Reflection: Thank you Johann Zahn through the lens of John Pickup

Before we find out who is or was Johann Zahn I would like to welcome aboard O.S. from Oregan, USA as our latest subscriber to the AnArt4Life blog. And from across the waves in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia a huge shoutout to all our overseas subscribers and those closer to home. Please keep yourselves safe and well.

Image by John Pickup OAM©

So who was John Zahn and what are we reflecting on this week?

Johann Zahn (1641-1707) was the German author of Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium (Würzburg, 1685). This work contains many descriptions and diagrams, illustrations and sketches of both the camera obscura and magic lantern, along with various other lanterns, slides, projection types, peepshow boxes, microscopes, telescopes, reflectors, and lenses. As a student of light, Zahn is considered the most prolific writer and illustrator of the camera obscura.

In 1685 Johann Zahn envisioned what is considered to be the first camera that was small and portable enough to be practical for photography - that is, actually capturing the image on some sort of medium. (

Thanks to Johann Zahn we can reflect on the marvels of photography brought to you today through the lens of painter, broadcaster and photographer John Pickup OAM.

In the hands of an expert a camera is a magical device that can capture the world up close and alluring.

I know you will enjoy John's photos of our feathered friends, permanently recording even the most private moments! And especially keep your eye out for one of my favourite birds - the Tawny FrogMouth - his camouflage is very effective.

Images by John Pickup OAM©
Image by John Pickup OAM©
Image by John Pickup©

Thank you John for sharing your stunning images of birds with us.