There’s an abandoned McDonalds in California that’s stuffed with 48,000 pounds of 70mm tape. These tapes contain never-before-seen ultra-high-res photographs of the moon shot by the Lunar Orbiter project 40 years ago. Rather than ship the film back to Earth, scientists decided to scan them on the spaceship, beam them back losslessly, and then record the data onto magnetic tape. Not wanting to reveal the precision of its spy satellites, the US government decided to mark the images as classified. Read more…
Check out this blast from the past: it’s a 1986 commercial for the Minolta Maxxum 7000.
The Minolta 7000 was the first successful auto focus SLR using a motor integrated in the camera body. It was released in 1985 together with 11 lenses, 2 flashguns and a complete lineup of accessories. The 7000 featured one AF-sensor, shutter speeds of 1/2000 to 30 seconds, flashsync speed of 1/100s, exposure compensation of +-4EV in 0.5 exposure steps, center-weighted lightmetering and two frames per second film advance. [#]
The AF system was marketed as Maxxum in North America and Alpha (α) in Asia. When Sony acquired Konica Minolta in 2006, it kept the Alpha brand name for its new DSLR system, which used the old Minolta lens mount. Hence, Sony Alpha DSLRs.
Back in 2010, we shared a video showing Canon’s 1200mm lens — a giant piece of glass that has been called “The Mother of All Telephotos”. If you thought that focal length was long, check out Nikon’s 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P lens. Nikon launched a prototype of the lens in 1990 for newspaper photographers covering baseball in Japan. The sample photos above show the lens’ ridiculous reach. A standard 50mm FoV can be seen on the left, while the right photo shows what the same scene looks like at 1700mm.
So when Berners-Lee and his team cooked up a new edition of their still-primitive World Wide Web system, one that could support photo files, he went a few steps from his workstation to ask de Gennaro for a Cernettes-related image. The Web had already used a few small vector image files to show off schematics, but Berners-Lee and his team needed a guinea pig for the leap into photos.
Lucky for him, de Gennaro had been toying around with a scanned .gif version of the July 18th photo, using version one of Photoshop on his color Macintosh. The .gif format was only five years old at the time, but its efficient compression had made it the best way to edit color images without slowing PCs to a crawl.
The image was added to a webpage about musical acts at CERN (where Berners-Lee worked), and was probably less viewed than the same image on physical posters around the lab. The Mac that housed the original .gif file died around 1998, and the photo faded into obscurity.
You probably know of the iconic photograph titled Migrant Mother, but do you know the government photo project that led to its creation? Between 1935 and 1943, the US Government launched the largest photo project in the history of the country through its Resettlement Administration (RA) — later called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The project enlisted the likes of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange to help educate citizens in the East about what was going on in the West, and the giant PR campaign ended up producing over 170,000 photos and one of the most important photo collections in the US. The lecture above by Yale student Lauren Tilton offers a brief history lesson on this project.
Here are some uncropped (or “unzoomed”) versions of iconic photographs that show more context than their famous cropped counterparts. It’s interesting to see what photographers and photo editors chose to keep and what they chose to throw away. The image above is an alternate view of Tank Man. Read more…
Here’s your interesting piece of photo trivia ‘o the day: John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, was the first president to have his photograph taken (the earliest photo still in existence, at least). The daguerreotype was shot in 1843, a good number of years after Adams left office in 1829. Read more…