How to Photograph the Invisible—a Quirky Guide From 1940

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Behind the Lens illustrates techniques for photographing what can't be seen with the naked eye, including the movements of falling cats. Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, the film stages campy demonstrations of time-lapse, slow motion, and Schlieren photography, the process of capturing unseen air currents on film. Because the documentary was produced by Jam Handy for Chevrolet, there is also an extensive sequence of a car's suspension system in action, filmed in slow motion. 

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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