Posted by: David Vernon | October 7, 2009

Let’s Get You Over the Hump

Red Goat

Part of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics goes to two guys we all owe a lot of gratitude too. Willard Boyle and George Smith, who worked at the revolutionary Bell Labs back in the day took home half the prize for their work which led directly to the Charge Coupled Device or CCD – which is the basis for the sensor most likely in your digital camera today. These guys gave birth to a very good thing then – back in 1969. It took awhile to show up in still cameras – it did more work in television and video (and interestingly in things like the Hubble Space Telescope) – but show up it did. Actually, the CCD was envisioned as a memory device but these guys figured out its real potential. While listening to NPR last night, which had an interview with Boyle, he indicated that his group at Bell also invented flash memory – which again most of us take for granted in our cameras with CF and SD cards. We are not worthy guys. Thanks.

While on that topic, NPR then did an interview with National Geographic shooter Annie Griffiths Belt about her change from a long career shooting film into digital. Belt has taken a lot of great shots for NG, but the image NPR highlighted in its online article is a classic from Victoria Falls – now often emulated by anyone who shows up at the right time of year to take advantage of the river depth. Follow the link to see if you recognize it.

And a few weeks ago, I mentioned another one of these video/still deals for the cover of Outside Magazine. The hype was all about creating something akin to what we’ve seen in the Harry Potter movies when we see The Daily Prophet. Moving images on a still page. There was some speculation that Outside would try to pull something like that off for general distribution. It appears they won’t go that far but the behind-the-scenes stuff from photographer Alexx Henry is very damn cool and continues to show the convergence of stills and moving images. This, I think, is worth the five-minute investment.


  1. Okay, that video is some seriously cool technology coming our way. It makes me excited to see what is possible with new media in terms of bringing a new audience to our art and also a new way to convey those emotions and responses we want with art. Very cool stuff, I’m getting more convinved my next camera must have video capability as well.

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