By Amanda Hayes
Anyone who has used their camera phone can thank innovator Larry Thorpe in part for making selfies possible.
Thorpe spoke to professionals and students at the Film and Digital Media Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers student chapter event on Monday. He covered the topic of Technical Insights into a Contemporary Cinematography Lens and Image Sensor. The lecture focused on the emergence of 4k resolution, which is four times more resolution than high-definition, and how this affects the production process.
With 10 patents to his name, Thorpe has created and invented things we use every day, said Dr. Corey Carbonara, film and digital media professor and SMPTE fellow.
The event was filmed live on the SMPTE event channel so people all over the world could watch and share in the event, Carbonara said.
Thorpe hired Carbonara in 1985 to work as the first product manager for HDTV Sony. Thorpe became one of his greatest mentors, Carbonara said, and 30 years later they have remained close friends.
Thorpe is a senior fellow for the Imaging Technological and Communications Group of the Professional Engineering and Solutions Division of Canon U.S.A., Inc. and recently received an Emmy for this outstanding work. The Charles F. Jenkins Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual whose ongoing contributions have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.
“Thorpe’s encouragement of Baylor and the program is outstanding,” Carbonara said. “He inspires others to do excellent work, and offers help and support through the Canon organization.”
On April 11-16, Baylor will continue its partnership with Sony at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas to provide students with hands-on experience. The internship sends over 40 students to the NAB convention with exhibits that showcase more than 1,400 manufactures and suppliers.
This allows students to have hands-on experience with the latest equipment and make contacts, Carbonara said, and Thorpe has been vital to maintaining this internship opportunity.
“His appearance tonight is an example of his unselfish and caring nature, and how he helps inform and educate tomorrow’s filmmakers,” Carbonara said.
The technical language of this talk was over the heads of some of the attendees, but Thorpe said he hopes the audience gained an appreciation for the dazzling science in digital cameras and lenses.
“It’s just getting better and better,” Thorpe said.