If there’s one early photography pioneer worth making a movie about, it has to be Eadweard Muybridge. He was a progenitor of motion picture and recognized for the iconic series of photographs titled “The Horse in Motion”. But it wasn’t just his contributions in photography that he became known for, for he also gained infamy for murdering his wife’s lover back in the late 1800s. It’s just been confirmed that Gary Oldman will be writing, directing, and acting in the photographer’s biopic titled ‘The Flying Horse”.
I’m sure many of you were fascinated by mysteries when you were kids. Some of you maybe still are, even though many mysteries from our childhood have been demystified, especially the photos of “paranormal activities.”
Photographer Mathieu Stern turned his childhood obsession into photos. He recreated the three most famous ghost photos that scared all of us when we were kids. In his latest video, he shows the process and the method, some history behind the images, but some fun bloopers as well. Although the video is fun, the final result of the photos brings back the memories of the times when we were still afraid of ghosts.
Total solar eclipse is coming on August 21, and I guess your cameras and protective filters are ready. But before you start filming or photographing this phenomenon, would you like to see the first ever photo of it?
Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski was the one who took the first correctly exposed daguerreotype of total solar eclipse. It was on July 28, 1851, in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). No one before him managed to do it; it’s not an easy task even today. But Berkowski made a breakthrough 166 years ago.
If you’re looking for inspiration, knowledge, or want to trace the history of photography, here’s something for you. Europeana Collections’ impressive digital gallery features 2.2 million images, covering the first 100 years of photography. Among the featured names, there are Man Ray, Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge and Nicola Perscheid, to name a few. The photographs come from 34 countries, and many of them are free for the visitors to download and use.
There’s a very succinct analogy by Marshall McLuhan, summing up our society’s focus on the past:
“We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
McLuhan was referring to technology, but his observation works just as well in the context of modern-day photography: Even as technology reshapes it, we can’t seem to stop looking longingly into the past.
Do you remember the first stop-motion movie, with a galloping horse? Eadweard Muybridge made it in 1872, and the funny thing is – the first stop-motion movie was made because of a bet. The question was: do all four of the horse’s hooves leave the ground at the same time at any point of the gallop? And Leland Stanford, the founder of the Stanford University, hired Muybridge to help him settle the bet.
Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph opened at Media Space, part of the Science Museum, in London last week. Using a mixture of images, artefacts, letters, and publications, the exhibition charts the development of photography by William Henry Fox Talbot against the backdrop of his contemporaries. For anyone with a smidgen of interest in the history or science of photography, it’s a must-see exhibition.
As I wandered about the exhibition, getting high on its heady mix of photography and history, it occurred to me that a crib sheet of the early photographic processes, detailing their steps and requirements as well as their progress and their pitfalls, would be a useful article. So here you have it: from daguerreotype to tintype, an ABC of early photography.