Is all photography at risk of becoming instant photography?

Friday, 21 January, 2011

Digital and smartphone cameras have so streamlined the photographic process that ever decreasing thought is being given to taking photos, and often times, even the subject of the photo itself, argues Tim Wu.

No, the real victim of fast photography is not the quality of the photos themselves. The victim is us. We lose something else: the experiential side, the joy of photography as an activity. And trying to fight this loss, to treat photography as an experience, not a means to an end, is the very definition of slow photography.

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100,000 feet above the Earth, a do-it-yourself space odyssey

Thursday, 7 October, 2010

Last August, after eight months of planning and testing, Luke Geissbühler and family dispatched a HD camera, attached to a weather balloon, skywards.

The “space probe” ultimately reached an altitude of 100,000 feet, or about 30,500 metres, before the balloon burst, sending the probe hurtling back to the surface. Be sure to watch the video of the undertaking.

This seems to be an idea that is catching on though (and I can understand why…), a group of Spanish high school students did something similar in early 2009.

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Early mobile phones were bricks, early digital camera were blocks

Monday, 16 August, 2010

Built in 1975, the first ever digital camera was barely portable and used cassettes, rather than memory cards to store photos, which could only be viewed on a TV screen:

It was a camera that didn’t use any film to capture still images – a camera that would capture images using a CCD imager and digitize the captured scene and store the digital info on a standard cassette. It took 23 seconds to record the digitized image to the cassette. The image was viewed by removing the cassette from the camera and placing it in a custom playback device. This playback device incorporated a cassette reader and a specially built frame store. This custom frame store received the data from the tape, interpolated the 100 captured lines to 400 lines, and generated a standard NTSC video signal, which was then sent to a television set.

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The $120 science project that could launch 1000 balloons

Monday, 23 March, 2009

School students the world over may be drawing inspiration from a science project conducted in February by Spanish high school students who attached an inexpensive digital camera to a latex balloon, that ended up travelling to an altitude of 100,000 feet, or almost 31 kilometres.

The makeshift experiment was completed in February at the remote village of Los Monegros-Bujaraloz in Aragon. “The balloon we chose was inflated with helium to just over two metres and weighed just 1,500 grammes,” said Mr Marull. “It was able to carry the sensor equipment and the camera and the digital Nikon camera which weighed 1.5kg.” The team hoped that the balloon would reach 30,000ft – the altitude at which airliners fly. But it reached 100,000ft before beginning to deflate and descend to Earth.

Some incredible photos, taken during the balloon’s ascent and decent, plus a couple of videos, have been posted to the study group’s Flickr page.

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