“Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt”*…
The word “photography” might bring to mind the stark granite of an Ansel Adams photograph, or perhaps the memory of a childhood vacation. But the camera is also a scientific tool, whose progress can, in one sense, be measured by its ability to freeze ever-smaller fragments of time for our observation. In 1826, Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce needed at least eight hours to create an imprint of the view from the upstairs window of his Burgundy chateau onto a pewter plate coated with bitumen. Today, we can capture photos with an exposure time of a trillionth of a second, and are at the brink of attosecond photography—that is, snapshots taken 10 billion trillion times faster than those first grainy images in the east of France…
Click through a collection of photographic images that, at the time they were taken, were breakthroughs in speed at “Photographing Time.
* Susan Sontag
As we stop the clock, we might send hard-boiled birthday greetings to Frank Morrison “Mickey” Spillane; he was born on this date in 1918. A writer who cut his teeth on comic books, Spillane moved to crime novels, many featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer. Early reaction to Spillane’s work was generally hostile: Malcolm Cowley dismissed the Mike Hammer character as “a homicidal paranoiac”, John G. Cawelti called Spillane’s writing “atrocious”, and Julian Symons called Spillane’s work “nauseating.” (By contrast, Ayn Rand publicly praised Spillane’s work, though she later publicly repudiated what she regarded as the amorality of Spillane’s Tiger Mann stories.) But the public was altogether enthusiastic: more than 225 million copies of his books have sold internationally; and in a 1980 survey, Spillane was responsible for seven of the top 15 all-time best-selling fiction titles in the U.S. Still, by the late 90s his novels had gone out of print– Spillane had begun supporting himself by appearing in Miller Lite commercials– and remained unavailable until the the New American Library began reissuing them in 2001.
“Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar…”