21 photography facts you probably never knew

21 photography facts you probably never knew

Interesting snippets from history

George Eastman, founder of Kodak, had a particular fondness for the letter ‘K’. He reportedly said, “It seems a strong, incisive sort of letter.” He came up with the name ‘Kodak’ for his company along with help from his mother.
Source: Wikipedia

Back in 1990, Kodak used cuddly collectible toys to promote their brand in the effort to get kids into photography. They toys were called Kolorkins.
Via: Photojojo

Before the digital age, the US government was taking spy photographs of the Soviet Union. How did they do this? They launched 20 satellites, each containing 60 miles of film along with cameras. After the film was finished, it was shot back through the Earth’s atmosphere in buckets and parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where they were then snagged with grappling hooks by C-130 Air Force planes.
Source: The Atlantic

Cameras and guns share a common history – in the early days of cameras being manufactured, some dry plate cameras were explicitly modelled on Colt revolver mechanisms, and the design of cinema cameras was modelled on machine guns. Closer still, when William Walker and George Eastman of Kodak developed a new paper negative, it used guncotton. This was expanded upon by a French inventor who created a gelatinised guncotton that could be cut into trips, which in turn permitted the first modern smokeless fun powder. Later on, amyl acetate was added to this, as well as nitroglycerine and acetone. So essentially, at the time, cameras and guns both contained the same sort of chemicals in their cartridges.
Source: David Campbell

There are 12 Hasselblad cameras on the surface of the moon. They were left there after the moon landings to allow for the extra weight of the lunar rock samples to be brought back.
Source: Wikipedia

Amusing photographs of cats with captions (see icanhascheezeburger.com) quickly became (and remained) viral on the internet. Apparently this is nothing new. One of the first photographers of cats in amusing poses was English photographer Harry Pointer during the 1870s. He began his career taking natural pictures of cats, but soon realised that his photography had more success when the cats were in ridiculous poses. He even added captions to the images, such as ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Five o clock Tea’ and ‘Bring up the dinner Betsy’ as he found this made the images more successful still.
Source: photohistory-sussex.co.uk

Via Photo History Sussex

Interesting things to photograph

Manhattanhenge (also known as Manhattan Solstice) is a phenomenon whereby the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s east-west streets. It gives a dramatic effect which has been compared to the same phenomenon at England’s ancient Stonehenge (hence the name). It is a favourite event for people to photograph in New York when it occurs.

During the solar eclipse, tree leaves have been seen to act as pinhole lenses, casting crescent-shaped images of the eclipsed sun on the ground.
Via: petapixel.com

Technical stuff

If you’re photographing in space you might have some difficulty getting sharp images due to vibrations induced by fans, jet firings, and other machinery.
Source: luminous-landscape.com

You can test your camera’s shutter speed using a TV or monitor. Apparently it works for both focal plane and leaf type shutters. This diagram shows you what you should be looking for.
Source: Rick Oelson

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