Every so often a treasure-trove of previously inaccessible images is made available that makes me want to drop everything and just marvel at the collection. Such was the case with almost a million never-before-seen photographs unveiled one year ago that represent a remarkable visual history of New York City.
Now is the time for all good photographers to set aside their high-tech digital cameras and exotic lenses—at least for a day or two—in preparation for next month’s Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD). This thirteenth-annual event occurs on April 28, and everyone is invited to participate.
While we usually devote this column to discussing trends in camera technology, every so often our industry does something special that’s worth a nod—in this case, a program to provide free portraits to the families of those currently serving in the U.S. military. Dubbed “Portraits of Love,” this project was developed by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) and will be showcased at the upcoming Big Photo Show in Los Angeles.
We spent a full week in Las Vegas earlier this month exploring the crowded halls of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, but it only took about an hour to confirm that the long-discussed convergence of mobile phones, tablets and camera technology is no longer a theoretical topic for discussion; it is a full-fledged reality. As you might expect, iPhone/iPad accessories targeted at the general consumer abounded, but there was also a wide array of innovative technology for the advanced photographer as well.
Earlier this month a national debate ensued after a freelance photographer captured the image of a man just before a New York subway train fatally struck him after he was pushed onto the tracks. The controversial photograph was subsequently published on the cover of the NY Post under the gruesome headline “DOOMED.”
Duke University scientists have developed an experimental camera as part of a $25 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense with the potential to change how we capture and view images in the future. Dubbed Aware-2, the camera offers remarkable resolution characteristics and could ultimately be employed by the military for aerial and land-based surveillance.
Given the impressive pace of technological innovation in the photographic industry, there’s very little that makes us pause and say, “Really, you’re kidding, right?” But that was exactly my response after hearing from the head of Swedish startup Memoto who is preparing to launch a truly unique micro-device intended to let you “effortlessly travel back in time to that moment when you met the first love of your life, the day your daughter took her first step, or that night you laughed away the night with friends.”
Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have used stained glass as the inspiration to develop a unique method of creating sharp, full-spectrum color images at 100,000 dots per inch (dpi) without the need for inks or dyes. In comparison, existing industrial inkjet and laserjet printers only achieve 10,000 dpi, while research-grade methods can only dispense dyes for single-color images.
For the past few years we’ve watched the popularity of camera phones grow exponentially, as devices on the Android and Apple iOS platforms have offered more and more features, higher resolution cameras, and the ability to download a myriad of both free and paid apps of interest to photographers and the general consumer.
Most of us who are passionate about photography pursue the craft as either a career or a hobby for the simple enjoyment of creating beautiful or impactful images. Occasionally, however, a photographer picks up her camera with the lofty goal of changing lives or improving the world in which we live. Betsey Chesler is one such person.