When the iPhone got native panorama function in iOS 6, people started sharing tons of sprawling views. 360s of stadiums, the whole visible coastline at sunset. Laudable Facebook wallpapers all. But the urge to capture really wide shots didn't start a few years ago, it began in the 1800s when photographers like George R. Lawrence realized that aerial technology could help them take new kinds of photos.
Lawrence graduated from ladders to balloons to kites over the course of some experimentation, and eventually settled on using 17 Conyne kites (attached to each other with piano wire) to lift a 50 pound camera into the air. And we're talking 400 to 2,000 feet up. Lawrence captured wide views of cities all over the U.S., and his most famous series is probably a flattened San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake (above and below). That's real dedication to doing something new. [Open Culture]