Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Instantaneous Photography.

Instantaneous Photography.

Photography has made rapid strides during the last three or four years, and nowadays the art can be practised by candle or lamplight with as favourable results as not many years ago attended its prosecution in the brightest sunlight. In one of the English cities we read recently of the scenes upon a stage being taken as the play progressed, this being achieved by means of the electric light. Another direction in which most important advances have been made is in taking photographs by the instantaneous process. In one of the Home journals recently was published a series of cuts showing all the various positions assumed by a horse at full gallop, reproduced from photographs actually taken; and the movements shown were altogether opposed to the general notions of the way galloping is performed, and made it apparent that the ordinary picture of a horse in that gait is very far removed indeed from the reality.

A railway-train, going at the rate of nearly a mile a minute, has also been successfully photographed, the time occupied in the operation being some where about l-300th of a second; and so exact did every smallest detail about the train come out that to all appearance the picture had been taken when the train was at an absolute standstill.

In the Colonies the instantaneous process has not been, practised to any extent; but Mr Clifford of the Royal Arcade, has made a number of experiments (with apparatus of his manufacture principally, or at any rate made in Dunedin to his order) with very considerable success. It is hard to say exactly what space of time is consumed in the operation because it can only be computed by comparison. A spring-shutter is used to close the camera, and the view is taken whilst this shutter is in the act of closing. The method of computation is by first determining the length of opening which, could be shut off in say, half a second; then knowing that the duration of time can be reckoned in which a much smaller opening could be shut off by a spring of the same force. The views Mr Clifford has taken are street subjects, and they come out with great clearness and exactitude. A horse with its rider, although cantering at the time of operation, is as clear as if standing still the only difference being that one or two of its legs are off terra firma; man is seen to be stepping; a lad is crossing the street evidently at a run; a carriage and pair is being driven by, which one could well believe, except for the attitude of the horses, was actually not in motion; and so on. The views are highly interesting as showing the development of photographic art, and are highly suggestive of the possibilities yet to be achieved.
Otago Daily Times, Issue 6339, 6 June 1882, Page 2

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