Saturday, January 18, 2020

Today in 1926: World’s first TV demonstration takes place in London

Frith Street, Soho, 26 January 1926: On this day ninety years ago in this unassuming building at 22 Frith Street, London, television was first demonstrated to the world. I made a special journey there today to record the scene on the anniversary.

Kostas Balafas and his Greece: Seventy years of photography

Kostas Balafas has been a leading name in Greek and world photographic circles for over 70 years. His artistic work is universally admired and much has already been written on this subject. Yet it is also interesting to learn a little more about the man himself. By understanding something of his personal philosophy, as he lived, as he drew his own inspiration, we are better able to view his work with new insight and within the context of a tumultuous century in the history of the Greek nation.

Sir Francis Ronalds: The true father of modern communications

My great-great-great uncle, Sir Francis Ronalds FRS (1788-1873), was a scientist and inventor whose achievements span the disciplines of electricity, meteorology, photography, mechanics, optics and more. He can be argued to be the first electrical engineer.

Armistice in war on Peace

An odd thing happened last week. A little application that would suppress unwanted advertising in iPhone applications was launched on the same day as the arrival of the new iOS9 operating system. No more would we be assailed by intrusive ads. For years I’ve been running similar software—my favourite is Adblock—on the Mac and it does its job well.

Orient Express from Istanbul to the Swiss Alps, a photographic journey

The recent Macfilos story on the Swiss alpine railways bought back memories for me of a quite remarkable railway journey I made in October 1982. It was in an Orient Express reenactment from Istanbul to Interlaken in Switzerland. We travelled in a train using the original Orient Express rolling stock and pulled for much of the journey by steam locomotives. As I recollect, at that time the carriages were owned by a Swiss railway enthusiast who also ran a travel company.

Ming Thein on the evolution of street photography

Words of wisdom from Ming: It is worth remembering that an image reflects the photographer as much as it is about the subject....

Le Mans 24, an X-T1 and a brace of Fujinon zooms

Let's be honest, for a certain type of bloke it is a bucket-list thing. The glory days of Jaguar, racing through the night, the romance, the glamour, Steve McQueen and all that. When a good friend of mine, who has a place in France, suggested a long weekend including a day at the Le Mans 24 Hour race I jumped at the chance. I suppose I am what might be called a Passive Petrolhead; I am less interested than I used to be - the last time I went to a Grand Prix Mansel was still racing - but there is something about the demented howl of a V8 that sets the blood a-pumping.

Bièvres Camera Fair street style

This beautiful special edition, a heavily worked M7 in army green, is just one of the wonderful cameras to be seen around...

1588, Spanish Armada scattered; 2015, Drake meets his comeuppance

It took only 427 years but Sir Francis Drake has met his Nemesis. In 1588 Drake scattered the Spanish Armada and saved the Virgin...

Tom Grill compares the Sony A7r with Fuji’s X-T1

Tom Grill is conducting a fascinating comparison between the Sony A7r and the Fuji X-T1. In many respects these cameras are like two peas in a pod