23 SECONDS

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Source : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Steve_J_sasson.jpg

Its December, 1975 and the setting is in one of Eastman Kodak’s laboratories. A young tense faced electrical engineering post-graduate presses a button on an 8 pound machine that is going to change how the world views photographs forever. 23 seconds later an image appears on an adjacent television screen and there by marking the dawn of a new era of photography — the era of digital photography. The young Eastman Kodak engineer has just revolutionized the whole process of making or shooting a photograph.

Meet Steve Sasson, the creator of the first digital camera. Born on the 4th of July, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York, Sasson graduated with Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972 and then went on to complete his Masters from the same institution. Following his masters he took up a job with Eastman Kodak. In 1974 his supervisor, George Lloyd assigned him the project of creating a digital camera which culminated in the invention of the world’s first digital camera in 1975.

first digital camera
Source : http://petapixel.com/assets/uploads/2010/08/firstkodak.jpg

The camera weighed more than three and a half kilograms. Powered by 16 nickel cadmium batteries it shot images at a resolution of 0.01 megapixels and recorded the images on to a cassette tape. Sasson persuaded his lab assistant to pose for the first photograph. It took him 23 seconds to shoot the photo and then a further waiting period of 23 seconds ensued before the image appeared on the television screen connected to the camera.

In the years to come many more companies would come out with digital cameras which besides having insane specs would also be so much cost-effective that photography would transform itself into a hobby for the masses instead of just being something exclusive to the rich and royal.

Steve Sasson is till date an Eastman Kodak employee and works to protect the intellectual property rights of the company these days. He was also awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists, engineers, and inventors on 17th November 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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THE BURNING STICK

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Aha !!! One more from Facebook archives. Here is an image shot out of sheer boredom. What do you do when you are bored to death ?!? Well one just picks up the camera keeps calm & shoots any thing in the vicinity. That’s exactly what I did to get this image and just to have a bit more fun I shot again in Monochrome and then just to pass a bit more time I thought why not tinker with the image in Photoshop. Finally, after about 30 minutes of sheer non-sense here I am presenting to you the end result — “THE BURNING STICK” !!!

EXIF INFORMATION
No, c’mon every image doesn’ need to be accompanied by all those technical data and numbers. This photo was shot to have fun and lets keep the fun element going by throwing those serious looking numbers out of the window at least for once.

DISCLAIMER : This image doesn’t intend to encourage smoking in any manner and any of you smoking during or after viewing this is purely coincidental and neither me nor the image shall be responsible for any one of you ending up with a pair of BEYOND-ANY-HOPE-OF-CURING-LUNGS.

For more photos please check out Sayak’s Photography on Facebook.

Being Original

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Now how many times have you heard that ? I am pretty sure that’s probably the most common advise you will get whenever you volunteer to be advised on photography and everything related. But what exactly is “Being Original” ? A quick Google search with just the word “Original’ reveals that it can be both used as an adjective and a noun and Google also displays four meanings of the word. What we are concerned with or rather what the experts indicate while giving advises of being original is the second meaning under the adjective usage of the word –

“created personally by a particular artist, writer, musician, etc.; not a copy“.

Please note that I have taken the pains to write the last three words in BOLD. This has been done because that is precisely what is meant by Being Original or in other words “AVOID CUT COPY PASTE” at all costs.

This however doesn’t mean you always have to come with newer and newer things. Nobody has any objection to any of your work which might be inspired by some other earlier work by some other photographer. However, there is a very thin line that effectively separates Inspiration from Imitation. But then again if you ask me how to differentiate between inspiration and imitation I can’t give any specific set of parameters. Its all up to your own judgement and how your viewers perceive your work.

One suggestion I think will be of help is that just don’t blindly follow someone. For instance, a few days back I had posted a photo on a photography forum in Facebook along with the EXIF information as per the rules of that particular forum; couple of days later I got a notification that one guy has left a comment on the photograph saying that inspired by the photo that I had posted he had tried to replicate the image by using the same settings as per my EXIF information but had only ended up with a black frame. This is exactly what a classic example of following blindly looks like. It was really heartening to know that a photo shot by me could inspire someone to go out and try to replicate that. But where he went all wrong was when he tried to implement the same settings that I had used without making an effort to know the position or angle I shot the frame from or the time of the day I shot at or the available light when I shot the photo and end number of other factors. This incident also exhibits a lack of understanding about the camera settings because if that person had even the most basic understanding he would have applied his brains to tweak the settings about according to the conditions he was shooting in. Even though he claimed to be inspired but in reality he ended up imitaing.

What is important is that your viewer gets to see your own interpretation of your subject. Therefore, even at the cost of repetition let me conclude by saying Get Inspired But Don’t Imitate.

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photography-domain

How would you like your photography blog or website to have a name like street.photography or may be event.photography ? You would love that, wouldn’t you ?!? Who wouldn’t love to have a website with a domain name that makes one stand out in the .com jungle.

Then again by now you are probably groaning in disgust because you know that is not possible. But, don’t worry ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) are about to release fourteen new generic domains which includes .photography. So now February on-wards you make your precious photography blog or website more genre specific.
That’s not all, you can even register your domain name with the new generic domains prior to their release. GoDaddy is offering pre-registration. All you need to do is go to http://www.godaddy.com/newdomains and pre-register the domain of your dreams. You can also opt for the Priority Pre Registration offered by GoDaddy but that is obviously going to lighten your pocket by quite a bit.

However please be aware that neither Pre Registration or Priority Pre Registration guarantees that you will be ultimately getting the domain when the new generic domains are released. Also in case of Pre Registration you shall be refunded the registration fees in case you fail to get the domain name you pre registered; however no such refunds are applicable for Priority Pre Registation. Please read up the FAQs on GoDaddy’s website very carefully before registering.

Two other registrars offering domain name registration with the new about to be released generic domains are name.com and Network Solutions.

So what are you waiting for ? Go out there and get the domain of your choice now.

BOOKS ARE LIKE FRIENDS

I shot this frame a few months back during a visit to Kolkata’s favourite ADDA joint – COFFEE HOUSE. I was there with my girlfriend and busy chatting when I suddenly saw this man sitting all alone and deeply engrossed in the book (which is quite a common sighting in Coffee House) amidst all the chatter around him. I immediately picked up the camera but as I looked through the view finder this frame unfolded. The two friends were having a jolly good time and this view between the two of them of the lone man really made for a very interesting scene. It struck my mind that even though two is company but being all alone with a book can be equally enjoyable.

For more photos please check out my Facebook page Sayak’s Photography .

PHOTOGRAPHY – MORE THAN JUST AN ART FORM

This is going to be my first post on this blog and I thought what better way to inaugurate The Photography Fanatic than by writing about how I look at photography and what photography means to me.

If you were to ask me what photography means the answer would be quite short. I would have to tell you that the word photography is derived from the Greek terms PHOS which means LIGHT and GRAPHIE meaning to write or paint. So basically photography means “Writing or Painting with Light”. But such technical and historical information and discussion are not what this post is about. This post all about what photography means to me.

Now if you are beginning to wonder why on earth did I then bother to tell you the history of the word photography then let me tell you that the meaning of the word photography is exactly what photography represents to me. I trully believe that photography is not just for recording moments its about writing down what I feel about a moment and how I look at a moment.

More often than not I get told that photography is an art form. Yes to many it might be but I beg to differ. For me photography is not just an art form its a language – a language without a distinct script but with the capability to speak a thousand words and still be silent. Its the language that allows me to interact with my surroundings and also to document the numerous conversations that I am constantly having with almost everyone and everything around me.