Watch the Birdie: A Restored Brass Gadget Dating Back 140 Years Reveals a Historic Photography Trick


GRACE EBERT

Prior to asking subjects to grin and “say cheese,” photographers would entreat those awaiting a portrait to “watch the birdie.” Now generally out of use, the phrase dates back to 1879 and references a technique to capture both kids’ and adults’ attention at just the right moment: Photographers would attach a little brass bird to the top of their lens—the 1950s film Watch the Birdie erroneously positions a songbird on the main character’s hat rather than his camera—and squeeze a pneumatic bulb, making the creature chirp and flap its wings as they snapped an image.

Austria-based Markus Hofstätter recently restored one of the historic gadgets, a process he demonstrates […]

Source: Watch the Birdie: A Restored Brass Gadget Dating Back 140 Years Reveals a Historic Photography Trick

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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2 Responses to Watch the Birdie: A Restored Brass Gadget Dating Back 140 Years Reveals a Historic Photography Trick

  1. zannyro says:

    That is sooooo cool! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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