- Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots
- Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas
- The Print and the Process: Taking Compelling Photographs from Vision to Expression
- Learn & Master Photography
- The History of Photography:From1839 to present –Beaumont Newhall
- A History of Photography; The George Eastman House Collection – David Wooters
- Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital-Todd Gustavson
- 2013 Photographer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Photography
- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Group Portrait Photography Handbook
- The Best of Family Portrait Photography: Professional Techniques and Images
- 500 Poses for Photographing Group PortraitsSelling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
The evolution of photography has not been a constant path. It has had its ups and downs, much like anything else that is constantly changing. However, from time to time, certain landmarks in history have happened and it would be unfair for them to go unmentioned. Some have cleared the path for vision and evolution , while others would best be categorized as bold tests of limit. Here is a selection of six of these amazing extremes.
1.The world’s largest photograph
It was first shown to the public on July 12 2006. It is the work of six photographers who wanted to put an end to the age of chemical photography and also the photography vs. painting debate. It was taken using the world’s largest camera ( see next item ) and its dimensions are staggering: 32ft(9,8m) x 111ft. (34m). That’s 3,552 square feet and it probably wouldn’t fit in your living room. It shows the control tower and runways of the U.S. Marine Corps base at El Toro, California . There is a detailed, 196 page book called “The Great Picture: The Making of the World’s Largest Photograph” that will tell you everything about the creation of this amazing image.
2. The largest camera ever made
It’s obviously the one that took the picture above but it’s nothing you would imagine. There wasn’t any lens, any shutter or anything conventional you would find on any large camera available today. No, these guys used an entire hangar! Building #115 from the base was modified using the most basic principle in camera technology, “camera obscura”, otherwise known as the pinhole. The “film” was basically a white fabric that had been photo sensitized with 72 gallons of sensitive emulsion. The exposure took 35 minutes and it was developed with the help of 80 volunteers using 600 gallons of black-and-white developing solution and 1,200 gallons of fixer. The final washing of the print was done with fire hoses. No comment.
3.The world’s most expensive lens
You might think your Canon 50 mm f1.2 was an expensive lens, and , for the most part, who’s to say it wasn’t? It’s small change, however, compared to the world’s most expensive lens ever made or sold. It is the astonishing Leica APO-Telyt-R-1600mm f5/6 . That’s right, 1600mm, 1,55m long(with hood attached) and a weight of no less than 60kgs(132lbs)! The price for these figures: $2,064,500. Who would buy such a piece of equipment? Apparently, there is a Sheikh named Saud Mohammed Al-Thani of Quatar who commissioned Leica to produce this marvel of optical engineering. It has also been said that the he had Mercedes equip a four wheel drive car with a special tripod support to hold this beast.
It is one of a kind, yet Leica has exhibited a prototype in their showroom in Solms, Germany.
4.The world’s most expensive camera
Somehow, it comes as no surprise that the same brand is responsible for both the most expensive camera as well. A 1923 Leica O-series was auctioned for no less than $1,89 million. There were 25 of these originally made and the funny thing is this isn’t the only one left. There are still 11 others left in existence. Also, the previous most expensive camera was a ...you guessed it, a Leica O. Apparently there is something about these little cameras that drives collectors crazy.
Find out more about Leica history in this illustrated book.
5.The longest exposure
Now, most of us think of a long exposure in terms of seconds, maybe even minutes. A 30 second exposure could seem like a very long time for a photographer itching to see his photograph of a busy traffic or a moving tide. Well, there is a German fellow who would disagree on the meaning of long exposure. You see, when he goes shooting, the time it takes from setting the camera to seeing the final result is probably the same time it takes other people to start and finish a long term relationship. In 2001 Moma, The Museum of Modern Art in New York asked Michael Wesely to document the destruction and re-building of the museum in one photo. Wesley said ok and started shooting with eight cameras in four corners for....get this, 34 months. His shutters were open for almost three years. Makes you reconsider those “long ” minutes you waited to get a photo of a star trail.
Find more of Wesely’s amazing work in this album.
(c) Michael Wesely
6. The world’s first photograph
Back in the nineteenth century, when people wanted a portrait or a visual image of something, they would simply go to someone who was good with a pencil. In those days, there were quite a few artists so society had that need covered. Or so it thought. Things began to change in 1826 when French scientist Joseph Nicephore Niepce took the world’s first ever chemical photograph. The principle was actually the same as the one used to make the largest photo, featured on this list. Niepce’s photo has almost no details and looks more like a mess of dots strange lines, but truly important inventions tend to be quite flawed. It is the view of a courtyard from his upstairs window and even the world’s most horrible digital camera could have done a better job. Needles to say though, without monsieur Niepce’s contribution, our love for photography as we know it would not have been possible and for this, I believe, he deserves our uttermost respect.
Read more about the history of photography in these great books: