Jump to content


Photo

Seeing a holy relic


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:39 PM

My wife and I decided that an affordable and short vacation was possible right now, so we decided to visit Austin, TX, where I had shot "The Quiet" a few years ago (time flies...) but didn't have a chance to show her around until now.

We arrived on Friday and leave for home tomorrow (Tuesday).

After seeing the LBJ Presidential Library (my wife's main interest on this trip) we wandered over to the Harry Ransom Center on the UT Austin campus to see an interesting exhibit on culture and art in the U.S. in the 1920's, including original manuscripts of writers like F.Scott Fiztgerald on display (Ransom's collection is rather wide-ranging -- there's a Guttenberg Bible there too.)

Though not part of this special exhibit...

For me, it was a shock to see the original photograph (on a metal plate) -- I mean the first photograph in history, by Niepce -- on display in a little black room. See:

http://en.wikipedia....éphore_Niépce

It was like seeing a holy relic for me. You can barely make out an image on the plate, the view of the garden and rooftops, and it took eight hours to expose it, but it was eerie to be seeing the real thing.

I also got to go to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and see a screening of an adaption of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" shot by high school students in Biloxi, MS over a couple of summers in the 1980's in crude betamax home video -- we're talking about a nearly shot-by-shot remake of the movie with all the dialogue, the burning bar, the rolling boulder, the Well of the Souls with snakes, the truck chase scene (though they did skip the flying plane scene), the ending with the ghosts, etc. It was bizarre and sweet at the same time, and very funny at times, like the use of their pet beagle-terrier mix as the Nazi monkey, right down to having it do the little Nazi salute. And the Nazis drive a VW Bug convertible during the truck chase scene...
  • 0

#2 William A Chapman Jr

William A Chapman Jr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • Other
  • Oly, WA, U.S.A

Posted 12 June 2007 - 01:19 AM

It sounds like you had a nice little vacation, are you from Texas originaly, or do you just like Texas?
  • 0

#3 Patrick Cooper

Patrick Cooper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 868 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 June 2007 - 03:14 AM

That truly is amazing that you were able to see what most people consider to be the first permanently recorded photographic image. I have seen this image (the view outside a window onto a rooftop) a fair few times in books and on television but to see the actual plate in real life - my gosh! It sounds like the image was fairly faint - I'm assuming that is due to the degrading effects of time. In other words, I'm guessing that the image wasn't wasn't so faint originally? The reproductions certainly look fine.

"...an adaption of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" shot by high school students in Biloxi, MS over a couple of summers in the 1980's in crude betamax home video"

Betamax - another ancient relic!
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:43 AM

That truly is amazing (...) The reproductions certainly look fine.


The reproduction master created from the plate by some Kodak scientists was heavily touched up by the man who originally rediscovered the plate; his touched-up version was the only one he allowed to be published for years. I don't know if anyone knows if the quality of the original used to be sharper since no copies / prints survive from that time, only since the rediscovery.
  • 0

#5 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 12 June 2007 - 11:04 AM

"and it took eight hours to expose it,"

I hear that's the exposure time for Red.

R,

Kidding Jim kidding, come on that's funny :D
  • 0

#6 Stuart McCammon

Stuart McCammon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Producer
  • 95010

Posted 12 June 2007 - 02:05 PM

So Richard, if you came out with a RED-only steadicam it would have to be named - BOD - right?

David, that is awesome - two more reasons for me to visit Texas - Schlitterbahn here I come)

Edited by Stuart McCammon, 12 June 2007 - 02:06 PM.

  • 0

#7 Matt Pacini

Matt Pacini
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1246 posts

Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:18 PM

Very cool stuff indeed.

I've heard about the Raiders remake. Is it out there anywhere?
I'd like to see it.
MP
  • 0

#8 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 June 2007 - 04:56 PM

I've heard about the Raiders remake. Is it out there anywhere?


Looks like you can see some of it here:
http://www.youtube.c...p;search=Search

The BBC profile of it is here:
http://www.youtube.c...4...ted&search=
  • 0

#9 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 13 June 2007 - 05:57 PM

David, that must have been incredible. I just started thinking of the amazing dance sequence from An American In Paris when I saw the name of the photographer. What an incredible difference 181 years make.

GOD BLESS FILM!!!
  • 0

#10 Jan Weis

Jan Weis
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Student
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 13 June 2007 - 09:29 PM

GOD BLESS FILM!!!


You mean God bless photochemics

;)
  • 0

#11 AdamBray

AdamBray
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Student
  • Austin, Texas

Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:49 AM

Alamo Draft House rules! Wed night is "open screen night" similar to open mic night. They will screen absolutly anything you bring in. A random person in the crowd gets picked as the "official gonger". All videos are 8 minute max. The gonger has to let the video play a minimum of 2 minutes. After that they can gong it, or let it play. With a crowd full of drunken college kids, the crowd is always voicing it's opinion on the video being played.
  • 0

#12 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 June 2007 - 02:18 PM

For me, it was a shock to see the original photograph (on a metal plate) -- I mean the first photograph in history, by Niepce -- on display in a little black room. See:

http://en.wikipedia....éphore_Niépce

I downloaded it from the Wikipedia link. In addition to being the first photograph, it's also quite a good one. I like the composition. It looks like he took some care to get the muntin bar of the open window to carry through to some architectural detail at the second floor level of the building on the left, through the far horizon and onward to the roof line of the farther building on the right. I wonder if there are other later photographs of the same location, or if by some miracle some of the original buildings are still there.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#13 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 14 June 2007 - 03:36 PM

You mean God bless photochemics

;)


Yes, yes! Of course, of course! Thanks, Jan. :)
  • 0

#14 Michael Waite

Michael Waite
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:53 AM

I've seen the Niepce photo reproduced in a few books & it always looks a bit rough. However I read that the original is quite smooth with nice tonal range & the rough look came from difficulty in reproducing it. I think to see these things properly you have to hold them & turn them until the image looks right. Although I expect that wouldn't be allowed with the Niepce image. However if anyone is interested in the early photographic processes, daguerreotypes are available at reasonable prices on ebay. Some sell for a lot depending on subject matter or whatever the colectors value, but a lot of them go quite cheap, mostly studio portraiture.

Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the negative/positive process was another fascinating guy. I recently had a copy of his book 'The Pencil Of Nature' out from the library. (the 1966 facsimile) He recounts the story of how he came to develop his version of photography (as a frustrated amateur artist & with no knowledge of anyone working with similar ideas). This book came out around 1844 with tipped in prints that showed different uses for photography. He suggested it as a good method for documenting property & also speculated on the potential for a photograph to be used as evidence in legal cases.

In one section he refers to ultra violet light as being outside the range that the human eye can see but perhaps able to be exposed onto some negative material. He imagines a scenario where people could be in a dark room & not visible to each other however the room would be filled with some wavelength that was beyond visible light & the camera could be used to photograph them.
  • 0

#15 Paul Vincent

Paul Vincent

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:01 PM

There's an interesting theory proposed by Holy Grail writers Lynne Picknett and Clive Prince: the first photograph ever taken is actually Leonardo's great hoax The Shroud of Turin. The book is called "The Shroud of Turin: In Whose Image?"

In the context of the Shroud's undisputed photograpic qualities it is a sound theory, and the authors have successfully demonstrated a methodolgy for reproducing Leonardo's Shroud using materials available to the Master in his day.
They even go so far as to assert that the man on the Shroud is Leonardo himself! It's not so far-fetched if you compare the Shroud Man to any of Leonardo's self portraits, and if you think about it - no-one else in that era had the wit, the resources or the blasphemous sense of humour to pull off such a stunt.

I for one do believe the Shroud is a photograph. There's simply no other way to explain its blatant photographic negative quality. Artists at the time were familiar with the camera obscura, and some people *were* experimenting with the interaction of light and chemicals - Leonardo being the most famous and most likely to succeed. Interestingly, the authors claim the Shroud image is actually a burn mark, with the density of burning corresponding to the density of chemicals left after "fixing" the image subsequent to exposure. This was the hoaxer's work-around for getting a permanent image with inadequate chemicals available at the time.

I forget the name of the documentarian but I remember seeing a recent program (BBC I believe) about an art historian who believes he can demonstrate the use of lenses and camera obscura technology in the paintings of Dutch and Flemish masters many decades and in some cases centuries prior to the "official" invention of the device. He even goes so far as to show how the artist has unwittingly included lens flaws and chromatic abberation into their paintings! It certainly goes a long way to explaining the sudden appearance of photo-realistic paintings from a tradition of cartoon-like medieval art.

Food for thought!

Check out the Shroud of Turin and tell me it's not a photograph!

Edited by Paul Vincent, 15 August 2007 - 02:02 PM.

  • 0

#16 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:33 PM

There's an interesting theory proposed by Holy Grail writers Lynne Picknett and Clive Prince: the first photograph ever taken is actually Leonardo's great hoax The Shroud of Turin. The book is called "The Shroud of Turin: In Whose Image?"


Check out the Shroud of Turin and tell me it's not a photograph!


A problem with that hypothosis is that the shroud predates da Vinci's birth by a century.

As to it being a photograph, I go along with the sweat stain theory.
If a sweaty cloth, say a te shirt, is left laying around unwashed the sweat stains turn permenantely yellow due to bacteria in the sweat.
This would make the shroud akin to a fish print.
  • 0

#17 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:40 PM

It's beautiful, isn't it? I took advantage of the Eastman House while I was in school in Rochester and made many visits to their collections and archives. It's a wonderful thing to hold original negatives of some of the most well-known photographs in history. Things that have 'seen' President Lincoln, civil war battlefields, places that are long paved over. It's an amazing place and everyone should visit.
  • 0

#18 Paul Vincent

Paul Vincent

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:17 PM

"A problem with that hypothosis is that the shroud predates da Vinci's birth by a century."

Of course a known prankster like Leonardo would have the contacts and resources to obtain "old" material in order to add the the veracity of his final product. There was no carbon dating in the Renaissance Period ... any suitably aged cloth would suffice to fool the masses.

Sweat stains don't make perfect photographic negatives. Sweat would only leave marks at points of contact... thus leaving an overexposed blob for a nose and little or no facial detail. The shroud has eyes, cheeks, etc. Those are no sweat stains.
Besides, the shroud has been proven to consists of scorched linen, which gave rise to the popular "resurrection radiation" theory.

The shroud is a proven hoax... the question is thus: who did it?
The obvious answer is Leonardo.
The next question begging an anwer is: why does it posess all the qualities of a photgraphic negative?
Regardless of *who* faked it, the answer is logically: because it *is* a photograph!
  • 0


Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Opal

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

The Slider

Visual Products

CineLab

Opal

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies