San Franciscans are surrounded by 360 degrees of beautiful views. Yet, some of us still take the beauty of the City for granted at times, forgetting to look up from our phones and remind ourselves that we, us lucky few, get to call this place home. If this has ever happened to you, then maybe it's time to have a paradigm shift.
Sea Cliff's Camera Obscura, an edifice contraption inspired on a 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci, produces 360 degrees of images of the Seal Rock Area, all while using only mirrors and natural light.
[jump] Built in 1946 as an attraction connected with The Cliff House Restaurant, it works with very simple mechanics and reflections of light. A live image is projected on to a white horizontal viewing table via a reflected image from a viewpoint at the top of the building. A metal hood in the cupola at the top of the building slowly rotates, making a full gyration in about six minutes, allowing for a 360 degree view around the building.
While the exterior of the building was extensively modified in 1957 to appear as a giant camera, the internal workings of the camera obscura have remained unchanged since its erection in 1946. In 2001, it was added to National Register of Historic Places for its significance in engineering.
So when you want to find a different perspective of the City and your places within its limits, you don't have to leave the city premises, just a new point of view showing our surrounding ambiance that doesn't choke, but embraces.