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Links 1 through 10 of 218 by Seth Anderson tagged photography

A selection of images from the Library of Congress found via the always excellent Ptak Science Books blog. The daguerreotype, invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1837, was the first commercially successful photographic process and was popular throughout the mid-19th century. Daguerreotype portraits were made by the model posing (often with head fixed in place with a clamp to keep it still the few minutes required) before an exposed light-sensitive silvered copper plate, which was then developed by mercury fumes and fixed with salts. This fixing however was far from permanent – like the people they captured the images too were subject to change and decay. They were extremely sensitive to scratches, dust, hair, etc, and particularly the rubbing of the glass cover if the glue holding it in place deteriorated. As well as rubbing, the glass itself can also deteriorate and bubbles of solvent explode upon the image. The daguerreotypes below are from the studio of Matthew Brady,

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The nice thing about this technique is that you will be able to extract all the information on the film even with a low-res digital camera, as long as you can increase the reproduction ratio and get used to join multiple files in one, like when doing a panoramic image. For the details please take a look at the previous post linked above.
The setup, like I said, is really really simple: you will have to put you camera vertically on top of the film – taped on a slide viewer – using a metal lens hood that act as spacer / camera support / light screen. Then you’ll use the Live View to focus on the film grain, and the self timer set at 2 seconds or a soft shutter release to avoid vibrations.

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Well, I didn’t say “a scanner” because it’s not the only way you can digitalize those pictures. Indeed, even though it’s the first (and often only) technique most people will think of, it is also the most inefficient and time consuming. And it can lose a lot, I mean a lot, of the quality of the original slide or negative.

But now there is a much better alternative…

Let’s cut to the chase: I’m proposing the use of a digital camera of high pixel count — full format or crop format, it doesn’t really matter — mated with a good macro lens to “scan” the film using multiple shots, like in a panorama.

“A good macro lens” is pretty much any macro lens because, with the possible exception of some Russian misassembled lemons, they all range from really good to exceptionally good.

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A photographer is someone who takes photographs. These days, anybody can be a photographer, and the reciprocal is also true—a photographer can be anybody. From the hottest haute-kultur gallery orchid on the planet down to somebody selling something on eBay or a real estate agent snapping pictures of an empty house with a cellphone.

We also use the term "photographer" as shorthand for "good photographer," "good" meaning skilled, practiced, experienced, interested, dedicated, or ambitious, or just hopeful. That's why some people will show you their snapshots and say self-deprecatingly, "I'm no photographer," and a guy with a big camera collection can indicate his interest by saying, "I'm a photographer." Even though the first guy sort of is and the second guy sort of isn't. The guy at the DMV who takes all the driver's license photos said to me, "I guess I'm a photographer, but I'm not a photographer." He used the same word in both senses.

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The complicated procedure of wet plate collodion process on location was starting to stressing me too much and steered most of my energy from conceptual creative process into logistic/chemical issues. I wanted to give up, until I figure out this solution. I mean it’s not an invention or something, many people are or were doing it. Now, when I don’t [want] to worry how and where to develop, I can devote more of my energy back to concept of the image and what is the message of it.

There are some draw backs. Collodion is sensitive to UV and blue light and not sensitive to red and orange, so the skin of Milan Erič would look completely different if I would portrayed him originally with collodion process. In principle I could skip film entirely and do the image with digital camera, but my personal resolution is that I will make the procedure as simple as I need it, but not simpler then that! [...] I love how lenses for large format draw and I love their depth of field.

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The photographs in this exhibition are derived from x-rays of classical sculptures from the Getty Center, Los Angeles and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. David Maisel began this series during a 2007 residency at the Getty Research Institute. Originally used for conservation purposes, Maisel invites us to consider the aesthetics of the x-ray itself. To create these pictures, he re-photographed the x-rays on a light box, scanning and extensively manipulating the resulting images, bringing forth colors that reference cyanotypes, albumen prints, and other 19th-century photographic processes.
Maisel writes, “The ghostly images of these x-rays seemed to surpass the potency of the original objects of art. These spectral renderings were like transmissions from the distant past, conveying messages across time, and connecting the contemporary viewer to the art impulse at the core of these ancient works.”

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Well a few years back I read this article about how Vancouver Canada used to have all of these amazing neon signs.  Apparently in it’s hay day Vancouver had over 19,000 signs.  At some point they became associated with unsavoury elements and blight and so laws were enacted prohibiting neon signs.  So many of the great signs over the decades were subsequently lost.  When I read this I realized even around me in the Bay Area how many great old neon signs were quickly disappearing, so I sort of started this quest to capture as many neon signs as I possibly could, recognizing that so many will be lost in the next decade.

I think I’ve probably shot over 20,000 signs all over America at this point.    I’ve published about half of these or over 10,000 or so signs that may represent the largest collection of neon signs ever captured.

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Shooting in the dark, with a handheld camera, in a vibrating helicopter, 5,000 feet above land sounds like a photographer’s nightmare. But Iwan Baan made it look easy.

The Dutch photographer’s image of a half-illuminated, half-powerless New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy captured the nation’s attention on the cover of New York magazine.

“It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost,” Baan said on the phone Sunday evening from Haiti. “One was almost like a third world country where everything was becoming scarce. Everything was complicated. And then another was a completely vibrant, alive New York.”

Baan made the image Wednesday night after the storm, using the new Canon 1D X with the new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed.

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[Photo: Curbed Chicago Flickr Group/ Seth Anderson]
Good day, development hawks! 'Tis the season for all-out escalation of building construction. There's a couple good months left before the winter slowdown for developers to realize significant progress on their projects, and so it's a fine time to catch up with what's going down in the city. But first, we had to decide where to draw the line. If you included every 5-story construction and retail cluster, it'd make for an awfully busy map. Thus, we chose to plot only those under-construction, near-construction, or recently completed buildings that noticeably alter the streetscape and/or community. We landed on 25, listed below. Most of the developments are at a measurable stage. A few are so big and disruptive that we couldn't pass them up. And it's likely that several more ought to be included, which we'll be tending to in the coming weeks. On with the show!

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