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?
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.
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.