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Graphics Software Science

World's First Photo 162

Posted by michael
from the say-cheese dept.
angkor cut-and-pastes "'The image acknowledged as the world's first photograph - taken by a French inventor in 1826 - has passed its first full-scale analysis with flying colors and is now awaiting an airtight case that will keep it safe for centuries to come, scientists said Wednesday.'" See also the first color photography.
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World's First Photo

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  • by Anixamander (448308) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:08AM (#3778259) Journal
    that the world's second photo was of a naked woman.

    I've lost track of the humber of technologies that were initially driven by porn. BBS's, Video CD's, e-commerce, and of course, the amazing X10 camera.
  • by JJ (29711)
    where saying "First." really does mean something.
  • The image, taken by French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1826, depicts a farm building with pear and poplar trees.

    The second photo was taken 15 minutes later when his mistress finally finished taking off her many layers of undergarments.

    • Erm... if I remember correctly, the first photo had exposure time of about eight hours.

      So, with the technology of the day, that sort of photos may have needed to wait for just a while... =)

      • Of course it took 8 hours to 'develop'. 15 minutes to take the second photograph, 5 hours to make love to his mistress (he was French, remember), 15 minutes to go home to his wife, 2 hours to make love to his wife, 10 minutes to develop the second photograph, 10 minutes 'pondering the mysteries of love' in the dark room, and finally 10 more minutes to finish the first photograph.

        So actually, the second photograph was first! :)

  • inventor info (Score:3, Informative)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:13AM (#3778282) Journal
    A little more info on the inventor here [rleggat.com] and here [ucsb.edu]
  • Too bad that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qurob (543434) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:13AM (#3778283) Homepage
    The first picture I ever took with my digital camera faded away, due to the ink in my canon inkjet

    Do you think in 5 years I'll be able to pull these pictures off my CDR's? Much less to show my grandchildren...
    • Do you think in 5 years I'll be able to pull these pictures off my CDR's? Much less to show my grandchildren...
      If you're concernced, it might be sensible to re-archive them to the current standard every 5 years or so.
    • You might want to check out archival papers and inks (also, the Epson photo printers/inks seem to get higher marks here although there is some debate about fading blues)
    • Do you think in 5 years I'll be able to pull these pictures off my CDR's? Much less to show my grandchildren...

      That'll depend on if your CD's meet with TCPA compliance in 5 years, now doesn't it? Hmm..that's an even sadder thought than I believed it to be. :-(

    • They're a lot more likely to be viewable than color photographs you took 15 years ago. Color prints, especially the first decade or two worth, fade incredibly fast compared to properly processed (i.e. washed until bleach and other chemicals are gone) black and white photos. From what I understand, there are more B&W civil war photos surviving than color photos from the first 5-10 years of those (and I read this a while back, so I assume it's only gotten worse.)

      Yes, CDRs do degrade (albeit slowly.) But you can always transfer the information over to new CDRs with no degredation (yay digital tech!)

      I'm more concerned about my DV tapes. Will they degrade before I can afford to transfer them to DVDs (at current prices transferring even my small collection would cost me nearly a grand.)

      If you really want to preserve your photos for eternity, post them to USENET. Everyone knows the binaries there are just the same photos being posted over and over...
    • Konica makes photo inkjet paper that stabilizes the ink beneath the surface of the paper. The only problem is the color range is a little off.
    • Re:Too bad that... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      Yes... yes you will.
      Cd rom drives will be available. Hell I still have a bernulli drive and those have been out of date for over 10 years. I can still read a 5.25 inch floppy and I'll bet that I can find someone with a 8 inch floppy drive and a computer that can read it+ write it to a modern format, or at least connect to a linux box via serial port and upload it.

      Hell, I know someone that has the dreaded syquest drive.

      many many of us still have nasty-old tech lying around, and if you use something that was in widespread acceptance, it makes it super easy to convert (cdrom)

      Right now it's easier to find a 9track tape drive than a 8inch floppy drive.. as the 9 track tape was widely used while 8inch floppy was sparsely used for ony a 2 year span before the tech moved to 5.25 inch.
      • Re:Too bad that... (Score:3, Informative)

        by gorilla (36491)
        You can go older than that. 7 track tapes were introduced in 1952, and obsolete in 1966 with the introduction of the 9 track tape. There are still people with working 7 track drives who can read 7 track [piercefuller.com].
      • Tape reading hardware may be around for a while as it takes active, often paid, effort to take them to the curb. Magnetic media, left on their own, will lose data with no effort needed.

        The tapes themselves, not the readers and not the formats of the data on the tapes, last considerably less than a decade [nla.gov.au], depending on who you ask and how you store them and the quality of the tape. Analog tapes are far more vulnerable than digital ones, but estimates range from 1 year to 20 years, but between 5 and 10 (under optimal storage) being very common estimates.

        Since most people choose their data tapes based on lowest price, quality is usually crap and you can only count on a year or two of reliability. Five years is probably top average life expectancy for less than top of the line tapes (non- metal or chrome tapes) with optimum storage. Optimum storage conditions are around 21 C and 41% humidity. Neither of the two common tape storage units like gym bags or car trunks meet those conditions. :P Eventually you will have to migrate to another of the same type of physical medium or a different type of physical medium. Most people only think of this after they've lost a few years of archived data. Do this migration before you start losing data. A good tape costs a few bucks, the data probably cost hundreds of thousands or millions to acquire and may not be replacable.

        If you are really paranoid, keep three backups: one for occasional restores, one for backup, and one in case something bad happened to the first two.

    • I have an IDE and a SCSI CDROM drive and a SCSI PCI controller and cables, heat-sealed in a plastic bag, in a box in my basement, so that in 20 years, if off-the-shelf computers can't read the CDs anymore, I can still deal with it. I'm betting that I'll still be able to find a machine with a PCI slot or a SCSI or IDE controller. I guess for another $100 or so I could also drop in a USB (or Firewire) to IDE adaptor case to give me more chances.

      If you're worried about being able to read a format, spend $100 and take some precautions.
    • I've got most of the photos I ever took sitting on ftp servers and I'm moving to http servers. Archiving them to delete the ones that are less important helps reduce storage requirements as well as makes them easier to share. As the if you have more than one machine, the chances are you won't lose it all. I have one internal to my network and one external that I share with the world. If the 486 external ftp server dies, I will replace it and mirror up the nicer newer machine from the internal server. Hard drive space is cheap and, thanks to Linux, you can put big drives on any old computer. Yeah, yeah, ya, I've got CDs burt of EVERYTHING, but I've hardly ever looked back at them.

      There are many many ways to archive. Try webmagic. If that is too much to learn (for me it is) then just make the html yourself as you archive. Try setting the thubnail size to 100x100 in GMC and using blue fish to make a few example tables of the thumbnails pointing to the real picture. Blue fish does have a way to automate this, but I don't know it yet. Right now vi does everything I need. There you have it.

  • interesting ... the photo gets the same fate as the inventor, or were coffins airtight back then?
    • When I read 'airtight case' I thought of criminal court.
    • Actually, if you read the article, it's not really an airtight case (which leads one to believe it's vaccuum sealed). To quote the article, "The Getty is also developing a new enclosure filled with inert gas" to store the photograph in. Hmm...gas filled enclosure...or airtight case. I guess they could be the same thing, just seems odd to call it airtight if it's filled with gas. Helium balloons are airtight aren't they? :)
  • I wish all the damn Time Travellers from the future would quit planting crap like this so we can stop wasting scientific effort. "We found the oldest photograph!!" Big Deal. Work on something new and ADD to science fro Chrissake.
  • Unfortunately this article is very short on the facts surrounding the actual technology involved in taking the picture.

    I have read about this before, but most of the details aren't coming to me so I won't even try to pass them on and I don't seem to be able to find an article on this at the moment, but I do know that it took a very, _very_ long time to expose it. Can't remember the exact number but it was at least a full day.
  • I wonder... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Static242 (124804)
    ... what kind of developer or fixer a pewter plate used?! To bad PhotoFlow is a more recent invention, because that plate REALLY looks like it could have used it!

    • I think the plate is very beautiful. The distortion combined with the extreme grainyness gives in an impressionistic quality, and the diagonals make for a fairly balanced and striking composition. Funny, it would take another 100 years for photography to really become accepted as art, but the first photograph succeeded wonderfully on artistic grounds.
      • Personally it does not have the contrast I would expect from a good B&W shot. The composition is good but I am not to sure about the "impressionistic" quality you mention. I tried that line in photography class in college a few times but it did not tread water.

        Now if I was using a unknown type camera with an equally unknown method of development... well... then I would be a genius ;)
        • When evaluating a work of art that overlaps with technology, you have to ignore the technology. (If evaluating the technology, you have to ignore the art.)

          The photo is good despite it's limitations, just like the new Star Wars movies are bad despite the good technology. CGI is for people who like graphics, not movies.
  • by WeeLad (588414) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:18AM (#3778330) Journal
    The first one was destroyed after the photographer realized his thumb was over the aperture.
    • For the Humor impaired moderators: The above post was a JOKE (funny, not interesting) , photos were taken with an exposition time measured in HOURS. there's no way the photographer cuold have put his finger over the aperture that long.

      Besides, the THUMB is on the back of the camera.
  • Am I the only one that thought the first photo would be of Pr0n? I mean, what the hell is the point of spending years constructing an idea to just take a picture of some roof tops?
  • All advancement seems to be driven by people's need for prOn... Or do you really believe people use broadband, huge monitors and whopping big hard drives to download and look at Word documents all day?
    • I thought that according to Anamaniacs, all cultural progress was intended to impress women.

      * War
      * Politics
      * Business
      * The Arts (except Musicals)

      Maybe we've turned a corner here...

      And hey, some of us have broadband so we can download movies and MP3s all day. Haven't you been listening to the RIAA/MPAA?
  • if this is copyrighted....

    ...off to the lawyers!

    "If you think of all the history of photographs, the development of film and television, they all come from this first image," said senior Getty scientist Dusan Stulik.

    Excellent, *tenting fingers*, soon the MPAA will be infringing on my copyright.

    "Oh no Mr. Smithers, the MPAA is coming, help me Smithers!"

  • A thing to note... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:26AM (#3778384)
    As you see, both walls, the one showing left and the right one, are lit by the sun. Also the sky seems somewhat blurry and apears to have something one might call an 'intense twighlight'.
    That's because he exposed the "Film" over the entire day in order to actually make a picture, thus tracking every daylight condition and them changing with the path of the sun.
    This is indeed an amazing inovative feat. I would have liked to meet this guy.
  • actually... (Score:1, Funny)

    by jhampson (580482)
    Actually, the photo had been taken 40 years earlier, but Joe had to wait for the first Fotomat to be invented.
  • The second link (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rfreynol (169522)
    The second link is entirely more interesting than the initial story. The process that this Russian developed for color photographs back in the early 1900's and the fact that we can now view them is increditable.

    Beat's the hell out of Ted Turner's colorization of old movies.
  • outrageous... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lfourrier (209630) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:29AM (#3778415)
    ...to have a Reuters sig under a photo obviously in the public domain for a long time.

    Capitalism is no excuse for the privatisation of the commons. Signing this photo reuters instead of Niepce is clearly stealing.
    • The Rueters credit is undoubtedly for the photo, which you are viewing, of the historical artifact, which is the original photo.

      It's confusing, but not malicious.
      • "Honest, teacher, my paper isn't plagiarized. I downloaded it with my own bandwidth and printed it on my own paper."
      • Hmmm, so if I were to take a video camera into a movie theatre and record the movie, I could claim credit for the video, which all my P2P buddies are watching, of the movie, which is the original work? Or would that only be allowed for movies already in the public domain?

        I don't think Rueters is taking credit for the picture, they are just putting their name at the bottom so everyone knows who put that fancy drop-shadow effect in there!

      • even if reuter could claim credit for some argentic copy of the original they have, why is not Hewlett Packard taking credit for the phosphor image I'm currently viewing? (it'is just a continuation of a flawed reasoning). Or perhaps, it is a derived work?
        More importantly, the original photographer is not itendified. From a press agency, usually prompt to show where credit is due, I find this very annoying
    • ...to have a Reuters sig under a photo obviously in the public domain for a long time.

      Public Domain means that Reuters can use the original photo in their newsfeeds and "claim" a copyright on it, but they're just claiming a copyright on their version of the photo, not the photo itself. Anyone else can publish the original photo, just as long as they go back to the source and don't use Reuter's image.

      Nobody can prevent you from taking Public Domain work and claiming a copyright on your version of it. That's why the Gnu people bothered to write a license, so that people know that can use GPL'd code freely, but they can't take GPL'd code written by other people and say its their own.

      Then again, I'm not a lawyer, so there's every possibility that I'm full of it.

  • by mccalli (323026) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:30AM (#3778428) Homepage
    OK. I'd like to demolish my credibility before starting on this, so...
    • I don't know any references to back up what I'm saying
    • I'm basing the information on a Fortean Time's [forteantimes.com] article I read a few years ago

    Given the above, I remember reading that one possibility for the Turin Shroud was that it was an early, and I mean early, photograph. Apparently, the Turks had developed a method of photography involving canvas and I -think- silver nitrate (maybe mercury?). This was in use during the 1500s, as far as I recally the article saying.

    Now, the photography they were talking about wouldn't bear much resemblence to a camera as we would recognise it. I believe the subject had to be very still, covered in this impregnated cloth and then the light would do the rest.

    I realise this is a very sketchy post, but I'm at work right now and really am not able to spend ages chasing down the relevant information. Just chucking this one out for a bit of interest really...

    Cheers,
    Ian

    • The Shroud of Turin is a 14th century painting, see here. [csicop.org]

      This isn't intended as flamebait, honestly.
      • The Shroud of Turin is a 14th century painting

        Could well be. The bit I found interesting about my post was the inference that photography was already being used by the Turks in the 1500s (hmm...14th actually).

        Of course, without any sources to hand I don't have a shred of evidence for this...

        Cheers,
        Ian

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The Turin shroud is a painting of the middle age.

      1- The carbon 14 datings say this around 1988
      2- The fact that the colour on the shroud is due to artificial pigments (proved by an american polarised microscope specialist, Walter McCrone) said this even before. (around 1980)
      3- The historians said this even before, as the painter actually admitted having done this to the bishop of Troyes.
      4- The King' inquirers, the Bishop inquirers and the Pope (Clement VII) inquirers said this first, back in the 14th century when this painting first appeared. (around 1360)

      The only common point between the "Shroud" and this photograph is both were "made in France"
      • Wrong - it is certainly NOT a painting. The simplest reason is that the pigment on the extremely fine linen showed NO seepage to the underside of the thin fibers, impossible if a liquid is applied. There are many other points of proof.

        It is almost certainly a camera obscura image - see this page [pixelworks.com.ph], halfway down, for a description. It may or may not have been Leonardo (the painted version showed up earlier, but is posited in this case to have been redone under commission by Leonardo), but if not, it was done by another extremely capable artist using available painter's chemicals to create the light-sensitive substrate. To the point that the artist would have used his own body, probably there are better ways to spend one's time than standing motionless covered in white paint in the hot Italian sun for hours (a cadaver would do just as well).

        Need some strong evidence? A recreated version of the shroud as a photograph that is extremely compelling can be seen halfway down this page [pharo.com]. It is actually of much higher resolution than the shroud, but was made using the same camera obscura process.

      • Can't carbon 14 date something as modern as this, the statistical error margin is several thousand years
    • The people I saw talking about this at a Fortean Times convention some years ago claimed the Shroud was a photograph taken by Leonardo da Vinci...
      • The people I saw talking about this at a Fortean Times convention some years ago claimed the Shroud was a photograph taken by Leonardo da Vinci...

        That's it. That's what I was trying to remember. I seem to remember that da Vinci was influenced by techniques already developed in Turkey.

        Oh, and top name by the way. Been a fan of the Brentford Trilogy for ages...

        Cheers,
        Ian

    • Smear makeup on your face. Drape an old sheet over it like a shroud. Wait for the contact print to form. Peel off the sheet. Look at it. Notice how it looks just like Arnold the cartoon character?

      Now look at a picture of the Shroud of Turin. Notice how the face doesn't look like a football? Notice how it's even gaunt?

      Any technology or spiritual manifestation or whatever that involves the shroud being used on the shroud would produce Mr. Football Head, because of the basic geometry. There is no more need to think about it.

      • No...in this theory the whole thing is meant to be a photograph. It's the light that created the effect, not actual contact. So your geometry-based objections are overcome.

        Note that I'm not a true believer in this theory - just passing on what I read. Personally, I don't have the evidence either way.

        Cheers,
        Ian

        • by Tablizer (95088)
          (* No...in this theory the whole thing is meant to be a photograph. It's the light that created the effect, not actual contact. So your geometry-based objections are overcome. *)

          Since nobody knows how it was created, it cannot be (yet) called a "photograph". The 1826 photo we know came from a *lense* and we know pretty much how it was created.

          We don't know if the Shroud used lenses or anything. There has been suggestion that pigment was detected, so it appears that some artistry was involved.

          Interesting how the first photo was not a negative. His process turned white under light instead of dark.
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:40AM (#3778491) Journal
    for a while there has been the theory that the Shroud of Turin is in fact a primitive photograph created by Renaissance Uber Geek Leonardo Da Vinci, via Camera Obscura and natural chemicals. There are other candidates as well.

    See the various links one [shroud.com], two [petech.ac.za], three [pixelworks.com.ph].

    Grain of salt not provided. This quickly wanders off into the land of wierdos, as there is also a lot of political infighting in the land of psuedo science. The Idea of the Shroud being a hoax is politically loaded.

    • The da Vinci as shroud creator idea is utter nonsense. The shroud was recorded as existing a hundred years before da Vinci was born.
      • The da Vinci as shroud creator idea is utter nonsense. The shroud was recorded as existing a hundred years before da Vinci was born.

        Which is why one of the links in the comment also cited other people as possible creators, with a similar camera obscura technique.

        but you know this already.

  • by Randatola (527856) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:44AM (#3778521) Homepage
    Many early photographers died of horrible nervous conditions, a result of exposure to toxic chemicals used in Daguerrotype and other early photographic processes. Ambrotype and tintype, introduced in the 1850's, were faster and the chemicals involved were both cheaper and safer.
  • The article at least implies that the photograph has not been on display, which is inaccurate. Until the renovation work, anyone could go into the Harry Ransom Center, on the main campus at the University of Texas, and see the photo. The photograph was kept in a darkened little anteroom which you walked into to see the photo. I've seen it several times and taken visitors to see it as well.

    You can get more information [utexas.edu] about the Ransom Center's photographic collections.

  • Hidden Photos (Score:4, Informative)

    by boa13 (548222) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:49AM (#3778546) Homepage Journal
    There are quite a few more photos available at the Prokudin-Gorskii Exhibition [loc.gov] than officially linked from the pages of the exhibition. If I'm not mistaken, 111 photos are available, but only 61 are linked. How to reach them is quite trivial and left as an execise for the reader. Hey, you'll even get the chance to have a beautiful picture of Alix Chevallier!
  • by glenmark (446320) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @08:49AM (#3778548) Homepage

    I saw the real thing several years ago in a lobby to one of the upper floors of the Harry Ransom Center here at UT. The picture is tiny, and the image faint, looking for all the world like a scrap of tinfoil with the image only visible from certain angles, manifested as a slight difference in the gloss of the surface. I can't help but wonder what it looked like when it was new.

    There were many wonders to behold in that building. On that particular visit, I was "behind the ropes" to do some maintenance work on a database server sitting in the corner of one of the center's conservation rooms. Sitting near me were a remarkable array of items, ranging from a model sailboat used in the making of an old John Huston film, to a collection of original Edgar Allen Poe manuscripts. And these were items that weren't even on display. I would've love to have just spent months rummaging around in that one room...

    Sadly, much of the collection of the Harry Ransom Center is accessible on to scholars on a by-reservation basis. Fortunately, plans are in place to make the collects more accessible to the public.

  • The article states that they're trying to recreate the process by which the original picture was taken.

    Once they've done that, they should figgure out where the window from which the picture was taken was and take a new (8 hour) exposure with the old technology, as a comparason.
  • ...That is, the last photograph taken on film-as-we-know-it, by a photochemical process involving silver halides?

    I know that won't be a very well-defined event, since undoubtedly researchers, historians, and dedicate hobbyists will periodically rediscover and revive it... there's never any point at which you can say "the last daguerrotype has been taken."

    Let's put it this way. At the end, there will still be photo stores that carry film--but only specialty, boutique stores, and only in large cities, and the film they carry will be from the last manufacturer that will continue to make it for aficionados. Then that last manufacturer will pull the plug and you won't be able to make a "photo" unless you're prepared to make the emulsion and film yourself.

    How long until that happens? My guess: fifteen years.
    • What was the first digital photograph taken?
      Is it in some lab somewhere?
      • It's not. That's the sad part of the digital age: Everything just vanishes, and the concepts are so obscure and complicated that future attempts of reconstruction can only fail.



        I discovered a real treasure a few weeks ago: My grandmother's photo album containing top quality pictures of her parents as youngsters. That was in the late 1800s. Just by looking at these pictures, no technical gadgets needed, a time that is long past really came to life in my mind. I saw a picture of my great-grandfather on his way into the First World War, pictures from my grandfather when he met my grandmother, pictures of my hometown from a hundred years ago. It's better than any history book.



        What will be left of the digital pictures, M$ Word documents, MP3 music, what will be left of our lives that our grandchildren can look at or listen to in 150 years? Of our culture? How long does digital data live, how long do even today's printouts live? To be honest, the very fact that everything will just get lost unless much effort of preservation is taken bothers me so much that I'm asking myself whether I should move to digital photography at all. I want my time and life to come alive in my great-grandchildrens' minds as well.

    • Probably never. Artists still make paintings using paint made from linseed oil and egg yoak, even though modern replacements have made them 'obsolete'.
  • I think it's fake! Theer's no tourist [touristofdeath.com] in the picture!

    It's funny, laugh!

    • There will be. Shortly. Bet on it.

      Now I had a truly malevolent idea. What if someone hacks into that MSNBC article and puts the tourist-guy'ed version there? (mwahahaha!)
  • "But the scientists have still to try to recreate that process."

    Why? Is there some need for antiquated photo processing? While the photograph is of significant historical value, I can see no value in re-creating the process. We have no shortage of poor quality photographs today. Even todays poorest quality is FAR superior to this. Why would anyone waste research dollars trying to reproduce the process.
    • The value in recreating the process is for conservation and an understanding of the development of photography for historical reasons. Conservation efforts seek to understand the genesis of all works, whether paintings, sculptures, or photography, in order to understand the context of the work.
    • by AJWM (19027)
      Why not? Why do people do anything? Curiosity, for one.

      But from the description of the image (made up of fine droplets of melted bitumen) it sounds like the plate may have been coated with a layer of powdered bitumen and the image perhaps fused by the heat of the sunlight. Which would make this not just the first photograph, but the forerunner of the laser printer and xerographic copying. :)
  • by fruey (563914) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:37AM (#3778976) Homepage Journal
    I lived in the town of birth of Niecephore Niepce for a year. The photo was taken, I believe, in a nearby village. I find it incredible that this historic piece of French, and by extension European invention, is in America. Many others are too, no doubt. Some great Daguerrotypes are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example. They are fascinating to look at, as they change a little based on your angle of viewing. Not quite like a holograph but a truly mind-bending experience. They are far more elegant IRL than looked at on a web page in 2D. The silver tones are fantastic compared to white and black photo paper or 72dpi greyscale.

    In fact the town (Chalon sur Saone, in Burgundy) is a quiet place with very little tourism. Should that photo be there, however, perhaps it would be taken more often for what it is - the birthplace of modern photography. There is a little Museum there (The Niepce Museum [museeniepce.com]) which is fantastically interesting. Sadly its piece de resistance is in Texas.

    Chalon sur Saone still has a big Kodak factory though. A lot of you who may have toured in Paris etc may have bought film manufactured there.

  • Moments ago, I posted a story on my website [mmdc.net] to the Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii exhibit on LOC.gov. I clicked submit and then jumped to Slashdot to check the headlines - Imagine my surprise when I see this link.
    I feel like monkey #100 right now...

    Cheers,
    Jim in Tokyo
  • For fans of the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection pictures. By searching the catalog [loc.gov] it came up with 2608 pictures that you can view. Most of these are in black and white. Just click the link and start viewing. Be warned that it is a bit slow, and slahdotting may make it worse.
  • This guy [lincolnportrait.com] claims to have found a very early Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln as young man. He's been trying to sell it for a lot of money, so he's been in the news. Hard to say absolutely, but I have to admit he makes an interesting case.

  • I blocked all content coming from akamai.net. Man, why can't they just use ad*.akamai.net instead of a bunch of numbers!!??
  • Did he use a Nikon or Canon pinhole to take the picture?
  • Lipmann Plates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TwobyTwo (588727) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @12:06PM (#3780107)

    In my opinion, the RGB separation is not nearly as cool as the roughly contemporary work of Gabriel Lipmann. His 1891 system achieved full accurate color using no dyed materials in either the film or the viewing system (I.e. no color filters etc.)

    Lipmann turned a clear glass B&W film plate so the emulsion faced away from the lens (I.e. the light had to travel through the thickness of the light to reach the emulsion). He placed the emulsion in contact with a reflecting mercury bath. Light from the lens traveled through the emulsion twice, once on its way from the lens, and again bouncing back from the mercury mirror thus forming....standing waves through the thickness of the emulsion.

    In other words, color was recorded according in the third plane...through the thickness of the exposed material. Blue light = tightly spaced waves, red = less tight. The plate is viewed by again sandwiching against the mercury reflector, and viewing in white lite. The interference causes the colors to reappear.

    Note that these colors are 100% accurate as long as the dimensions of the emulsion are stable. Of course, the balance can change if the viewing light isn't white.

    I read about this in a Pop Photo in the 1960's, I think. One of the most beautiful pieces of scientific/photographic work I've heard of. He won a Nobel prize for this in 1908.

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