Sunday Quiz | Easy like Sunday morning: on photography



When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear: Alfred Eisenstaedt

When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear: Alfred Eisenstaedt

A molecular biologist from Madurai, our quizmaster enjoys trivia and music, and is working on a rock ballad called ‘Coffee is a Drink, Kaapi is an Emotion’. @bertyashley

When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear: Alfred Eisenstaedt

On May 8, 1840, Alexander Wolcott patented his ‘mirror camera’, which became the first patent in photography. He and his business partner John Johnson actually made dental instruments. A year earlier, Wolcott used a daguerreotype reflector camera to take a picture of Johnson. On seeing the result, they opened a commercial enterprise. What had Wolcott done for the first time and what business did they both pioneer?

Answer :

He took a portrait photo, started a studio to take pictures of people

This company was founded in 1892 after George Eastman started selling leather-covered box cameras with a 100-exposure roll of film. Once done, you sent the camera to the factory for the prints. Eastman and his mother wanted a name that was short and easy to pronounce for their company. It is said that the name they chose was the sound the camera shutter made. What company is this?

In the early days, photographers had to use mercury, silver nitrate and lye to develop pictures. These were dangerous chemicals that caused illness. There was one particular aspect of photography that was the most deadly. To use this particular accessory, one needed to mix potassium chloride and aluminium, which, if done incorrectly, could cause an explosion. What accessory was this, which we now get at the click of a button?

Scottish scientist James Maxwell was the first to describe electricity, magnetism and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. In 1861, during a Royal Institution lecture, he and Thomas Sutton took three pictures of a tartan ribbon. Each time, they used a different filter — red, green and blue. Maxwell then combined all of them into one picture. Thanks to this, what is Maxwell is credited with in photography?

Answer :

The very first colour photograph

Thomas Sutton was an English photographer who, in 1859, developed the earliest panorama shot. He used a lens, which was a glass sphere filled with water. In 1861, he invented a camera that used a mirror and prism system that allowed a photographer to view the scene through the lens. This revolutionised the industry and till today is the most common camera. By what name do we know these cameras?

Answer :

Single Lens Reflex (SLR)

In 1878, English photographer Eadweard Muybridge was asked by the governor of California to produce a portfolio of his favourite possession, Occident. Muybridge was convinced that to get a perfect rendering he needed to break down Occident’s action. Subsequently, he produced the first photos on movement that set the stage for the first motion pictures. Who was Occident, who became the subject of the first motion picture?

Answer :

A galloping race horse

In 1911, American archaeologist Hiram Bingham went looking for the last Incan habitat to fall to the Spanish. When in the Urubamba valley, a local farmer told them about ruins on top of a nearby mountain. After hiking for six days he saw a site almost entirely covered by the jungle. He set up a camera and took a photograph, which became the very first archaeological picture. What did he photograph, the name of which means ‘old peak’ in the native language?

Captain Albert Stevens, an officer of the U.S. Army Air Corps, was an avid balloonist. In 1930, he was flying over the South Dakota prairie lands when he took a picture with infrared-sensitive film for long-distance aerial photography. The picture captured the distant horizon 482 km away and bent slightly downward. This was the first picture of what phenomenon, which the ancient Greeks discovered mathematically?

Answer :

The curvature of the Earth

The National Geographic has been a treasure trove of some of the greatest photographs in history, especially its cover pictures. The July 1959 issue featured the 49-star American flag on its cover, which honoured the entry of Alaska into the U.S. What was this the very first instance of in the iconic magazine?

Answer :

Colour photo on the cover

This photograph called ‘Bliss’ is an unedited shot taken by Charles O’Rear in 1996. Charles was driving on the Sonoma highway in California on his way to meet his girlfriend, when he stopped at a hill. Unusual to the area, it was not covered by a vineyard, so he took a photograph. A company purchased the picture in 2000 and since then it is believed to be the most viewed photograph in the world. Where would you have seen ‘Bliss’?

Answer :

The Microsoft default wallpaper

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