Photography was once an arduous process. During the earlier phases of photography, those taking photographs had to handle and master some complicated and heavy equipment. The entire process of photography took several hours to complete. In recent times, it’s a matter of seconds. Today, you just need to take out your smartphone, open the camera app, and tap the virtual button.
In just a few seconds, you’ll have a fantastic photo that you’ve captured. Photography has gone through an amazing, transformative journey over the years. As a result, it now has a rich history and a wonderful present. Now, let’s take a look at some of the astonishing photography facts that you probably were not aware of.
1. Posing and photographing the dead
You’ll find it hard to believe this, but the practice was quite popular during the Victorian era. In those times, life was not easy and death came well before the old age for many. Posing the dead with living members of their family was quite common. It was their own way of creating a memory of the deceased.
On such occasions, photographers often tried their best to make the dead appear as if they were alive. To achieve this, they often employed tricks such as propping up their bodies in positions that were lifelike. This practice fell out of popularity over a period of time.
2. The camera that weighed 900 pounds
Photographer George Lawrence gained massive popularity for the photo of San Francisco that he took after the 1906 earthquake. However, he took a single photograph using a 900-pound camera in 1900. The camera was brought by a rail car and then carried into a field by 15 men. It was a part of the publicity stunt planned by the Chicago & Alton Railway.
The purpose was to photograph the Alton Limited locomotive. You might think that this was an insane stunt, but it was a successful PR initiative. The prints were then sent to the Paris Exposition the same year. They ended up winning the grand prize for their photographic excellence.
3. Hasselblad cameras on the Moon
When the astronauts made their journey to the moon, they took some Hasselblad cameras with them. These cameras were popularly used in those times for clicking the most iconic photos. When they returned with moon rocks for studies, they needed to get rid of the extra weight.
So, they had to leave these cameras behind. They did bring back the film though. If someone brings back those cameras to Earth from the Moon today, they’ll surely become the most prized cameras.
4. The first handheld digital camera
Steve Sasson, who was an engineer in Kodak, invented the first handheld digital camera in 1975. It had a weight of 8 pounds and took images at a resolution of 100×100 pixels. The black and white photo that was produced as a result was recorded on a cassette tape. This whole process took 23 seconds to finish. They could then display the photo on a television.
It’s so unfortunate that Kodak did nothing with this exciting project back then. They feared that the camera would cut into the sales of their films. If only the company had taken this project seriously, the world might’ve been totally different today.