Photography is much more powerful than we think it is. It can take pictures of the past. Take this image that you might have seen before, photographed by the Hubble telescope in 2004 :
What you are seeing is the farthest image ever taken. Those tiny faint lights in the back are actually more than 10 billion light years away. That certainly beats your long lens. That is already incredible in of itself. But what is more amazing about this image is that it is a snapshot of the past.
Let me explain. Since light travels at about 300,000 km per second, those far away proto galaxies that are you now looking at looked like that about 17 billion years ago. A few 100,000 million years after the big bang. As your eyes travel back to closer galaxies, the ones that are bigger and more fully shape, you are actually also traveling to a timenearer to the present. ( leave or take a few billion light years)
A better way to understand this image is through an 3d animation like this:
As you past the galaxies you are also going back in time, from more recent to extreme past. Thus the image you see above is a snaphot of the past And yes, photography can take pictures of the past. Multiple pasts, actually.Now, with that in mind, lets imagine you are standing on top of mount Everest and you have a lens powerful enough to photograph the city of Paris from where you are. You would actually be able to take a picture of what happened in Paris a few moments ago. Sure, because of the small distance, it would be only a fraction of seconds and not the Medeval Ages. But still, that is quite a powerful tool you carry with you, don’t you think?
Now, for another thought proving thought. Just imagine yourself on a planet far away from planet earth and taking a similar picture than the Hubble telescope but having planet earth in the frame. At the right distance and right time, with a much better lense, well, you could have taken a picture of the Medival Ages after it had happen . Impressive, no ?
You could have, right now, the biggest library of historical events . What a scoop.
Seriously. We all know that photography is a time tool. It freezes all the elements of in a frame to be seen later across space and time.That is cool enough. Now we know that given the right location and tools, a photographer can actually take a picture of the past.
If you want to learn more on your own, go here.