Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/191

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ANIMATED PICTURES.

studied by spectroscopic methods, to have any attendants comparable with themselves in magnitude, have originated in a manner like that of the sun, and may be the centers of true planetary systems resembling ours. The argument, I think, goes further than to show the mere possibility of the existence of such planetary systems surrounding the single stars. If those stars did not originate in a manner quite unlike the origin of the sun, then the existence of planets in their neighborhood is almost a foregone conclusion, for the sun could hardly have passed through the process of formation out of a rotating nebula without evolving planets during its contraction. And so, notwithstanding the eccentricities of the double stars, we may still cherish the belief that there are eyes to see and minds to think out in celestial space.

ANIMATED PICTURES.
By J. MILLER BARR.

A NEW and wonderful field in the realm of photography has lately been opened up to the world—a field whose extent, variety, and richness are as yet scarcely realized, though its assiduous cultivation by inventive minds has already afforded a harvest of interesting results.

The nature of this new domain is pointed out by the title of our present sketch. Aided by ingenious devices, the scientific photographers of to-day are enabled to portray motion in all its varied forms with a realism that impresses the beholder. They have, in effect, contrived to breathe life into normally changeless records of the camera; and the process is now applied, with marked success, to animated scenes of the most diverse description. The busy traffic of city streets, the play of expression upon the human countenance, the movements of waves, waterfalls, fleeting clouds—these and many other effects have been depicted upon the screen with equal fidelity before audiences that have seldom failed to show their appreciation of the novel form of entertainment thus provided.

It is true that these "motion views" are subject to certain imperfections. Apart from the flashing or pulsating effect[1] which distinguishes the pictures, there are frequent blemishes, arising in part from mechanical, in part from photographic and other causes.


  1. This effect can be got rid of only by considerably increasing the rate per second at which the individual pictures are shown. When, however, this rate is as high as forty or fifty per second of time, the light-pulsations are hardly noticeable, and can not be said to mar the pictures in any appreciable degree.