Photography trivia

To avoid being caught on film by a speed camera, you would have to be travelling at

28,000 miles per hour.

The first aerial photograph was taken from a balloon during the Civil War.

The Loch Ness Monster – Then, in 1934, a photograph allegedly taken by a British surgeon named Robert Wilson presented the image of a huge animal with a long neck This supposed “evidence” fueled the argument for Nessie’s existence, but a relative of Wilson’s, Marmaduke Wetherell, confessed on his deathbed that the photograph was a fake, admitting that it was a photograph of clay mounted on top of a toy submarine and that Wilson didn’t even take it

The most expensive camera ever sold was a rare 1923 Leica camera, which went for $2.8 million at auction in Vienna.

The largest photographs in the world are made by stitching smaller images together. The largest seamless photograph in the world is of a control tower and runways at the US Marin Corps Air Station in El Toro, Orange County, California. It measure 32 feet high and 11 feet wide. It was taken in a decommissioned jet hanger, which was turned into a giant pinhole camera. The ‘film’ was a 32 feet x 111 feet piece of white fabric covered in 20 gallons of light-sensitive emulsion. The fabric was exposed to the outside image for 35 minutes. Print washing the image was done with hire hoses connected to two fire hydrants.

The first photo to be uploaded on the World Wide Web was of an all-girl parody pop group called Les Horribles Cernettes (“The Horrible CERN Girls”)). It was uploaded on the web in 1992. The initials of their name, LHC, are the same as those of the Large Hadron Collider which was later built at CERN.

Cameras and guns share a common history – in the early days of cameras being manufactured, some dry plate cameras were explicitly modelled on Colt revolver mechanisms, and the design of cinema cameras was modelled on machine guns. Closer still, when William Walker and George Eastman of Kodak developed a new paper negative, it used guncotton. This was expanded upon by a French inventor who created a gelatinised guncotton that could be cut into trips, which in turn permitted the first modern smokeless fun powder. Later on, amyl acetate was added to this, as well as nitroglycerine and acetone. So essentially, at the time, cameras and guns both contained the same sort of chemicals in their cartridge.

There are 12 Hasselblad cameras on the surface of the moon. They were left there after the moon landings to allow for the extra weight of the lunar rock samples to be brought back.

Amusing photographs of cats with captions quickly became (and remained) viral on the internet. Apparently this is nothing new. One of the first photographers of cats in amusing poses was English photographer Harry Pointer during the 1870s. He began his career taking natural pictures of cats, but soon realised that his photography had more success when the cats were in ridiculous poses. He even added captions to the images, such as ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Five o clock Tea’ and ‘Bring up the dinner Betsy’ as he found this made the images more successful still.

The largest collection of cameras in the world is held by Dilish Parekh of Mumbai, India. He has a collection of 4,425 antique cameras which he has been collecting since 1977.

Also in 1839, the term “photography” was coined by Sir John Frederick William Herschel, a British mathematician and astronomer (side note: his father, Sir Frederick William Herschel, also a famous astronomer, discovered the planet Uranus!)

Finally in the UK it’s “Say cheese”, but this is what they say in other countries to get people to smile:

In Bulgaria, “Zele”, meaning “Cabbage”

In Brazil the phrase is “Olha o passarinho” (“Look at the little bird”) or “Digam ‘X'” (“Say ‘X'”) (the name of the letter “X” in Portuguese sounds a lot like the word “cheese”).

In China, the word used is 茄子, meaning “eggplant”. The pronunciation of this word is notably similar to that of the English word “cheese”.

In Croatia, the word used is “ptičica”, meaning “little bird”

In Czech Republic, the word used is “sýr”, meaning cheese in Czech.”

In Denmark, “Sig ‘appelsin'”, meaning “Say ‘orange'” is often used.

In Finland, “Muikku” is the word often used by photographers to make people smile.

In France and other French-speaking countries, the word “ouistiti,” meaning marmoset, is often used.

In Germany, food-related words like “Spaghetti”, “Käsekuchen” (cheesecake), Wurst are used, mainly to make children laugh for the picture.

In Hungary, the photographer says Itt repül a kis madár [here flies the little bird], but also the English “cheese” is used mostly by younger people.

In India, they say “paneer” (Hindi: पनीर).

In Iran, the word used is سیب (saib), meaning “Apple.”

In Israel, the word used is תגיד גבינה (Tagid Gvina), meaning “say cheese”.

In Japan, “Sei, No…” meaning “Ready, Set!” is often used. Also チーズ (chïzu), meaning cheese, is used.

In Vietnam, they often say “2…3…Cười lên nào!!!”.

In Korea, one says “kimchi”.

In most Latin American countries, the phrase used is “Diga ‘whiskey'” (“Say ‘whiskey'”).

In Nigeria many photographers prompt the subjects of their photographs to say “Ode” which can be translated to mean “dumb person”

In Russia, they say “сыр”, pronounced seer, which means “cheese” in Russian. The pronunciation is extended, to lengthen the time the “smile” is on the face.

In Serbia, the word used is “птичица” meaning “Little bird”.

In Slovakia, the word used is “syr”, meaning cheese in Slovak. The pronunciation is extended, to lengthen the time the “smile” is on the face.”

In Spain, the equivalent form is “di/decid patata” (“say potato”). An alternative command when taking a picture is “mirar al pajarito” (“look at the birdie”), intended to make people look directly at the camera.

In Sweden, “Säg ‘omelett'”, meaning “Say ‘omelette'” is often used.

In Turkey, “Peynir”, which means cheese, is often used.


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