LISTENING 3 “ART HISTORY CLASS”
Narrator Listen to part of a lecture in an art history class.
We know that the Chinese had been aware of basic photographic principles as earty as the fifth century B.C., and Leonardo da Vinci had experimented with a dark room in the 1500s, but it was a number of discoveries in chemistry during the eighteenth century that, uh, accelerated the development of modem photography. The discovery that silver salts were light sensitive led to . . . experimentation with images of light on a… a surface that had been coated with silver. Often glass was used in the earty images. But the problem was that these images were ephemeral–fading after only a short time. Some of the chemists who worked with them called them fairy pictures, and considered them, uh. that they were only momentary creations, uh, that they would disappear. Okay. How to fix the image permanently was one of the most important, uh. challenges … of the earty photographer chemists. In France, in about 1820, Nicephore Niepce discovered a method for fixing the image after a long exposure time, oh, probably eight hours. So. although his work was considered interesting, it was, uh, uh, largely dismissed for . . . as impractical. Nevertheless, one of his associates, Louis Daguerre, managed to find a way to, uh. reduce … the exposure time to less than twenty minutes. So the story goes, in 1835, Daguerre was experimenting with some exposed plates, and he put a couple of them into his chemical cupboard, so a few days later, he opened the cupboard, and, uh, to his surprise, the latent images on the plates had developed. At first, he couldn’t figure out why. but eventually, he concluded that this must have occurred as a result of mercury vapor… from a broken thermometer that was also in the. uh, enclosed in the cupboard. Supposedly, from this fortunate accident, he was able to invent a process for developing latent images on … on exposed plates.
The process itself was somewhat complicated. First, he exposed copper plates to iodine which released fumes of. uh, of light-sensitive silver iodide. These copper plates were used to capture the image, and by the way. they had to be used almost immediately after their exposure to the iodine. So. the image on the plate was then exposed to light for ten to twenty minutes. The plate was developed over mercury heated to about 75 degrees centigrade, which … that caused the mercury to amalgamate with the silver. Now here’s the ingenious part—he then fixed the image in a warm solution of common salt, but later he began using sodium sulphite. Anyway, after he rinsed the plate in hot distilled water, a white image was left permanently on the plate. And the quality was really quite amazing.
But, um … the process had its limitations. First, the images couldn’t be reproduced, so each one Weis a unique piece, and that. uh. greatly increased the cost of photography. Second, the image was reversed, so the subjects would actually see themselves as though they were looking in a mirror, although, uh. in the case of portraits, the fact that people were accustomed to seeing themselves in a minor made this less… this problem less urgent than some of the others. Nevertheless, some photographers did point their cameras at a mirrored reflection of the image that they wanted to capture so that the reflection would be reversed, and a true image could be produced. Okay. Third, the chemicals and the fumes that they released were highly toxic, so photography was a very dangerous occupation. Fourth, the surface of the image was extremely fragile and … had to be protected, often under glass, so they didn’t disintegrate from being… from handling. The beautiful cases that were made to hold the earty images became popular not only for aesthetic purposes but, uh, but also for very practical reasons. And finally, although the exposure time had been radically reduced, it was still… inconveniently long … at twenty minutes, especially for portraits, since people would have to sit still in the sun for that length of time. Elaborate headrests were constructed to keep the subjects from moving so that the image wouldn’t be ruined, and, uh, many people simply didn’t want to endure the discomfort.
But, by the mid 1800s, improvements in chemistry and optics had resolved most of these issues. Bromide as well as iodine sensitized the plates, and some photographers were even using chlorine in an effort to decrease exposure time. The … the portrait lens was also improved by reducing the size of the opening, and limiting the amount of light that could enter, so the exposure time was about twenty seconds instead of twenty minutes. And negative film had been introduced in France, sorry, in England, and negatives permitted the production of multiple copies from a single image. So, photography was on its way to becoming a popular profession and pastime.
Listening 4 “Admissions Office”
Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation between a student and an admissions assistant
Student: Excuse me, but the secretary referred me to your office.
Student: I’m a new student . . well, actually, I’m not enrolled yet, but I’m trying to get all my admissions applications turned in today.
Assistant: What’s your name?
Student: Robert Franklin.
Assistant: Middle initial?
Assistant: Oh, I see. Wait a minute and we’ll find out what you have to do…. Well, according to the records here, you have your admissions form, a financial aid application, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from Regional College … so that’s everything you need except a transcript from County Community College.
Student: That’s what I thought. You see, I took a couple of courses there during the summer because it’s dose to my parent’s house. Anyway, almost all of my first two years is from Regional College, and. uh. that’s where I’m transferring from. In fact, the credit for the community college courses appears on the transcript from Regional College as transfer credit, but, uh, it doesn’t show my final grades in the courses.
Assistant: Oh, and you haven’t been able to register for your courses here at State University because the computer shows that you are missing some of your application materials. Is that it?
Student: Exactly. What I was wondering is whether you have, like a policy for this kind of situation so I could go ahead and register for this first semester while we wait for the tran-script to get here. It should be here now. I requested it the same time that I requested a transcript from Regional College, but they’re just slow at County Community.
Assistant: That happens sometimes…. Do you have a copy of your transcript from County Community College?
Student: Yes, I do. It’s right here. Of course, it isn’t an official copy. It s stamped ‘unofficial copy”
Assistant: But I can use this one until the official copy gets here. Here’s the best way to handle this. We can give you a provisional admission. That means that you’re admitted contingent upon the receipt of your official transcript. That will allow you to register for your courses this semester. When County Community College sends us your official transcript, then I can change your status from provisional admission to regular admission
Student: Oh. that’s great!
Assistant: Is this the only copy you have of your transcript?
Student: No. I have another one.
Assistant: Good. Then I’ll just keep this in your file.
Assistant: Now the only problem is you can’t register for next semester without regular admission status, and you need the official transcript for me to do that, so you still need to keep after them to get everything sent to us as soon as possible.
Student: Right. Well, I’ll do that. But at least I have some time to get it done Um… what do I need to do now … to get registered. I mean.
Assistant: Just wait here while I enter everything into the computer, and then you can take a copy of your provisional admission along with you to the office for transfer students. They’ll assign you an advisor and help you get registered later today.