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Illuminating photography: From camera obscura to camera phone

The origins of the cameras we use today were invented in the 19th century. Or were they? A millenia before, Arab scientist Alhazen was using the camera obscura to duplicate images, with Leonardo da Vinci following suit 500 years later and major innovations beginning in the 19th century. Eva Timothy tracks the trajectory from the most rudimentary cameras to the ubiquity of them today.

Created by Eva Timothy and Andy London.

Learn more at TEDed:

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Impossible Photography

Creating something impossible is what many artists like to do. When it comes to painting or drawing a piece of art, it seems that the artist is free to create anything. In photography this seems harder to do, mainly because of the photorealism that is a big part of our understanding of photography. But with a little manipulation and with some wonderful ideas one can be as free a painter. Erik Johansson is someone who really goes the extra mile when it comes to creating an impossible photograph. And with the photorealism still intact , he manages to create weird, funny and amazingly creative photographs. Watch his TED talk and be amazed by his work.

Erik Johansson’s website:

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Chris Jordan

Numbers Visualized

Some statistics are just too mind-blowingly incomprehensible to digest. Luckily there is an artist who tries to translate incomprehensible data into comprehensible works of art. His name is Chris Jordan. Chris visualizes statistics in his series “Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait”. For example, he visualizes the consumption of plastic bottles in the United States every minute by using 400,000 plastic bottle caps in his artwork called Caps Seurat. And he shows us 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.

Chris isn’t pointing any fingers. He just wants to show the U.S. who they are at this moment in time. His visualizations are making it very clear that certain things in American culture, maybe even western culture, are open for reform. Visit his website to see at all of his visualizations. You can zoom in on the works of art to really dig into the statistic. Below you also find the talk he gave at TED in 2008.


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