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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Film photography is fading away

Medallion depicting George Eastman hanging in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Film photography

“You Press The Button and We Do The Rest.”


So said high school dropout George Eastman in 1885 when he introduced the Kodak camera and created the era of amateur photography.

Eastman’s dream was to make picture taking “an everyday affair, to make the camera as convenient as the pencil.” He succeeded far beyond his expectations, and for a century people around the world photographed their families, friends and vacations using cameras that descended from Eastman’s Kodak and the photographic film that he perfected.

Prior to the Kodak, cameras were the size of shoeboxes or small suitcases. They recorded images on glass plates that the photographers themselves carefully coated with a light-sensitive emulsion inside a light-tight tent or enclosure.

Eastman’s Kodak camera opened up photography to everyone with a dry, light-sensitive film that could provide up to 100 images.

In 1900 Eastman Kodak introduced the Brownie, a small black camera designed for children that sold for $1 (about $26 in today’s dollars). The Brownie could take six photos using a film cartridge that could be loaded into the camera in daylight. It was an instant success, and 150,000 were sold the first year.

In 1975, Kodak engineer Steven Sasson made the first digital camera. Instead of developing a commercial digital camera, Kodak built a solid foundation of digital camera patents and worked hard behind the scenes to improve digital photography. But Kodak was reluctant to commercialize an invention that might ultimately take a major bite out of its immensely profitable film business.

That didn’t slow the competition. While Kodak makes digital cameras today, the leading digital camera makers are Japanese companies like Canon and Nikon.

Digital photography has ushered in a revolution almost as significant as the Brownie, because now anyone with a color printer can make photographic prints.

Before acquiring my first digital camera in 1998, I spent countless hours in a darkroom developing film and making prints for my books and articles. Today I can make higher quality prints in a few minutes.

While Kodak is no longer the leading photography company, its legend as the pioneer in its field will live on long past the fading billboards that advertise Kodak film along the highways that lead to New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns.

Recently the Kodak legacy came to mind while I photographed one of those old advertising signs with a modern digital camera that stores thousands of high-quality images on memory cards not much larger than a postage stamp.

You can learn much more about the legacy of George Eastman and his Kodak at, where some of the history related here was found.

Mims lives on Geronimo Creek near Seguin. His science is featured online at and Follow him at E-mail him at [email protected]

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SUNY Potsdam receives top honor for virtual campus tour

Virtual tour top honor


POTSDAM — SUNY Potsdam has received an award for its one-of-a-kind virtual campus tour.

The college’s online tour took best of category at the annual SUNY Council for University Advancement Awards for Excellence ceremony, held June 9 in Saratoga Springs. The tour was recognized in the division of electronic communications and interactive media for its dynamic interface as well as its creative and clean design.

“It’s completely unique — there’s nothing else like it on the Web in terms of the navigation interface or the dynamic relationships,” said Deborah L. Dudley, the college’s director of marketing and communications. “Really you are exploring Potsdam based on your own interests as an individual. That’s how we want students to come to the college: we want you to explore your personal interests and passions, so we set up the tour to mimic that.”

Unlike most virtual college tours, SUNY Potsdam’s is self-led and customizable based on users’ interests. It begins as a blank page upon which free-floating bubbles appear and interconnect based on users’ searches, ultimately creating a web of photographs and videos about SUNY Potsdam people, buildings, activities and organizations rather than an aerial map of grounds and buildings.

The bubbles can be selected and moved at will: drag one across the screen and the rest, like helium balloons tethered to a string, will follow. Although the dynamic software is not intended to replace the actual campus visit, Ms. Dudley said, the virtual tour is a good starting point for prospective students.

“What I hope is that it gives people a good sense of our personality and the creative aspect of our campus,” Ms. Dudley said. “It’s always great to have something new and innovative and different from your peers because it sets you apart, but what’s more important is that it’s representative of the true experience at Potsdam.”

The tour was designed by the college’s public affairs team and was developed with the help of the admissions office and the Maryland-based IDFive design firm. According to Ms. Dudley, it is still a work in progress: the college hopes to see the tour’s content double within the next year.



The SUNY Potsdam tour:

Tribute to Escher

Tribute to Escher in Barcelona

Virtual tour of Escher work
this is an exception – a full CG generated panorama – don’t expect to find it anywhere!

I made it to give special recognition to M.C.Escher’s work, a very talented artist widely known. This impossible world was inspired by Escher’s litograph “Relativity”. Be careful not to get sick wandering around!

A Panoramic Virtual Tour On Your Web Page

360 CityScape logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Virtual tours for websites

With technological advancements, convenience is a by-product as services are improved. Now, there is the possibility of utilizing 360 virtual tours or panoramic virtual tours through a virtual tour provider although perhaps you are not yet familiar what a virtual tour is. A virtual tour is a method or process that provides graphical presentations of a property to make them available for the internet user or website visitors to see. Typically, this process involves the simulation of a certain location that really exists and this may consist of moving or still images, virtual models of actual locations and videos.

To make the sites more presentable, the webmasters are making use of virtual tours and they add music, narrations, texts and animations. Using the virtual tours can be very easy since many of the sites don’t require plug-ins or downloads. The real estate market has benefited much from these virtual tours and they are using these widely. The users can now look at several properties, from homes to buildings at different angles. These days, many industries are employing this type of technology as a marketing strategy for endorsing their products and services.

Among the different excellent things offered with the utilization of virtual tours especially when used for real estate promotions is convenience because the prospective buyers can view the properties without having to see them physically. Moreover, they are able to navigate through the floors by clicking the maps and they can easily transfer between rooms and look at the property with a clear image. Because of these great advantages and conveniences, the real estate market brokers are now utilizing both virtual tours UK and panoramic virtual tours in their webpages. In order to lure other brokers and potential buyers, they make sure that their sites look attractive to the visitors.

Nowadays, the online users and visitors have benefited from the virtual tours. The website owners are also able to take many advantages from these since of the online viewers, more than 50% decide to take of the actual location after having taken the virtual tour. Also, the buying decisions of prospective customers can be influence through these virtual tours. These can increase traffic and increase the potential clients recall-value. Furthermore, the retail industries can gain more revenues as they display their showrooms. Real estate websites that used the virtual tours on various properties have effectively lured several clients and definitely increased their sales.

These virtual tours are really great for both entrepreneurs and customers so that they can save more time and they can use the site comfortably and conveniently. These can turn images to a flat 2-D world into a full 360 virtual tours to represent the real look and appearance of a property and the website visitors can take a look at the properties online as if they were actually there. Thus, virtual tours have can be very useful for companies, firms and businesses. With the use of the virtual tours, the websites become more inviting for internet users and due to the usefulness of these programs to different clients, they’ve been used by other markets beside the real estate industry.

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