Unit 2- 1.1/2.1- Visual notes

For this task, I had to take down notes from watching Tim’s Vermeer documentary, here are my notes and what I have learnt. 

We first learn that Tim is a very creative man and wants to explore how Vermeer made such stunning art and wants to recreate the process as well. So he researches on art and the tools they used.

I have learnt that all art has been improved through improvement of the artists tools. For example the camera obscure which is a dark room with a small hole in one of the walls, this hole projects an upside down image of what is outside onto the inside of the dark room. I also learnt that the image can be change by changing the lens so it is brighter and changing the position of the wall with the hole in it will change the size of the image. Such as if the wall with the hole was further away from the opposite wall, the image would be small and if the wall with hole was closer to the opposite wall, it would be bigger. We also learn that human eyes compress light, which means that some of the light detail is lost, that’s why a camera absorbs more light and can tell the difference to light much better than a human.


Source of image: http://pixsylated.com/blog/stepping-inside-havana-camera-obscura/

Tim considered the camera obscurer but relised that it is nearly impossible to use as getting the right colours for the painting is very hard as the image projecting on the wall can make the same colour of paint look darker, whilst as White is the only colour that matches every colour.

Tim then was able to figure out another way of using the the camera obscurer, by using a small mirror facing towards an upside down image, he look at the image through the mirror as if it was on the paper. To change the position of the image on the mirror, all he had to do was to change his perspective towards the mirror.


Source of image: http://pokeysponderings.com/tag/tim-jenison/

This worked with close up images but as Tim relised, using it with the camera obscurer would be a problem as he noticed that some of the details were too small to come through the obscurer, where as on the painting he is trying to recreate, the details were perfect and there. Tim figures out another way of doing the mirror idea by using another mirror to replace where the camera obscurer would project, this way the image is enhanced and in greater detail. There is only one flaw to this device, it causes the image to bend slightly.

In the end of the documentary, Tim is able to recreate the painting with some slight improvements knowing that image bends slightly.

My thoughts 

I think the way that Tim painted the painting was cheating, now you can argue it is just another tool for painting, like rulers and protractors but it’s the combination of using the tools and the painters initiative of placing them in the right place to create a piece of art. This is why the way Tim’s device works does not count as genuine art, this is because the painter does not need to use initiative when using Tim’s device as all you need to do is copy and use the right colours, like using the instruction sheet when building Lego, you built it but you didn’t create it.


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