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In the 19th century, hunting with a flashlight and a camera
It is hard to believe that such exquisite, delicate and immersive wildlife photos were taken more than 100 years ago and were taken at night.


They were the first nighttime ecological photography of humans. The photographer who took these photos was George Shiras III. He was the son of George Shiras II, Supreme Court Justice of the United States. He was a law student at Yale University. Successful congressman. Part of the reason for his unsuccessful political career was due to the fact that he spent a lot of time on ecological and photographic research. He invented the super bright magnesium flash and camera trap technology and was regarded as the father of ecological photography.
George Shiras III, the camera is mounted on the bow, shooting with a flash.


After the photographs were taken, they were deeply loved by editor Gil Grosvenor, 74 of which were published in National Geographic magazine in July 1906 in the name of “Hunting Wild Game with Flashlight and Camera” (hunting for flashlights and cameras). It became the first batch of ecological photography of this veteran magazine.
When a decision was made to publish the work, an episode took place: The members of the two board members refused to allow the National Geographic magazine to become an atlas, refusing to publish the work, and therefore resigned. Later, George Shiras III joined the board in 1911. Ecological photography became one of the iconic contents of National Geographic magazine, making this magazine a world-renowned Atlas magazine.

Early shooting equipment was not as advanced as it used to be, and it seemed more difficult to photograph animals at close range during the day. George Shiras III used two special methods to shoot.

The first method is to use a canoe to approach the gathering place of the animals from the waterway, take a shot as soon as you hear the motion, and trigger the flash at the same time (when using a spotlight to power the magnesium powder to cause a brief glare).

The second method is for photographers to set traps in places where animals often pass, usually a suspended rope. Then wait for the animal to pass and knock it over and trigger the shutter and flash to shoot. So, this is one of the works that was shot using a trap camera in the early days. In terms of photography technology at that time, it was a very innovative shooting method.
 
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