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Photonics Spectra
Since 1967, Photonics Spectra magazine has defined the science and industry of photonics, providing both technical and practical information for every aspect of the global industry and promoting an international dialogue among the engineers, scientists and end users who develop, commercialize and buy photonics products. Stay current with a FREE subscription to the digital or print edition.

Latest Issue
Oct 2018

The hitherto impossible is our specialty

In the final years of the 19th century, the innovative Chicago-based photographer George R. Lawrence used as his slogan, “The Hitherto Impossible in Photography Is Our Specialty.” His slogan was put to the test in 1899 when he was called upon by the Chicago & Alton Railroad company to photograph a new train — the Alton Limited — as a single 8-ft image. The train, which was described as “handsome and exceptionally large,” consisted of six Pullman cars, an engine, and a tender

To accomplish the feat, Lawrence, in turn, designed a handsome and exceptionally large camera, replete with Carl Zeiss lenses. Ultimately, the camera weighed 1400 lbs and contained a glass plate measuring 8 ft × 4 1/2 ft. According to a 1901 article in the Brooklyn Eagle, six people could fit inside the bellows, and the camera required 15 people to operate.

.Fast forward to 2018, and although Lawrence is dead, his slogan is not. The “hitherto impossible” and impressive capabilities of thermal imaging, which have been steadily responding to industry demands for higher speed and resolution, are well-illustrated in this month’s cover story by Chris Bainter of FLIR, “Improving Additive Manufacturing with IR Cameras" (read article).

Cameras are also increasingly adding new functionality to cars, as Contributing Editor Hank Hogan discusses in his article, “Emerging Applications Drive Image Sensor Innovations” (read article). The piece explores innovations in image sensors, including the cameras that are responsible for scan-and-spot responses in braking systems.

And turn to our back page to experience another “hitherto impossible”: News Editor Autum Pylant’s report on an immersive art exhibit now open at the Atelier des Lumières, Paris’ first digital arts center. The exhibit brilliantly re-creates Viennese painter Gustav Klimt’s oeuvre across walls, floors, and ceilings, with the help of 140 high-powered laser video projectors. This is one of the largest fixed multimedia installations in the world.

The exhibit, which runs through January 2019, is housed in a former 19th-century foundry, and features such familiar paintings as “The Kiss” and “Judith and the Head of Holofernes.” Patrons can take in original music composed for the exhibit, as well, while they encounter the beautiful imagery that rotates, swirls, and glides throughout the space.

If you decide to attend, feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it!

Finally, I’d like to extend a note of thanks to the photonics community for your support as I learn your trade, profession, and passion.

Mike Wheeler
An accomplished journalist and editor, Michael Wheeler oversees Photonic Media's editorial operations, spanning print, online, and video. He also serves as editor of Vision Spectra, chronicling advances in the rapidly expanding machine vision/inspection sector.
Chris Bergonzi
Managing Editor Chris Bergonzi has more than 35 years of experience editing, managing, and writing for consumer publications and peer-reviewed journals covering business, management, technology, and science.
Susan Petrie
Susan Petrie is Senior Editor of Photonics Spectra and has two decades of experience with print and digital publications. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Bennington College.
Justine Murphy
Senior Editor Justine Murphy is an award-winning journalist with 20 years of experience in newspaper and magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. She is editor of EuroPhotonics and BioPhotonics and produces industry-focused podcasts.
Autum Pylant
News Editor Autum C. Pylant is an Air Force Veteran with 10+ years of award-winning broadcast journalism experience. She is responsible for the steady flow of news and new product announcements to web and print and is the producer of the Light Matters video.
Robin Riley
Multimedia/Web Editor Robin Riley has 30+ years of experience in communications and marketing for a range of technical industries. She is a regular contributor to web content and social media, and organizes and produces custom and editorial webinars.
Valerie Coffey
Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics, and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
Hank Hogan
Contributing Editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody
Contributing Editor Marie Freebody is a freelance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Faroow Ahmed Freebody
Farooq Ahmed has covered the physical and biological sciences for over a decade. He has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Columbia University.
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