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照相机的前生和今世 – 译学馆
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照相机的前生和今世

Illuminating photography: From camera obscura to camera phone

让我猜猜
Let me guess,
你Facebook相册已经充满了照片
you’ve got Facebook albums full of photos.
你的照片在你的电脑桌面上
You have photos on your computer desktop,
手机里
on your mobile phone,
卧室墙上
on your bedroom wall.
你会在杂志和报纸上
You see photos in magazines and newspapers,
汽车的侧面
on the side of buses,
当然 还有在你的家庭相册看见照片
and of course, in your family albums.
我们把拍照当做理所当然的主要方式
We take photos for granted in a major way.
但是,创造一张图片
But, creating a picture
看起来恰好像你所摄影的人或事物
that looked exactly like the person or thing
并不总是显而易见的。
that you were photographing wasn’t always obvious.
事实上,在过去,这是一个巨大的谜
In fact, in the past, it was a big mystery.
从本质上说,你怎么能
How could you, in essence,
获得镜中的影像
take your reflection in the mirror
并且冻结在那里
and freeze it in there?
在9世纪
In the 9th century,
阿拉伯科学家Alhazen
the Arab scientist Alhazen
提出了
had come up with the idea
针孔照相机的想法
of using the camera obscura,
顾名思义,这是一个暗室或者暗箱
which was literally a dark room, or box,
在一面带有一个让光线进入的小洞
with a single, small hole in one side that let light through.
这将外面的影像投射在内部的墙上
This would project the image outside into the wall inside.
在文艺复兴时期
During the Renaissance,
艺术家们像达芬奇用这个方法
artists like Leonardo DaVinci used this method
在平面上展示三维场景
to introduce 3-D scenes onto a flat plane
因此他们可以摹仿事物
so that they could copy things,
像透视图,更加容易
like perspective, more easily.
在1724年,Johann Heinrich Schultz 发现
In 1724, Johann Heinrich Schultz discovered
一些含银化合物暴露在光下
that exposing certain silver compounds to light
改变了它们的外观
altered their appearance
光线所及之处无论哪里都留下了标记
and left marks wherever the light touched.
基本上,Schultz找到了一个记录图像的方法
Essentially, Schultz found a way to record the images
而Alhazen能投射
that Alhazen was able to project,
却只有一小会
but only for a little while.
Schultz的图像在他制成后很快消失了
Schultz’s images disappeared soon after he had made them.
直到1839年,人们才解决了
It wasn’t until 1839 that people figured out
如何投射图像在光敏表面
how to project images onto light-sensitive surfaces
在曝光之后仍将保留图像
that would retain the image after exposure,
因此,摄影诞生了
and thus, photography was born.
在那时,主要有两个发明家
At that point, it was mostly two inventors
为谁是拍照的最好的方式而争斗
who fought for the best way to make photos.
一个是英国科学家 Henry Fox Talbot
One was British scientist Henry Fox Talbot,
碘化银纸照相法使用纸张
whose calotype process used paper
允许很多副本用
and allowed many copies to be made
一张单一底片制作
from a single negative.
另一个发明家  Louis Daguerre
The other inventor, Louis Daguerre,
是法国一个艺术家和化学家
was an artist and chemist in France.
他开发了一个叫做银版照相法
He developed something called a daguerreotype,
这个使用银盘
which used a silvered plate
产生更锐利的图像
and which produced a sharper image.
但银版照相法只能获得正像
But the daguerreotype could only make positive images
所以副本必须由另一张照片制作
so copies had to be made by taking another photo.
最后,银版照相法胜出
In the end, the daguerreotype won out
作为第一个商用成功的摄影法
as the first commercially successful photographic process
主要是因为政府对公众免费使用
mostly because the government made it freely available to the public.
所以现在,摄影是可用的,
So now that photography was available,
获得一张你的照片只需咔嚓一声,对吗?
getting a picture of yourself would be a snap, right?
嗯,不完全是!
Well, not exactly!
这个过程仍然需要一间暗室
This process still required a whole dark room
在拍照的位置
at the location of the photograph,
是一个很大的麻烦
which was a big hassle.
想象早期的摄影师拉着
Picture the early photographers lugging
巨大的拖车装着他们所有的设备
enormous trailers with all their equipment
无论他们想在哪里拍照
wherever they wanted to take a picture.
不仅如此,在早期过程中
Not only that, but the early processes
需要非常长的曝光时间
had extremely long exposure times.
为了得到一张好照片,你必须保持完全静止
To get a good photo, you would have to stand perfectly still
多达两分钟!
for up to two minutes!
这导致了一些发明的发展 诸如
This led to development of inventions like
头固定架之类的
the head holder,
一个线框将在你身后
a wire frame that would hide behind you
支撑你的头部
while supporting your head.
这也是为什么你不能在早期照片中
It’s also why you don’t see people smiling
看到人们的微笑
in early photographs.
并不是说生活如此糟糕
It’s not that life was that bad,
只是难以保持稳定的笑容
it was just hard to keep a steady grin
超过几秒钟
for more than a few seconds,
所以人们选择了一种面无表情的样子
so people opted for a straight-faced look.
于是George Eastman出现了
And then George Eastman came along.
Eastman相信每个人
Eastman believed that everyone
都应该使用摄像
should have access to photography,
他花了很多夜晚
and he spent many late nights
在他母亲的厨房混合化学物质
mixing chemicals in his mother’s kitchen
试图实现干版摄影法
to try to achieve a dry plate photographic process.
这将允许曝光后的底片
This would allow exposed negatives
能被存储并且随后冲洗
to be stored and developed later
在一个更方便的地方
at a more convenient place
而不是运送那些暗室——
instead of carting those dark rooms,
湿版所必需的,到处走
necessary for wet plates, around.
创业之后
After starting a business,
最初制作干版
which initially made dry plates,
Eastman最终发现了塑料胶卷
Eastman eventually discovered plastic roll film
适合手提的便宜的照相机
that would fit in hand-held, inexpensive cameras.
这些照相机在这个口号下卖出了数百万
These cameras sold by the millions under the tag line,
“你只需按下按钮
“You push the button,
剩下的交给我们”
we do the rest.”
虽然主要是Eastman
While Eastman was largely responsible
使摄影成为普遍的消遣
for making photography a universal past time,
甚至他做梦也没想到
even he could not have dreamed of the ways
摄影后来塑造了这个世界
photography had since shaped the world.
现在估计超过3800亿的照片
It’s now estimated that over 380 billion photographs
每年被拍摄
are taken each year.
每天被拍摄的照片
That’s more photographs each day
比在最初的一百年里还多
than were taken in the first hundred years
在摄影术被发明以后
after photography was invented.
说 茄子!
Say cheese!

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