The Most Important Image Ever Taken

Darren wrote this at 8:58 am:

It’s a little out of left field for this blog, but check out this 6-minute video describing the single most important image ever taken by humanity. The astronomical photographers will love this movie. Actually, the astronomical photographers have probably already seen it, but it’s quite fascinating for us non-astronomers as well.

Given the cost of the Hubble Telescope, that’s possibly one of the most expensive photos ever taken as well!

Kind of makes you feel all humble, doesn’t it?

The History Of Photoshop

Darren wrote this at 8:00 am:

Interestingly, the first Star Wars movie, the Apple Mac, and Industrial Light and Magic (George Lucas’ special effects company) all played crucial roles in the original development and productization of Photoshop 15 years ago. You can read the whole story in Computer Arts’ article The History of Photoshop.

The article’s claim that Photoshop is “possibly the only bit of software to have spawned its own verb form” is way off the mark, though – we “Google” for information, we “Skype” each other, we “ping” other computers, and Unix geeks “vi” and “cat” and “grep” and “ftp” files.

The Gigapxl Project

Darren wrote this at 6:00 am:

If you’ve been following photography web sites or geek blogs for a while, you’ve no doubt heard of The Gigapxl Project. These guys have built a very large camera that shoots 9″x18″ film sheets, which are then scanned to produce a 4 gigapixel image. That’s gigapixel, as in, 1000 megapixels.

The Gigapxl Project has had a good bit of media coverage lately, including a very interesting talk by Graham Flint at the Pop!Tech 2005 conference. You can listen to the talk at ITConversations. You can also read articles about the project at the Wired and Popular Science web sites.

So what’s the point of such massive photographs? They’re currently working on a project called “Portrait of America”, which aims to photograph the key sites that define each of the states of the USA and provinces of Canada. They are also working with Google to integrate their images with Google Earth, so web surfers can see the sights and explore cities all around the world.

Perhaps most exciting is the potential this technology has to record as best we can the deteriorating cultural and archaeological sites around the world for future generations:

In terms of the future, we have been much encouraged by the diversity of applications which continue to emerge. One of particular appeal relates to the documentation of cultural and archaeological sites which cannot be preserved and which inevitably will deteriorate with the passage of time. Many thousands of these sites are present around the world. Prime examples include entire cities such as Rome, Italy. In this instance, limestone structures which have stood for thousands of years have become the victims of acid rain. Stonemason’s chisel marks, until recently clear to see, have all but vanished. Only through a massive program of ultra-high-resolution documentary photography can such details be preserved for enjoyment and study by future generations.

1944′s View Of The Future Of Photography

Darren wrote this at 8:05 am:

Here’s a fascinating article from Popular Photography in 1944: The Coming World of Photography.

Photography spent its first hundred years slowly developing its mechanics, its lenses, cameras, emulsions, and lights. But war speeded progress will place the camera in the forefront of man’s technical devices when victory comes. To determine the new uses, new methods, new viewpoints that will give camera work its direction in the postwar period, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY has asked a trusted photographic editor, a war correspondent, documentary photographer; teachers of photography, manufacturers, and a soldier to contribute to this symposium. Their opinions differ. Yet somehow all seem to feel that the second hundred years will see the camera put to use as never before with the amateur often leading the way.

The nine luminaries featured in the article are:

  • WILLARD D. MORGAN
  • ELLOT ELISOFON
  • BERNICE ABBOTT
  • C. B. NEBLETTE
  • PAUL STRAND
  • L. MOHOLY-NAGY
  • H.A. SCHUMACHER
  • JOHN S. ROWAN
  • Sgt. ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN

Hat tip to Holy Shmoly!