The world’s first color moving pictures have been discovered, dating back to 1902. The film sat forgotten in an old metal tin for 110 years before being found recently by Michael Harvey, the Curator of Cinematography at the National Media Museum in England. The pictures were part of a test reel of early color experiments by an Edwardian inventor named Edward Raymond Turner, and show Turners children, soldiers marching, domesticated birds, and even a girl on a swing set. Read more…
It’s nearly impossible to find a photograph in China taken before 1970 — most images were destroyed or removed to other countries during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
A professor at Bristol University in the UK is running a project in search of these lost images, the BBC reports:
Such photographs are exceptionally rare in China. The turbulent history of the 20th Century meant that many archives were destroyed by war, invasion and revolution. Mao Zedong’s government regarded the past as a “black” time, to be erased in favour of the New China. The Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s finished the job.
“If you were at all savvy,” says (Professor Robert) Bickers, “you realised early on that you had to destroy your own private family records, before the Red Guards came and found evidence of your bourgeois, counter-revolutionary past, when you might have drunk coffee in a café bar, à la mode.”
Check your facts, check your sources, and then check your facts a few more times for good measure; that should be the mantra of journalists and journalism organizations worldwide. Sadly, the BBC dropped the ball in that arena recently when they used a 9-year-old photo of Iraq to illustrate a story about a recent massacre in Syria.
The photo, originally taken by photographer Marco di Lauro way back in March of 2003, showed up on The BBC’s homepage last Sunday as being taken “around May 25th, 2012″ and credited to “An Activist.” Needless to say, this constitutes a big slip-up and has photographers and journalists alike balking at the fact that a massive broadcasting company would fail to check their facts and properly source their content.
Here’s an amazing clip from the BBC series Frozen Planet. The film crew used time-lapse photography to capture “brinicle” forming under sea ice. As the beautiful icicle forms, it also becomes deadly — once it touches down, the resulting web of ice kills the slow-moving life on the sea floor. You can read more about the phenomenon here.
The next time you’re walking around with a DSLR around your neck and a stranger asks you for directions, you might want to keep a hand on your lens. Yesterday BBC’s “The Real Hustle” included a short segment in which they demonstrated how easy it is to steal a lens on the street. The con artists simply detach and pocket the camera lens of an unsuspecting photographer while pretending to ask for directions. Apparently this is a real con that thieves are using these days…
Update: It looks like the video was taken down by the uploader. Sorry guys.
Color is simply how our brains respond to different wavelengths of light, and wavelengths outside the spectrum of visible light are invisible and colorless to us simply because our eyes can’t detect them. Since colors are created in our brains, what if we all see colors differently from one another? BBC created a fascinating program called “Do You See What I See?” that explores this question, and the findings are pretty startling. Read more…
The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This clip from the BBC documentary “South Pacific” shows Rudi Diesel capturing a once in a lifetime shot of surfer Dylan Longbottom in a massive 12-foot wave using a Typhoon HD4 high speed camera. It’s the first shot of its kind ever recorded, and one of the most amazing surfing shots you’ll ever see.
Lyrebirds are ground-dwelling Australian birds that have the remarkable ability to mimic sounds, both natural and artificial. In addition to copying the calls of other birds, they imitate whatever they hear around them, including the sound of cameras if photographers are working nearby.
This short BBC clip features a Lyrebird that makes realistic camera shutter sounds (including the motordrive sound). It only runs 3 minutes, but if you want to skip to the camera-related part it’s at around 1m50s.
You know you’re a professional photojournalist when you try to take good care of your cameras but they still end up look like these.
These belong to photographer Timothy Allen, who photographs the world’s indigenous societies for the BBC documentary Human Planet. He uses two Canon 5D Mark II DSLR cameras with 16-35 f2.8, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.2, 200mm f2.8, and 400mm f4.5 lenses. You can see some of Allen’s jaw-dropping work here and here.
Image credits: Photograph by Timothy Allen and used with permission
In 1983 the BBC aired a series called “Master Photographers” in which they interviewed some of the biggest names in photography at the time, including Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The series can’t be found anywhere on DVD, but luckily many of the episodes have been uploaded to YouTube. If you’re at all interested in learning how historical greats worked and thought, this is a video series you have to bookmark and chew through. Read more…