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.”
I am not anti-Instgram, nor am I anti-cellphone photography. But there is a tendency to believe that the art filters that are readily available with many cellphone photo apps somehow “improve” reality. Many of the frequently used filters either significantly boost color saturation, or try to give the appearance of an antiqued, polaroid-esque photo.
But this doesn’t mean it’s better than a more true-to-life image. To prove my point, here are a few iconic photos “re-taken” with art filters a la Instagram. Do you agree?
The New York Times has launched a new Tumblr site called “The Lively Morgue” to breathe new life into items in the newspaper’s photo archive (nicknamed “The Morgue”). Each week they’ll be sharing several historical photographs found in massive collection. Just how massive?
We don’t know. Our best guess is five million to six million prints and contact sheets (each sheet, of course, representing many discrete images) and 300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches — at least 10 million frames in all. The picture archive also includes 13,500 DVDs, each storing about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery. When the Museum of Modern Art set out to exhibit the highlights of the Times archive in 1996, it dispatched four curators. They spent nine months poring over 3,000 subjects, working with two Times editors, one of whom spent a year on the project. In the end, they estimated that they’d seen only one-quarter of the total. [#]
To make the project even more interesting, they’re also publishing an image of the reverse side of each print. This often reveals information such as how often the image was used, notes by the photographer, and the original caption that was chosen.
The Lively Morgue (via NYT)
Based on a recently published patent filing, Canon appears to be working on putting aperture rings on EF-mount lenses to allow the aperture to be smoothly controlled during video recording. The patent, filed by the company back in March and published late last week, talks of a “diaphragm driving unit” and shows a third ring on the lens in addition to the zoom and focus rings.
As many of you know, Canon is planning a “historic” announcement in Hollywood on November 3rd. Many people are guessing that an EF-mount camcorder will be announced, while others are hoping for a Canon 5D Mark III that’s even more geared towards filmmakers. This new patent is further proof that Canon is indeed planning big things for the filmmaking market.
(via Photography Bay)
Canon sent out this teaser yesterday stating that it’s going to be making some kind of game-changing announcement on November 3rd. Since the location is Hollywood, it seems more likely that it’ll be some kind of camera for filmmaking rather than a mirrorless camera. Filmmaker Philip Bloom thinks it’ll be an EF and PL mount camcorder with a Super 35mm sensor (possibly offering 4K resolution).
While we’re on the topic of Canon announcements, TechRadar wonders whether Canon is planning to discontinue the Canon G series after the company unveiled the powerful PowerShot S100 yesterday. Perhaps the line will be replaced with a mirrorless camera series?
After a seven year journey that involved being slingshotted around the planets in our solar system, NASA’s MESSENGER probe entered Mercury’s orbit on March 17th, 2011. Yesterday the probe beamed back the first photograph ever taken of the planet from orbit (seen above).