|Corbis Chief Historian & Archivist with a treasured photo|
The lens of a camera allows us to see our world in a way not otherwise possible. With the simple snap of a shutter, moments are instantly captured and recorded. The resulting photographs allow us the chance to share experiences and connect with others in unique ways.
Joseph Niepce must have caught a sense of this after his first photographic image with camera obscura. Louis Daguerre certainly understood the possibilities having developed a more convenient and effective method of photography - the daguerreotype. And, no doubt by the time the George Eastman introduced the Kodak Brownie Camera the window into our world had changed forever.
Why would the founder of Microsoft know that?
There have now been trillions of photographic images captured from around the world. Yet, out of that nearly endless sea of photographs certain images bubble to the top. Some have become treasured icons and Bill Gates happens to know where a lot of those are located.
The reason Bill Gates knows is because more than 20 years ago, while he was busy doing his other ‘job’ at Microsoft, he just happened to find some time to start up a Seattle based digital image website called Corbis. Two decades later, it turns out Corbis is one of the largest online stock photography companies in the world with a collection of more than 100 million images.
Corbis also has an extensive collection of fine art images, from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Smithsonian Institution and other collections including its latest acquisition, the Hollywood photo agency Splash News.
Help Wanted:Got Photographic Treasures. Need Place to Store.
Part of Corbis’ extensive collection includes over 15 million original negatives and prints of some of the world’s most iconic photos, dating back to the civil war. Many of the images have been scanned and are available digitally, however, the original media require a climate and humidity controlled film preservation facility.
Recently, CBS visited Iron Mountain, PA, traveled 220 feet underground and was given a rare look at the 150 acre facility where Corbis keeps their photo collection. The video report offers a guided tour by Corbis Chief Historian and Archivist, Ken Johnston, with cameo appearances of some the world's most recognizable photographs.
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