1900-1915 HD quality photos of the United States cities. Is that normal?

Is this photo quality normal for 1900-1915 time frame?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • No

    Votes: 6 66.7%

  • Total voters
    9

KorbenDallas

Negotiator
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#1
I don't know about you, but this quality of the 1900-1915 photography does not quite match my perception, based on the dogmatic education I received. Below are some photos available on the Library of Congress website. The quality is beyond explainable IMHO.

These photographs predominantly pertain to New York City, with a few from Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Atlantic City, etc.

What do you think? Does the quality of the photos match the known technology, and the time when they were supposedly taken?

Atlantic_city_early_photo_29.jpg Atlantic_city_early_photo_32.jpg chicago_early_photo_16.jpg detroit_early_photo_17.jpg jacksonville_early_photo_26.jpg memphis_early_photo_27.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_1.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_2.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_3.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_4.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_5.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_6.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_7.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_8.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_9.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_10.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_11.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_12.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_13.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_14.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_15.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_18.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_21.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_22.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_23.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_24.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_25.jpg new_york_city_early_photo_30.jpg pensacola_early_photo_31.jpg richmond_early_photo_19.jpg san_francisco_after_earthquake_early_photo_28.jpg Washington_dc_early_photo_20.jpg
 

NorthAthens

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#4
Not speaking about the content of the image but the actual quality of the images, I'd like to mention that quality went down when we went digital. An old photograph is light and special film roll that is sensitive to light, it has as many pixels as the paper has atoms really. Wheras now a photo in HD is 1080x1920 pixels for example it's actually much less quality than an anolgue photo would have been. I think it's part of the wrong perception we are fed that things only improve.

Although seeing the reported dates 1900 - 1915 it does seem very high quality and there is no motion blur on people or vehicles, so it was a very good camera with fast exposure. I'm not sure about the early 1900's cutting-edge, but the image I have of cameras back then are the old-timey explosive ones that you need to stay still for, because of the long exposure time. I by no means have a good understanding of photography, but I'm sure it was not one of those style cameras that took these pics. The attached pic is the type I'm talking about and that is a model from 1909 apparently. You wouldn't need the flash in these daylight pics but it's a reference point to the tech we are told was used at the time I think.

Intriguing.

1909_Victor_Flash_Lamp.jpg
 

Jenny

Member
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#5
From my understanding of photography in this era - the subjects still had to stay still for a long time. How is it possible to now have horses and people mid-step. This did not used to exist. I know that sounds insane - but these shots of things in motion, were not possible... so not sure what is going on?
 

in cahoots

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#6
What's more remarkable -- our occluded past? Or our own ill-informed assumptions about it?

"In July 1877 at Union Park Race Track in Sacramento, [Muybridge photographed a horse] galloping at a rate of 36 ft/s at a distance of 40 ft with an exposure time of 1/1000th s..... The shutter mechanism was designed by John Isaacs and consisted of an electromagnet connected to a lever, similar to a telegraph key, attached to a twin-bladed shutter."



For reference, 1/1000th of a second will get you a sharp, clear image of, say, kids playing soccer. This is surprising, but also consistent with the city photographs above, whose photographers would've been able to reach awesome vantage points in broad daylight for impressive shots. It seems like we just have a poor "image" of what photography was capable of at the turn of the century, conspiracy or no conspiracy -- though the reference to electromagnets is compelling. I wonder how modern digital camera shutters work...
 

KorbenDallas

Negotiator
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#7
Well, the images were clearly made. Why we have this concept of poor photography quality of the late 19th / early 20th century is fairly obvious. For example, every time I want to find an object from that time frame, I end up with a border line “better than nothing” image.

I honestly have this impression that we are led to believe that there was a strongly defined quality progression from simple to complicated in many areas. The reality demonstrates that our past was way more sophisticated then we could possibly imagine.
 

humanoidlord

Active member
Messages
258
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104
#8
I don't know about you, but this quality of the 1900-1915 photography does not quite match my perception, based on the dogmatic education I received. Below are some photos available on the Library of Congress website. The quality is beyond explainable IMHO.

These photographs predominantly pertain to New York City, with a few from Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Atlantic City, etc.

What do you think? Does the quality of the photos match the known technology, and the time when they were supposedly taken?

the quality is obviously quite anomalous, though i got quite distracted with all those atmospheric eletricity poles

Not speaking about the content of the image but the actual quality of the images, I'd like to mention that quality went down when we went digital. An old photograph is light and special film roll that is sensitive to light, it has as many pixels as the paper has atoms really. Wheras now a photo in HD is 1080x1920 pixels for example it's actually much less quality than an anolgue photo would have been. I think it's part of the wrong perception we are fed that things only improve.

Although seeing the reported dates 1900 - 1915 it does seem very high quality and there is no motion blur on people or vehicles, so it was a very good camera with fast exposure. I'm not sure about the early 1900's cutting-edge, but the image I have of cameras back then are the old-timey explosive ones that you need to stay still for, because of the long exposure time. I by no means have a good understanding of photography, but I'm sure it was not one of those style cameras that took these pics. The attached pic is the type I'm talking about and that is a model from 1909 apparently. You wouldn't need the flash in these daylight pics but it's a reference point to the tech we are told was used at the time I think.

Intriguing.

thats something i noticed too, wheres the ridiculous exposure such pictures are supposed to have?

What's more remarkable -- our occluded past? Or our own ill-informed assumptions about it?

"In July 1877 at Union Park Race Track in Sacramento, [Muybridge photographed a horse] galloping at a rate of 36 ft/s at a distance of 40 ft with an exposure time of 1/1000th s..... The shutter mechanism was designed by John Isaacs and consisted of an electromagnet connected to a lever, similar to a telegraph key, attached to a twin-bladed shutter."



For reference, 1/1000th of a second will get you a sharp, clear image of, say, kids playing soccer. This is surprising, but also consistent with the city photographs above, whose photographers would've been able to reach awesome vantage points in broad daylight for impressive shots. It seems like we just have a poor "image" of what photography was capable of at the turn of the century, conspiracy or no conspiracy -- though the reference to electromagnets is compelling. I wonder how modern digital camera shutters work...
that quality is very anomalous, something like that in the 50's would'nt surprise me but 1900's?
 

KorbenDallas

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#9
I keep on thinking that people in the images do not belong to the scenery. Visitors.
 

KorbenDallas

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#13
It's funny how older pictures have no electricity wires strung all over, and the scenery looks so harmonic, whereas with all those cables things are much uglier.

How about these 1903 and 1911 clips?

 
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