On 5/3/2015 6:58 PM, Steve Smolian wrote:
> Absolutely none of the group of orchestras that recording for Victor
> around this time have shown up in the throes of recording in any
> photographs. It astounds me that such monumental occassions were not
> taken down at the time. The same holds for Chicago and Cincinnati on
> Columbia around that time.
> The earliest ones I've found, obviously posed, are in the teacher's
> manual for the Ginn & Co set of New York Philharmonic records in 1923.
It should be remembered that the technology of photography in the early
20th century was comparatively primitive. Photographing indoors without
an elaborate lighting apparatus was quite difficult, since the average
photographic sheet film or plate had about the equivalent exposure index
(ASA to fellow veterans) of about 5. Maximum apertures on the view
cameras of the day were typically about f/5.6, so the exposure time *in
bright sunlight* would have been on the order of 1/40 sec. qith the lens
wide open (where it wouldn't perform all that well), or maybe f/11 at
1/10 for better lens performance. And the long focal lengths of typical
"normal" lenses of the time gave little depth of field. Shooting indoors
during a recording session? Forget it. Unless you used flash powder,
which didn't exactly blend well with a musical performance.
By the 1920s, handheld smaller-format cameras were beginning to hit the
market (the Ermanox even had a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2). But
films were still dreadfully slow -- ASA 32 was considered a high speed
film. Candid photography was still a very troublesome endeavour until,
propelled mostly by the movie industry, more sensitive films were
introduced in the 1930s and 1940s. The great years of candid photography
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