Cell phone photography is a huge trend these days with Instagram skyrocketing past 10 million users this past weekend, but have you ever wondered how it all started? An entrepreneur named Philippe Kahn is credited with creating the camera phone back in 1997. On June 11th of that year, Kahn took the first “camera phone” photo of his newborn daughter in a maternity ward, and then wirelessly transmitted the photo to more than 2,000 people around the world. Since “camera phones” didn’t exist at that time, Kahn actually hacked together a primitive one by combining a digital camera and a cell phone to send the photos in real time.
Kahn then went on to start LightSurf, a company that was hugely influential in picture messaging. LightSurf technology is still used by Sprint, Verizon, and other major carriers around the world.
Wedding photographer Brian Adams and wedding videographer Rainer Flor claim to be the first to capture a wedding entirely using the iPhone 4. Flor volunteered his own wedding last November for the experiment, and a total of three iPhone 4s were used: two for the photos and one for the video.
“We proved that the iPhone technology is advanced enough to handle an event like a wedding, and simple enough that it doesn’t take a lot of experience or extra equipment to shoot high-quality video and pictures,” said Adams. “The user still has to have some creativity and a good eye, but this gives them a great tool.”
Would you rather have a great photographer shoot your wedding with an iPhone 4, or a mediocre photographer shoot using professional gear?
This is the first color photograph ever taken underwater. It’s a hogfish captured off the Florida Keys in 1926 by National Geographic photographer Charles Martin and Dr. William Longley. In addition to some special waterproof camera housing, the duo used pounds of highly explosive magnesium flash powder to illuminate the scene. Read more…
Here’s an interesting portrait of Steven Sasson by David Friedman, shot at Kodak’s headquarters in Rochester, New York. Sasson invented the digital camera as a Kodak engineer back in 1975, and provides an interesting glimpse in this video into how that first camera worked.
This strange looking device is the Leica S1, the first digital camera created by the company back in 1996. At at time when film was still the medium of choice in the photo industry, the S1 packed a whopping 26-megapixels, shooting 5140x5140px medium format images. The strange looking handles on either side help the user frame the shot, but aren’t designed for handheld stabilization — each shot took three minutes to expose. Only about 160 of these cameras were built, and were mostly sold to museums and research institutions.
Did you know that the first digital camera invented in 1975 didn’t actually produce the first digital photograph? The first digital photo actually came almost two decades earlier in 1957 when Russell Kirsch made a 176×176 pixel digital image by scanning a photograph of his three-month-old son. The low resolution was due to the fact that the computer they used wasn’t capable of storing more information.
This photograph of Boulevard du Temple in Paris was made in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, the brilliant guy that invented the daguerreotype process of photography. Aside from its distinction of being a super early photograph, it’s also the first photograph to ever include a human being. Because the image required an exposure time of over ten minutes, all the people, carriages, and other moving things disappear from the scene. However, in the bottom left hand corner is a man who just so happened to stay somewhat still during the shot — he was having his shoes shined. Read more…
Here’s what the next couple weeks are going to look like in terms of press events possibly related to DSLR announcements: Nikon goes first on August 19th, Sony does theirs on August 24th, and Canon has one scheduled August 26th. Nikon will likely be announcing the D3100, while Canon drops the 60D during theirs.
A big rumor regarding Sony’s upcoming unveiling is that they’re going to be showing us the world’s first pellicle mirror system on a DSLR camera. This means instead of a traditional bulky mirror that swings out of the way — as found in current DSLRs — the Sony DSLR will have an ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight semitransparent mirror that allows photos to be shot without the mirror swinging out the way. Read more…
If you’re a digital photography buff, here’s some required trivia knowledge: what you see above is a photograph of the first digital camera ever built. It was created in December 1975 by an engineer at Eastman Kodak named Steve Sasson, now regarded as the inventor of the digital camera. In a Kodak blog post written in 2007, Sasson explains how it was constructed:
It had a lens that we took from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line downstairs from our little lab on the second floor in Bldg 4. On the side of our portable contraption, we shoehorned in a portable digital cassette instrumentation recorder. Add to that 16 nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, several dozen digital and analog circuits all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards, and you have our interpretation of what a portable all electronic still camera might look like.
Just a reminder: the season finale of the popular TV show House, which was filmed entirely with the Canon 5D Mark II, will be airing tonight. The fact that the show turned to the HDSLR was one of the big stories last month, after the show’s director Greg Yaitanes made the announcement on Twitter and had a Q&A session via the service.
Canon also put out a press release today congratulating the show. Yuichi Ishizuka, the executive VP of Canon USA is quoted as saying,
We take great pleasure in congratulating the cast and crew of HOUSE on completing the first network television episode to be completely shot on a DSLR camera. This milestone marks a paradigm shift in the way professional cinematographers and filmmakers capture HD video.