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The art of using light to create representational images of the real world is an ancient one. The "camera obscura" is mentioned in texts dating back as far as the fifth century BCE, and by the seventeenth century such devices were in fairly common use. A camera obscura (Latin, "dark room") is any device that passes light through a tiny hole to form upside down images on a flat surface, such as the wall of a darkened room. Pinhole cameras are one example.