Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Firsts in Photography (Maybe)

Firsts in any field are important and usually treasured and photography is no exception. Occasionally, when talking to a group, I will ask if anyone knows roughly when the first photograph was taken. The answers vary widely generally according to age. Adults know that there are photographs from the Civil War and thus the process must pre-date 1861. Younger folks tend to not think in that way and will say anything from 1940 to the 50s. The truth is below... Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce took the image below from the window of his upper-story workroom at his Saint-Loup-de-Varennes country house. It shows the the outbuildings, courtyard, trees and landscape as seen from the window. The year was 1826.Shot above is enhanced... original is shown in the two shots below. Talk about archival quality.
Exposure time was eight hours on a polished pewter plate coated with bitumen of Judea (a kind of asphalt). After the exposure the plate was removed and the latent image was rendered visible by washing it with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum which dissolved away the parts of the bitumen which had not been hardened by light. The photograph which Niepce called a "Heliograph" is now in the collection of the University of Texas at Austin.

Below.... the first photograph of a person? Due to the very long exposures involved in making the early photographs, there exist almost no early pictures with people in them. The image below of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris was a ten-minute exposure of the street scene in April or May of 1838. Although there was probably much traffic both pedestrian and vehicular on the Boulevard the length of the exposure meant that anything moving would not be recorded. The exception is the man standing on the corner apparently getting his boots shined.... he stood still long enough to become a part of pictorial history.
The above image is a a Daguerrotype a metal plate coated with silver halide that, after exposure, was placed over a lightly heated cup of mercury which revealed the latent image.
The process was developed by Louis Daguerre together with Niepce creator of the first image above. The process was patented in 1839. Is this the first photograph of a living person? It certainly is for now. I can just imagine trying to photograph a two year old with a ten-minute exposure. Thank the Lord for digital.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue, Gold and Wispy White

On a mission to walk 2.5 miles everyday this week.... intend to lose weight or die in the attempt. Deep blue skies and fast moving clouds ruled the day. Bottom pix are of Corinthian Hall again... which has roses that seem to bloom forever. All Nikon D3 and 70-200mm zoom f5.6 to 22 ASA 400 shot at minus one third stop.

Don't know whether the above saucer was taking off or landing........

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last Vestiges of Summer

Finally got out of the house for something other than work today. Walked Cliff Drive. I'm afraid bare trees are imminent.

Above private residence, below Corinthian Hall which is currently being decorated with Scarecrows for the auction Friday night... 6-9:30pm on the Museum grounds. Sunday is Halloween in Old Northeast.... 5-8pm.

All shots taken with the Nikon D3 and 24-70 zoom. Aperture priority between f5.6 and f11 at ASA 200.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spring Break

New video camera arrived so I'm learning how to use it... sorta. It's a Sony HXR-MC50U HD.... what's nice is that it only weighs a pound, has amazing stabilization and uses no tape... just flash memory. This shows one of the many springs flowing year-round just below Cliff Drive. Actual travel time from the roadway is about 3 minutes. Deer drink here all the time. But not today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holiday Homes Tour in Scarritt Renaissance

The homes for the 2010 Holiday Homes Tour over here in jolly old Northeast have been announced. This year the Tour will be on Sunday, December 5th from 2 - 5pm. Tickets will be available at the old Corinthian Hall Carriage House on Indiana between Gladstone Boulevard and Windsor Avenue. More detail as we get closer... but save the date.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cinema DSLR

I'm videotaping a wedding a week from Saturday and have the gear I need, but I wanted to see what the quality was of the Nikon D5000 output in video mode. Soooo, trekked on over to Cliff Drive (where else) and did some shooting. Not my best work by a loooooong shot... also, while the camera worked well, it just won't do for the situations one faces at a wedding. Perhaps, during the service, it could be over in the corner giving me one more angle. We'll see.

But, while I cinemztizing the leaves cooperated by falling... and two hawks decided to put on a little air show... they were using the constant breeze to wind surf... pretty interesting.

Anyway... the movie below is interesting but certainly far from acceptable technically. In fairness though this is reduced from 500mb to 14.7.... the uncompressed looks much better.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nothing New Here

Took a brief trip to the most photographed place on Planet KC today looking for something, anything different. Didn't succeed but posting anyway.