Lecture 1 - Lecture 1 History of Cinema Origins and Early...

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Lecture 1 8/26/08 History of Cinema Origins and Early Years Photography It is both a physical (chemical, mechanical and optical) and artistic process. The word means “writing by light.” Whatever the photo is of, we know that something was there in front of the camera and its optical imprint was captured. Daguerreotype:, “invented” by Charles Daguerre, 1837 Nadar, 1850s Photography can have different functions: Artistic? *Historical * Revealing Self-portrait Baudelaire catacombs Types of Early Photography Realistic (David Hill) *Fantastic (Felix Bonfils) double exposure What does a photograph communicate? What does a photograph convey? How does it create meaning? How do we interpret it? Artistically, historically, symbolically… What details are significant? What does it denote or connote? Eugene Atget, The Ragpicker Eugene Atget What is this a photo of ? Homeless drunk Washer woman Prostitute Butcher’s wife Policewoman Movement and Photography Photography is static, both in terms of it freezing movement and time. The great challenge for photographers was to find a way to capture and recreate natural movement and, by extension, to recreate time. Zoetrope Eadweard Muybridge, 1878 How does it work? How is the illusion of movement created? Persistence of Vision (retinal retention) First noted in 1820s as scientific phenomenon At 16 frames per second, image appears to be fluid (normal movies are 24) Muybridge horse Early Projection Technology Camera Obscura Magic Lantern (projectors) Early 1890s Other Technologies Etienne Jules Marey invented a photographic gun to capture the flight of birds, 1882. Camera used perforated celluloid.
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Thomas Varmat, Vitascope 1895 Lumière Brothers Cinematographe 1896: hand crank pulls celluloid strip through machine and opens shutter once with each frame. Thomas Edison, Kinetoscope 1894: A way to view the celluloid strip projected into a viewer fast enough for the effect of movement. Viewer *Camera
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2010 for the course COMM 150 at Penn State.

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Lecture 1 - Lecture 1 History of Cinema Origins and Early...

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