggers and photo enthusiasts! We now offer a free wi-fi service here at Camera Obscura for all wi-fi enabled devices!

It’s very simple to set up. Just scan to find our wi-fi hotspot (it’s simply named “Camera Obscura”), open your browser, type in your email address, type in the security code (which you will find on a poster near the entrance) and accept the terms and conditions and you are good to go!

This means you can now safely tweet, update any facebook statuses, write a quick post on your blog or upload your photos of your visit without having to worry about it eating up any of your data limit or any nasty roaming charges!

If you are having any problems with the service then let any of the team know about it and we’ll try our best to fix it for you.

We hope you enjoy this new service!

Caution: Our new exhibit may bite!

There’s a scary new addition to the fun exhibits here at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.  You’ll find him on the third floor of our exhibitions and if you’re brave enough, then try sticking your hand in the feeding hole and give him a stroke. Fear not, he’s all roar and no bite!

Don’t worry, we’re not being cruel to our new resident, as long as we keep feeding him plenty of shortbread he’s happy.  We let him out at night to enjoy the exhibitions for himself!

We don’t have a name for this new member of the team yet so if you can think of any imaginative names, then why don’t you share it with us on Facebook and Twitter!

We need a name for our new member of the team. share us your imaginative name if you can think of one!

Our New Exhibit – Rubins Vase

To mark the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we have managed to get hold of a very rare item to help celebrate.

Our new exhibit is a Rubins Vase which was built in 1977 to celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee. the vase contains the hidden silhouette of the profiles of the Queen and of Prince Philip!

We are thrilled to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with this highly unusual exhibit. This Rubins Vase is extremely rare and is one of the best examples of its kind. Most Rubins vases have only one hidden face, whereas this vase has two. We think it’s the perfect way to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and give our visitors a chance to see The Queen and Price Philip in a whole new light.

I’m sure you have seen this illusion before (but not quite like this) and the illusion was invented by a Danish psychologist by the name of Edgar Rubin in 1915.

Why don’t you come along to Camera Obscura during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and have a look for yourself!

Rubins Vase

The Rubins Vase. Built to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Now here at Camera Obscura to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Tomorrow (April 29th) is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, which celebrates and promotes the art of pinhole photography.

There are loads of events being held throughout the world to promote and encourage people to use pinhole photography and there is a workshop happening on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh between 12 and 4 pm. there, you can create pinhole images using a traditional dark room. Definitely worth a visit!

Or, why not see our pinhole photography exhibit here at Camera Obscura! We have lots of examples of pinhole cameras (and how the photos turn out when you use them) and even a massive pinhole camera which you can walk into so you can see how it all works!

For more information on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day can be found here.

The information on the event at Cockburn Street can be found here

Why is this man upside down? Go to the event on Cockburn Street or here at Camera Obscura to find out!