Scene Machine, Virtual Backgrounds

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Posted by Doug Clifford on June 13, 2001 at 22:30:44:

In Reply to: Scene Machine posted by Jack Cleary on June 08, 2001 at 12:33:51:

: I need some info about the Scene Machine background projection equipment, where to purchase, who sells now, etc. Thanks!

Hello Jack,

I received a letter some months ago from the inventor of The Scene Machine, Henry Oles. He is the gentleman you will need to contact for purchase details. - Doug Clifford, ACE Index

Here is what Henry Oles had to say:

"The Scene Machine is very much alive and well. Originally the Scene Machine was manufactured and marketed under the name EPS Photographic. Nearly three years ago, I merged EPS Photographic with Pixel Magic Imaging. Pixel Magic, however, went on to concentrate on retail sales of its digital imaging products and I felt that professional photographers, and the Scene Machine, would be better served if we brought the Scene Machine back into a smaller company, run by professional photographers. The new company was launched last July under the name Virtual Backgrounds. In many ways, nothing has changed. I was the original inventor of the Scene Machine and owner of EPS Photographic. My wife and I are again the sole owners of Virtual Backgrounds. My wife continues to also operate a professional portrait studio where the Scene Machine is a key tool in her everyday work. Jim Wilson, formerly with EPS Photographic and then Pixel Magic is now in charge of operations for the new company, Virtual Backgrounds.

Photographers will appreciate working closely with knowledgeable professional photographers rather than as it was with the much larger company.

The Scene Machine is one of the most powerful tools a professional photographer can own, but it continues to be grossly underappreciated. The professional photographer basically has three things under his control...The posing of the subject, the lighting of the subject and the background. He tends to spend all his time on one and two and little time on the background. But, it is the background that can greatly enhance a portrait...and variance in the background can also give the photographer more license to vary both the lighting and the posing to create a truly distinctive image.

Some people think that digital has replaced the optical Scene Machine. Not so. Not at all. The Scene Machine by far produces the better image for professional portraiture. Digital (also known as Chromakey or blue screen or green screen) is much more useful for event and amusement photography. Our company, because it specializes in backgrounds, will offer both solutions. The Scene Machine will continue to be our number one tool, but we are also in the process of producing a very innovative digital approach for event photography.

The Scene Machine is equally useful for film and digital cameras. In fact, the Scene Machine is easier to use if one has a digital camera because one "sees" exactly what one is getting with a digital system. If anything is amiss, it is obvious as the exposures appear on the screen and changes can be made instantly to improve the results. For example, the background may not be what you thought...or the background might be too bright or too dark...or too big or too small, or too sharp or too soft. All of that can be fixed in seconds.

If you would like to see what some of our customers are doing with their Scene Machine, let me suggest two web sites. Try or try These are two very different photographers which clearly demonstrate the wide ranging flexibility of the Scene Machine concept.

I would be happy to send you a variety of information if you would like. Please send me your mailing address. Our web site is being worked on at this time. It will be I would expect it will be up in a few months or less. (Editor's Note: it is not yet online as of June 13, 2001.)

Thank you for your interest.

Henry Oles

There's a picture of The Scene Machine at work on the following web page

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