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Nobel Prize for achievement in DOF for 2015 and onwards; old photos to be remastered

Karim Ghantous , Apr 01, 2014; 04:21 a.m.

This came in my newsfeed today. Typical result of postmodernism ruining everything.

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For the first time ever, a Nobel Prize will be offered for achievement in shallow depth-of-field. The prize is available to lens manufacturers, photographers and cinematographers.

"Photography is changing. It's time we acknowledged that," said Hugo Jaeger, a prominent photography lecturer at one of the most prestigious photography schools in the USA.

"In the past, technology limited photographers to unnecessary amounts of DOF, in the same way that they were limited to low ISO [film speeds] until digital cameras came out."

A recent trend among photographers and cinematographers has resulted in images being taken with lenses which have very wide apertures. The wider the aperture, the less of the scene in front of the camera will appear as acceptably in focus. But some experts say it's more than a trend - it's progress.

"People have often wondered about what the cinematic look is and how to achieve it. And now we know. We've cracked it. The debate is over. We now know exactly what it is and we're continuing to refine it."

'Fast' lenses - lenses with very wide apertures, are becoming more affordable and more commonplace. Soon, experts say, we will see lenses with even wider apertures, with f-stops projected to expand to f/0.5 or wider. Currently, the more affordable lenses are only f/0.95 and narrower.

"We are going to be the first photography school to have Nobel laureates," Jaeger stated emphatically. "We have good connections with the Nobel committee. In fact, our prospectus says so. We're that confident, let's just put it that way."

Now that still cameras can do video, filmmakers have unprecedented freedom in how they shoot their projects.

"In the past, cameras were cumbersome and had to be bolted down to tripods. Now, you have small cameras with big sensors and very fast lenses, and you can do everything hand-held. We don't need lights, focus pullers and all that stuff which holds you back. It's a revolution only brought about by recent progress."

In addition, some of the USA's most prestigious photography schools are involving their students in a collaborative project to bring old classic photos into the 21st century.

The project, called Deep Focus, will involve final-year students remastering classic photographs by isolating the subjects and heavily blurring the foreground and background. Effectively, students will be 'switching lenses' decades after the photo was taken.

One student said that he felt honoured to give the previous generation a "helping hand". Another student said that if photographers in the past could use modern, fast lenses, they would, "every time".

The only snag is that old photographs, all taken on film, have to be scanned. "I wish digital cameras were around in the 1930s," another student laments. "This would have been a lot easier. Scanning is a pain."

An extension project, slated for 2016, will use similar methods and apply them to old movies. "Imagine 'Lawrence of Arabia' with a shallow DOF," said an associate lecturer involved with the Deep Focus project. "It would be so... cinematic. It would be the final touch that it deserves."

Nominations for 2015 Nobel Prizes begin in September of 2014 and are announced in October of 2015. Prizes are given to laureates in December.

Further reading:

http://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/

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Source: AFD media

Responses

David Henderson , Apr 01, 2014; 04:28 a.m.

You do know what day it is?

Hector Javkin , Apr 01, 2014; 04:44 a.m.

Karim,
That's a good one. I particularly liked the last line:

Source: AFD media

AFD, of course, is April Fool's Day.

Happy AFD

James Dainis , Apr 01, 2014; 12:31 p.m.

It all makes perfectly good sense to me. I particularly like the idea of an f/0.5 lens. Why, I could take pictures in a coal mine at night with no lights or flash. A 2 inch lens with a 4 inch aperture opening shouldn't be that hard to make.

Steve Smith , Apr 01, 2014; 02:39 p.m.

I particularly like the idea of an f/0.5 lens. Why, I could take pictures in a coal mine at night with no lights or flash.

With the current trend for super high ISO settings on cameras, I thought people were doing that already!

Sarah Fox , Apr 01, 2014; 02:47 p.m.

Good one, Karim, but not as good as the one I just heard from my dental insurance company (United Concordia, iSmile policy) after having a crown re-cemented this morning: Apparently... (Are you ready for this?)... They won't actually pay for anything but cleanings until I've been on the plan for an entire year! Whoooboy! That's a good one! I think I'll call them up and play an April Fool's Day joke back on them. I'll tell them to cancel my worthless policy!

... just thought I'd share.

Hector Javkin , Apr 01, 2014; 06:06 p.m.

Sarah, that's awful--funny and very much not funny at the same time. I remember years ago, when the human resources person where I worked was giving everyone eyeglass repair kits each consisting of a small screwdriver and tiny screws. That turned out to be our vision plan.

Anthea Scotte , Apr 02, 2014; 03:50 a.m.

Karim - you're famous! I just saw this list of April Fools Photography jokes from the web. You've made the list :)
http://petapixel.com/2014/04/01/roundup-april-fools-2014-jokes-world-photography/

Wayne Decker , Apr 02, 2014; 10:46 a.m.

Oh, ye of little faith. I believe absolutely everything I read on the Internet. This is Gospel. There is only one mistook. People have been taking aggressively bad photographs since before I took up my first fine camera, a Rolleiflex, in the 1950s, and have been trying to make a cult out of their crummy snapshots ever since. The trick is to figure out who knows what they are doing and who does not. Hint -- when anyone with a camera utters "Barnack," or "Bokeh," run the other way as fast as you can. But remember, you read this on the Internet.

Marc Bergman , Apr 02, 2014; 04:43 p.m.

The movie Barry Lyndon came out 39 years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Zeiss_Planar_50mm_f/0.7

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