My Largest Print: An 80x90 cm Photographic Print

3

One day, my boyfriend got me a huge old aerial photo. Here's the story behind it.

One day, my guy came home with a large cardboard tube containing a photograph. My mouth fell open: it was 80 × 90cm. And not just printed on a laserprinter, no, this was an actual photographic print, on glossy thick photo paper. Awesome, right?

Some details of the print. VERY glossy paper, so the pictures are a bit reflective I’m afraid. The print is rather too big for my scanner…

He’d gotten it from his office, when they were cleaning out the proverbial attic. It came from the Topographical Service, the Dutch cadastre, and originally was used for surveying and map making. It’s the perfect blend between my photography hobby and my boyfriend’s map collecting hobby.

It was made with an big aerial camera from a small aircraft. I’ve seen old ones at the museum, the camera’s are pretty big as well, as befits a monster print like mine.

This picture doesn’t really convey the size of the camera. You can get an idea from looking at the grip on the left.

Let’s take a closer look at the picture. We see the Dutch town Maarssen, perched on the side of the river Vecht. The canal is the Amsterdam–Rhine Canal. Modern day locals may not recognize their town, since this picture was taken in 1967. There’s a lot more Maarssen these days.

On the side of the picture, we see a few different kinds of meters and data. Clearly, it was taken on Kodak Safety Film. This film got the epitaph ‘safety’ because it was acetate based, a much safer material than the old nitrate, that was highly flammable. The funny notches on the side are the so-called notch code. In theory this lets you determine the type of sheet film. I’m thinking this film was Kodak Super-XX Pan 4142. I have no idea what the dials mean. One seems to be just a clock, but the other one? I’m guessing it has something to do with altitude.

Want to take aerial photos yourself? Consider going on a balloon ride! Super fun, and you can take the same straight-down type of pictures as these old aerial photo’s. Now start drawing your own maps.

Credits: stratski

written by stratski on 2013-09-16 in #lifestyle

3 Comments

  1. -l
    -l ·

    The second "clock" is an altimeter, indicating at which exact altitude the picture was taken: 4.3km. The ciphers possibly equal as a serial number of the picture: 2250.
    It's quite unlikely that they used Super XX Pan here, also the "notch code" doesn't indicate this. Super XX Pan showed sole double v-shaped notches; this pictured "code" shows additional curved ones, one each on the outsides, just like tooth bites.
    To be exact: This can't be a notch code. Notch codes are to be found at the OUTsides of sheet film to, firstly, indicate in the dark, where the emulsion side is, and secondly, making it possible to tell apart different emulsions.
    But as this is right in the emulsion and the picture "reaches" into these tooth bite-like gaps, these notches simply tell us where the film lay. If there was some kind of possibility telling something from this, it maybe would give a hint on with which camera this picture was taken.
    My guess on the film would be some kind of Kodak ESTAR Base film for high altitude, spooled on rolls of more than 100ft. That's why we don't find a notch code. And that's also why the camera shown above (intended for hand held photography/rather small aerial pictures -> quick'n'dirty) only gives us a very idea of what size the camera, which is capable of these huge rolls, really is.

  2. stratski
    stratski ·

    @-| Thanks for that info! You obviously know much more about this than I do. :) Now I have to go and spend some more time on the internet doing better research...

  3. -l
    -l ·

    @stratski I know some former aerial photographers and labs specialized on films in these dimensions, that's all. ;-) Some of "their" rolls are in my fridge.

More Interesting Articles

  • Yashica MAT 124: Learning To Use A Camera Older Than Myself

    written by abecd on 2014-03-27 in #lifestyle
    Yashica MAT 124: Learning To Use A Camera Older Than Myself

    As a young photographer, I don't have many experiences yet in operating an old camera, especially one that is way older than myself. This is a story of me and my Yashica MAT 124!

    6
  • Photographer Michael Ciavolino Tells the Story Behind 'Boat Ride, Rye Beach' (1962)

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-27 in #lifestyle
    Photographer Michael Ciavolino Tells the Story Behind 'Boat Ride, Rye Beach' (1962)

    Photographs with sprocket holes exposed are practically a dime a dozen these days but, of course, this wasn't the case more than 50 years ago. However, former freelance photographer Michael Ciavolino was already able to create one of the earliest examples of this technique back in the early '60s in his groundbreaking photograph called "Boat Ride, Rye Beach." Find out the fascinating story behind this photo, as well as how and why he did it in this exclusive Lomography feature!

  • Photographer Documents Her Family's Loss With a Surreal Photo Series

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #lifestyle
    Photographer Documents Her Family's Loss With a Surreal Photo Series

    It was supposed to document a different unfortunate event in her family's history, but a photographer's intriguing photo series ended up as a means to cope with their loss and a tribute to the family matriarch. Find out the story behind the series called "The Saddest Day" after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Stanley Kubrick's Early Photographic Works on Exhibit in Vienna

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-13 in #news
    Stanley Kubrick's Early Photographic Works on Exhibit in Vienna

    Fifteen of Stanley Kubrick's most memorable photo essays from when he was working as a photographer for "Look" magazine are currently on exhibit at Vienna's Bank Austria Kunstforum. Learn the story behind his very first photograph for the publication, taken when he was only 16 years old, as well as a few others after the cut.

  • Festival Season: Lots of Variety at the North Sea Jazz

    written by wesco on 2014-07-10 in #lifestyle
    Festival Season: Lots of Variety at the North Sea Jazz

    My brother had a photo exhibition last year at the North Sea Jazz Festival and got two tickets. So just like the old days with our father, we went to the Ahoy Rotterdam for an evening of jazz and other music. I was armed with an analogue SLR camera, telephoto lens, and sensitive film!

    1
  • Tales from the Trip: People from the Lake

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-22 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: People from the Lake

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

    2
  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Tales from the Trip: Floating About in Thailand

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-27 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Floating About in Thailand

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • Tales from the Trip: Lights and Lines

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-23 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Lights and Lines

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this new series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

    3
  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Tales from the Trip: The Hideout

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-05 in #world #locations

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • 'A Year In Development' Annual Exhibition Advocates Film Photography

    written by chooolss on 2014-04-16 in #news
    'A Year In Development' Annual Exhibition Advocates Film Photography

    At this day and age, it's always a delight to know that analogue photography is still very much alive and well. In London, Labyrinth Photographic Printing celebrates this art by holding an annual exhibition of film photographs by various photographers.