photostats

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Animators used a lot of different types of reference when bringing their characters to life. One of the most common techniques involved shooting posed scenes with real actors in costume, which were called “photostats.” These black and white photos show clearly how the actors’ performance influenced the Disney animators. 

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Photo Stats. iPhone. $.99. This creative and innovative app analyzes the photos taken with your iPhone and stored in the camera roll and, using the EXIF data, turns the info into slick infographics. With a single tap, generate the infographic and learn the most interesting places where you took your photos, whether you are a night-life photographer or you prefer afternoon/morning to take your photos, what were your most productive photo-taking days and months, and a lot other technical things about your photos (ISO, shutter speed, flash) that can help make better photos. Of course, you can share infographics to Facebook and Twitter, email them to friends or save to the iPhone. Combine all infographics to generate a cool full-size infographic like those you see in magazines and websites. What a colorful, fun way to learn about your photo-snapping habits!

Pretty fascinating infographic showing how technology is furthering the evolution of speech recognition.

Speech-recognition technology is making the world more accessible. Not only is it changing the way we use computers, but it is making our cellphones more useful and making our comes more connected.

Ben Parr
August 23, 2011

Agent 33

I was rewatching bits of season 2 of Agents of SHIELD to figure out a timeline for when SHIELD knew what about Agent 33′s brainwashing, and I thought I’d post it here in case anyone else might find it useful.

In episode 3, Agent 33 is introduced as a SHIELD agent being brainwashed by Hydra. By the end of the episode, the brainwashing is successful: Agent 33 is “happy to comply.”

In episode 4, Agent 33 impersonates May while wearing a photostatic mask. She infiltrates the Bus, fights Coulson, and then fights May. May and Coulson never see her real face and don’t know who she is.

She taunts May by saying “I know all your moves. I used to be a SHIELD agent.” But then a lot of Hydra agents used to be SHIELD agents, so that by itself doesn’t suggest that she’s brainwashed. (They may not even know at this point about the extent of Hydra’s brainwashing capacity.)

But by the end of episode 5, they should know all about that, because Simmons clearly learned about Hydra’s brainwashing abilities while she was undercover: once she’s safe on the Bus, she says, "If it weren’t for Bobbi, I’d probably be brainwashed, happy to comply to who knows what.“

So now they know the brainwashing and the code phrase that triggers it. 

This is probably also the point where SHIELD finds out that Agent 33 is in Hydra custody and has been brainwashed; assuming Bobbi knows (and I’m not sure who else this information could come from), this is probably her first chance to tell them.

Certainly everyone in SHIELD knows about Agent 33′s brainwashing by episode 9, because when Skye runs into Agent 33 (still wearing May’s face on the broken photostatic mask), Skye says, "Stand down, Agent 33, we can help you.”

But Agent 33 doesn’t stand down. She continues to fight until Hunter shows up, knocks her out, and asks Skye who the hell the woman with May’s face is. “May’s evil twin, formerly known as Agent 33,” Skye says.

Hunter tells her that Hydra agents are coming. They vamoose without even considering taking their brainwashed former colleague with them - not so much as a throwaway line to suggest that they would if only they had a little more time.

My impression is that Skye thought she did her due diligence trying to win over her brainwashed colleague by telling Agent 33 that they could help. As far as she’s concerned, Agent 33 sacrificed her chance at rescue and redemption when she didn’t instantly lay down her arms.

Day and Night

During the mass digitization project at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, which has been under way for the last year, twenty Megalethoscope plates of unknown origin were discovered in our storage facility. The Cooper Hewitt’s Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department collection contains a photostat of an advertisement from the early 1860’s that illustrates the then-revolutionary capabilities of Megalethoscope technology.

The Megalethoscope is an optical device invented by Carlo Ponti, a Swiss-born optician and photographer who studied photography for eight years in Paris before settling in Venice in 1854. Ponti first created a device called an Alethoscope in 1860, for the viewing of prints and photographs. The Alethoscope was used to view photographs that were specially prepared and mounted on a curved wooden frame, and showed day-and-night effects by viewing with either reflected or transmitted light.

Ponti was reknowned for his lenses and his series of photographic albums, “Ricordi di Venezia.” He actively edited and published the work of other Venetian photographers as well as his own throughout the 1860’s. Due to administrative confusion during the Austrio-Prussian war and the Peace Treaty of 1860, Ponti lost his copyright and his collaborator Carlo Naya began producing the Alethoscope under his own name. Ponti tried unsuccessfully throughout the remainder of his career to regain his exclusive right to the invention, and died in 1893, completely blind.[1]

The Megalethoscope is an enlarged version of the Alethoscope, in which photographs are viewed through a large lens, which creates the optical illusion of depth and perspective. Ponti and others produced specially prepared photographs in which pin holes, scratches and colored paper additions have been made on the albumen prints which are barely visible from the front. To view them with full effect, photographs for the Megalethoscope are constructed with several layers, mounted on a curved wooden strainer:

  • Image layer: The primary support combines an albumen print, a textile support and a watercolor painted paper sandwich.
  • Tissue layer: A blue tissue paper, watercolor painted/cut out and affixed to the borders on the back of the wooden strainer.
  • Backing layer: The secondary support combines a textile support and a paper sandwich.

This creates dramatic day and night light effects, depending on the placement of the light source. When the top of the Megalethoscope is open and light hits the front of the image, we see a daytime scene. However, closing the top and using back lighting, we see the impression/illusion of nighttime[2].

External image

Megalethoscope discovered in Cooper Hewitt storage during mass digitization.

The Megalethoscope plate “Panorama di Napoli dal Vomero” (Panorama of Naples from the Vomero), one of the objects found in Cooper Hewitt’s storage during the digitization process,  is a well-known view of Naples. A similar image was taken by photographer Giorgio Sommer, circa 1870, held in The J. Getty Museum collection.

External image

Panorama of Vomero with Pine Tree; Giorgio Sommer (Italian, born Germany, 1834 – 1914); Vomero, Italy; about 1870; Albumen silver print; 17.8 x 24 cm (7 x 9 7/16 in.); 84.XP.726.43; Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Institutions containing Megalethoscope plates in their collections include The Getty, The George Eastman House and Firestone Library, and the Princeton Library.

Dong Eun Kim is currently working as a paper conservator for the Cooper Hewitt mass digitization project. She has formerly done photo and paper conservation work for the Yale center for British Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Morgan Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

[1] Heylen, Sylke and Maes, Herman. Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume 8. Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, Washington, DC, 1999. p. 24.

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEC4dGWNsnk



from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum http://ift.tt/1L8jmbr
via IFTTT

“Over the last two months, we’ve been taking a snapshot of U.S. political opinions via the YouTube Town Hall. YouTube users have asked questions of members of Congress and then voted on their answers while focusing on the value of the idea rather than the party of the speaker (Town Hall doesn’t reveal party identification until after a vote is submitted). We received 50 videos from representatives across the U.S., and the videos have been viewed a cumulative 1.3 million times.”

Via Youtube
August 16, 2011

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