Posts Tagged ‘historical’

This Old US Army Camera Had a 100-Inch Infrared Lens and Required a Spotter

Check out this beastly camera used by Signal Corps during the Cold War. It featured a 100-inch infrared lens that was capable of seeing through over twenty miles of hazy air — perfect for capturing reconnaissance photographs of enemy strongholds. The camera was so massive that it required two people to operate: one to frame the shot, and one to snap the photo.

100-inches is 2540mm and the camera appears to use 4×5 large format film, so the equivalent 35mm focal length of this cannon-like lens is roughly 760mm.
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The World’s First Color Moving Pictures Discovered, Dating Back to 1902

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.
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Casio QV-10: The First Digital Camera that Offered an LCD Screen and Live View

Did you know that LCD screens and live view didn’t arrive until a number of years after digital cameras hit the market? The first consumer digital camera that featured those technologies was the Casio QV-10 (seen above), which hit store shelves in 1995. However, the screen was purely for framing shots, not for eyeballing exposure, and it took roughly 10 years for live view as we know it to become ubiquitous.

The first prosumer camera to use live view for both exposure control and preview framing was the fixed-lens Canon PowerShot G1 from 2000, although this was still in the line of compact cameras.

The first DSLR to use live view for framing preview only was the fixed-lens Olympus E-10 from 2000. The first interchangeable-lens DSLR to use a live preview was the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, which was launched in October 2004. Its “Live Image” mode could display a live, black-and-white preview of the subject that could be magnified for manual focusing purposes, although the preview was limited to a duration of thirty seconds. […] The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLR with live view for framing preview only was the Olympus E-330 of 2006. The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLRs with live view for both exposure simulated preview and framing preview were the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and Canon EOS 40D of 2007.

Just in case you were wondering, the terms “live view” and “live preview” are interchangeable.

Live Preview on Wikipedia (via Casio via NPhoto)

Glimpses of the 1906 Earthquake Seen in Modern-Day Photos of San Francisco

Two years ago, San Francisco-based photographer Shawn Clover began to create an amazing series of images, titled 1906 + 2010: The Earthquake Blend, featuring photographs captured during the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake blended into views of what the city currently looks like.
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How Hyperspectral Cameras Are Being Used to Uncover Ancient Mysteries

Hyperspectral cameras are those that can capture information in the electromagnetic spectrum, far beyond what the human eye — and consumer cameras — can see. American Photo Magazine has a fascinating feature that tells of how researchers around the world are using the cameras to uncover century and millennium-old mysteries:

The historic discoveries are just getting started. No one yet knows how much researchers and scholars will find with this new generation of hyperspectral technology. More than a hundred years ago, in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, archeologists found piles of illegible papyrus. Recently, University of Oxford researchers found that they contained fragments of a lost tragedy by the ancient author Sophocles, of whose plays only seven were known to have survived. New imaging methods have also found portions of a poem by Archilochus that reveal new details about the genesis of the Trojan War. The research at St. Catherine’s could settle long-standing debates over the origins and foundation of some of the world’s major religions.

Discoveries using hyperspectral photography so far include revisions to the US Declaration of Independence, hidden words in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a possible Abraham Lincoln fingerprint on a copy of the Gettysburg Address.

Peeling Back the Hidden Pages of History With Hyperspectral Photography [American Photo]


P.S. Last year, a group of scientists was able to create a hyperspectral camera using an ordinary Canon 5D and random off-the-shelf parts.


Image credits: Photographs by Abby Brack Lewis and the Library of Congress

Photoshopped Photos From Before the Days of Photoshop

Although Adobe Photoshop’s introduction in 1990 spawned the term “Photoshopping”, the manipulation of photos has been around pretty much as long as photography itself. To show this fact, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will be holding an exhibition titled, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop.” The show will feature 200 ‘shopped photographs created between the 1840s and the 1990s, providing a glimpse into how photographers of old use their work to humor and deceive.
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A Facebook Timeline Showing the History of the Photograph

If the photograph was a living person, what would his Facebook timeline look like? Photo aggregation service Pixable decided to answer this question, creating a giant infographic on the history of the photograph with the layout of a Facebook timeline. It all starts at the very bottom of the timeline, with the photograph’s birth at around 1000 AD. Over the years, we see the marriage he has with Kodak, the Kodachrome process born to the couple a few decades later, and a subsequent relationship she has with Digital Camera.
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A 1958 Documentary About the Life and Work of Photographer Ansel Adams

If you have a free 20 minutes, here’s a great 1958 documentary on the life and work of iconic landscape photographer Ansel Adams. Created while Adams was living at a house near the Golden Gate Bridge, the film provides a look into his home, interests, attitudes toward art, camera equipment, and photographic techniques.
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Mugshot Yourself Turns Your Portrait into a 19th Century Mugshot

Want to see what you would look like as an outlaw from the 1800s? With Mugshot Yourself, you can!

It’s a simple web app that takes your portrait and combines it with the face of an actual New York City criminal from 1864. You can provide a photo using your webcam, by uploading one, or by selecting a Facebook profile picture.
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Silly Photographs of Dressed-Up Bulldogs from 1905

When you think about photographs from the early 1900s, you probably think about boring monochrome photos of locations or portraits of people with humorless expressions and rigid poses. Photographs costed more in terms of time, effort, and money back then, so photographers didn’t waste them on silly photos, right? Wrong.

This series of photographs was created around 1905 by an unknown artist. Titled Bulldogs in Fancy Dress, it’s being preserved for eternal chuckles in the Library of Congress’ photo archives.
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