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A digital photograph taken a long time ago!

Colour Photo from a long time ago

This colour digital photograph of three cans of Hair Flair coloured hairspray was taken some time between 1982 and 1986, long before digital photography became practical. It was taken with a 40 kilopixel camera with three bits per pixel in black and white. What's unusual is the resulting COLOUR image. This was done using two BBC Computers. One of them was used for controlling the RH video digitiser connected to an old black and white security camera, and the other was used with its RGB Microvitec colour monitor to illuminate the scene. Taking one picture illuminated in red light, one in green, and one in blue, the resultant three photographs, (each with a real resolution of 160 x 256), were stored on a 5.25in floppy disc for about twenty years before being assembled into the resulting colour picture.

(Don't expect to click "on the thumbnail" and see a bigger picture, because the small image you see here IS the full sized image! Its real resolution is 160x256, and it's only been made into 320x256 to avoid the astigmatism and make it reasonably visible)

There are very few digital photographs from the 1980s, and even fewer of them are in colour!

If you look carefully you can just about see in the bottom left corner of the picture the red F0 key of the BBC Micro on which the cans of hair spray are standing.

A set of cans of Hair Flair coloured hairspray were an ideal subject for the photo as they are brightly coloured but also because the subject had to remain completely still for several seconds per exposure, and had to fit into the visibly lit space, an area less than 1ft square in front of a monitor.

Another interesting point is that Hair Flair coloured hairspray is still available over 20 years later and with the same artwork. I wonder if the Hair Flair company would be interested in knowing their products have been digitally imaged in history. It would also be good if they had an affiliate program!

Also see Alternative Markets , Hair Colour , and Zyra's Website