January 2013 Archives

Death-defying self-portraits of falling

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

It's an understatement to say photographer Kerry Skarbakka puts himself in perilous situations. He leaps from great heights--often a cliff or ledge--and then clicks the shutter. He photographs himself falling in a series titled The Struggle to Right Oneself. Using a clever combination of daredevil imagination, martial arts, and some rigging gear, Skarbakka captures that proverbial 'point of no return,' the space in between an action or an event, of scary mid-air suspension. The concept behind the work originated as a way for Skarbakka to deal with the loss of his mother to brain cancer and then to the events of Sept 11. "I was dealing with issues of control and the sense of loss of control...and how I could realize this project through the act of giving up control and falling, flying, dreaming and levitating."

The University of Bolton is displaying a selection of images from The Royal Photographic Society's (RPS) prestigious International Print Exhibition.

Bolton is the only University in the country to host the collection and the only place in the North West where the public can see the images. The exhibition is free and runs until Sunday 17 February.

The RPS' International Print Exhibition is one of the world's premier photographic competitions and exhibitions. It is the longest running of its kind in the world with 2012 seeing it celebrate its 155th anniversary.

For the current collection, around 3000 images were entered by professional and amateur photographers from around the world. Only 123 were chosen for the final show, a selection which is now on display in the University's Social Learning Zone.

After Bolton the collection moves on to North Wales, before heading to the Midlands. The exhibition then finishes touring in preparation for the 2013 competition.

University of Bolton MA Photography Programme Leader and renowned social documentary photographer, Ian Beesley said: "This is a great chance for people from around the region to see some fantastic photography and unique images. It really is an outstanding collection and this really is the only time it will be in the region."

Ian was recently in The Guardian's Best Photograph feature talking about what he thought was his best ever image.

David Lill, the quirky bachelor farmer who gained local artistic notoriety for photographing cows in hats, died Thursday at Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls. He was 59 years old.
Hans Ronnevik was Lill's neighbor and friend since he was about 5 years old.

"David was cheerful, always upbeat, even though he didn't have the easiest of life," said Ronnevik. "What stands out is his love of his brown Swiss cattle. He showed them at the county fair as a 4-H'er -- even up to last year he showed several of the cattle at the state fair."

Ronnevik says the cows served to inspire Lill's photography, as well as area landscapes and flowers. He took several trips to Itasca State Park to photograph the Lady Slipper, Minnesota's state flower.

"David Lill skillfully captured the beauty of Otter Tail County in his photographs," said Maxine Adams, Executive Director, of Lake Region Arts Council. "We were fortunate that he also shared his sense of

humor in his signature photos of his cows."

One day on his farm outside of Fergus Falls, he put a hat on one of his cows and took her picture. Lill described his work on his blog: "I have a very personal connection to my cows since I am a dairy farmer

and an artist. I know how to capture their personal side in my photography whether it's dressing them up with hats or just a plain natural setting."

Lill showed his work at three to four craft shows a year as well as caring for up to 60 cows on his farm. His photos have appeared on calendars, notecards and magnets. In 2001, he authored the book "Cows Like You've Never Seen," which sold 15,000 copies. David Lill sold much of his work in the Ben Franklin Store in Fergus Falls. There has been an increase in sales of his work in the since word of his passing on Thursday, including one sale of over $400, according to store owner Kevin Peterson.

"David was always eager to share his love of photography and taught many classes throughout the years," said Adams. "The arts community will miss him. He was a kind, gentle person and a favorite visitor to our offices."

The photographer Abbas's images of the Iranian revolution have been described as "the memory of the event."[1] I certainly remember them. Or I remember the event. I remember anyway my parents deciding that we had seen enough of these images on the streets, so they folded up their newspapers and unplugged our television at home.

Abbas's images are the first ones you see upon entering the rather dark space of Light from the Middle East. There is the photograph of handprints, dipped in the blood of martyrs; the photograph of protestors, burning a portrait of the Shah; the photograph of chadori women, receiving military training. If you are my height, the first visible image is the photograph of the bodies of four executed generals laid out on the shelves of a morgue. These are the first images you see if you follow the exhibition in the direction of the English language, starting in the room on the left, as the exhibition intends you to do, and walking your way around the semi-circular space to exit on the right. If you travel in this direction, then the exhibition invites you to reflect on the work under three headings, in this order: Recording, Reframing, Resisting. There are other ways to "read" the exhibition of course. You could, for example, go from right to left, the direction of Farsi and Arabic. This would give you a very different sense of what is on view here, a point to which I will return.

There is a lot of interest in the contemporary Middle East art market right now. All the photographs in this exhibition belong either to the British Museum or to the Victoria and Albert Museum collections, or to their recently formed joint collection of contemporary Middle Eastern photography (funded by the Art Fund). Moreover, Light from the Middle East is one of at least eight shows in major international galleries and museums that, since 2004, have either featured or focused on Middle Eastern photography. This is timely. Given how much information about the region is mediated through photographic images-whether they are produced by governments, embedded reporters, the global press, or by citizen journalists-it seems important to be paying attention to photography today.

See MORE...

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Three Mamaroneck High School students recently won awards for their photographs and are headed to art schools in the fall to study photography at the university level.
Olivia Crum, a senior, won a top award for excellence for her piece titled "Trapped" at the Concordia College StArt exhibition, which runs through Jan. 27. The show features work from 30 high schools around Westchester County, Fairfield County (Conn.), Rockland County and the Bronx.
"I was really surprised because I went to the opening night but didn't stay long enough for the awards," Crum said about learning that she won. "I was so impressed with the other work that I saw there, I kind of assumed that I didn't get anything, but then I got a letter. I was really excited."

Black & White Photography

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

With black & white camera modes, apps that can turn your phone shots mono and various black & white editing techniques available, black & white photography is more accessible than ever but if you've never produced a black & white shot, why should you? Well, we've put together a quick list of reasons that may just persuade you to give black & white photography a go, plus we've linked to various black & white tutorials as well as mentioned a few tips further down in the article.

Makes You Think About Composition More
As Robin Whalley said in a previous article: "To achieve a good black and white image you need to have separation between the elements in the frame. If you can't distinguish or find it difficult to distinguish between the elements the image will lack impact and the viewer will struggle to understand it."

With this in-mind, it makes you search harder for an interesting composition that includes strong foreground interest. Strong shapes and lead-in lines work well as do other strong, distinctive shapes further back in the composition that the eye can easily identify even when everything has a similar tone.

Sony E 20mm f/2.8

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Sony has expanded its E-mount lens range with a pancake lens, the 30mm equivalent Sony E 20mm f/2.8. Claimed to produce "excellent contrast, resolution and clarity across the frame for both still image and full HD video shooting," the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 SEL20F28 wide-angle prime lens will be available this April for about $350.

Furthermore, Sony has announced that the 18-200mm OSS power zoom, originally offered only as a kit lens for the NEX-VG30 camcorder, will now be available for purchase as a stand-alone product, starting this March for about $1200.

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven has chosen our project ¨Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance and Photography¨, as one of the seven chosen to receive funding as part of Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts & Sciences.

The Project´s team is formed by Sarah Demers (Physics - Assistant professor, Physics Department at Yale University ), Emily Coates (Dance . Director of the dance studies curriculum at Yale University) and myself (Photography.)

The recent discovery of a particle that is consistent with the Higgs boson has resulted in considerable interest among the general public. The last of the predicted particles within the standard model of particle physics, the Higgs is the mechanism responsible for the mass of subatomic particles.

Our Reintegrate project will translate the details of the Higgs boson discovery into a series of precisely choreographed visual images. By translating potentially the greatest breakthrough in particle physics in the 21st century through the intersecting artistic mediums of photography and dance, we will investigate the problem and benefits of communication across three disciplines that weigh heavily toward the non-verbal articulation of ideas.

The Team:
Sarah Demers (Physics) is a particle physicist and an assistant professor in the Physics Department at Yale University. As a member of the International ATLAS Collaboration, she uses data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland in her research on elementary particles and the forces that govern their interactions. Professor Demers received a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She is on the executive committee of the users organization that represents the 1000+ American physicists whose research is based at CERN. In 2011 she received an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy for her work at ATLAS.

Emily Coates (Dance) has directed the dance studies curriculum at Yale University since its inception in 2006. From 2006 to 2012, she also served as the artistic director of the World Performance Project at Yale, a performance research initiative established to draw artists and scholars into dialogue. A dancer, choreographer, writer, and researcher, her work assumes a variety of formats, often through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. She has danced with New York City Ballet and in the companies of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Yvonne Rainer. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and holds an M.A. in American Studies from Yale.

January 19, 2013 /Photography News/ Paper is a biodegradable material and - according to vidafine.com - two students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design turned green and used their talent to create a pinhole camera from recycled paper and presented it at one of the past Annual show held by their university. 

Created by Amos Woo and Sharon Ng, the CAP is a pinhole camera which uses recycled paper to make its body and the skeleton. This project aims to remind people about the need to pay attention to the Earth's resources. "We want people to be impressed with the possibility of paper molding by making a pinhole camera. We designed (the camera) to use the most simple mechanism in taking pictures," say Amos and Sharon.

"We also designed a joint for the camera to adapt to plastic bottles selling on the market as a tripod for the long exposure of photos. This came from our own experiences as pinhole camera users. We believe this can really help users as they can have a tripod easily from the plastic bottle from their hand," they added.

WITH a soft stare and a camera in his hands, Michael Hartnett sits thoughtfully on the bank of the River Arra. In his head he is sliding through images, piecing together a photography book about the people and places of Newcastle West, his home town.

The picture was published in the Limerick Leader in May 1975, and in the accompanying article the 33-year-old Hartnett speaks with vision and enthusiasm about the prospect of a book which will preserve the dying history of Newcastle West. Unfortunately, the book never materialised.

Michael Hartnett's lost photo collection is one of a handful of artistic ideas that the troubled but brilliant poet never saw through before his death in 1999.

Over a career that spanned three decades, Hartnett's poems, translations and literature created a lasting legacy, centred on famous works such as A Farewell to English, A Necklace of Wrens and Inchicore Haiku. However there could have been so much more.

Michael's son Niall, a photographer who is living and working in Illinois, told the Limerick Leader this week that the lost photographic book was not alone amongst ideas that never came to pass.

"My Dad started many non-poetry projects he did not finish including, I believe, an opera, a symphony and a novel.

"I only randomly recently learned of [the photography book], I think he mentioned it in an interview I heard. But it never went further than the photograph and the original article, that I know of.

"In his belongings at the time of his death there were some old postcards of Newcastle West, but no other old pictures that might have related to this project, other than the typical family photos."

The Limerick Leader article in May 1975 paints an image of a young, thoughtful writer full of ambition. He had recently won a £2,000 award from the Irish-American Cultural Institute, with which he had just bought a cottage near Barnagh "where he intends to settle with his wife and two children".

Regarding the photography book, Hartnett explains that he has spent hours capturing images of the people, places and trades that gave the town its character.

"I am particularly interested in things that will not be here in ten years' time", he said, before citing his time spent photographing a local harness marker.

"This man is the last of his trade in the town. He had no apprentice to take over when he retires."



International. Entrants may submit up to five photos per month. Group entries are permitted. Unnatural, digitally enhanced, composites are eligible for entry to the competition but the judging panel may ask about your processing method if your photo is shortlisted for a prize.


Back in November, Brazilian model Nana Gouvea felt the Internet's wrath after she used the Hurricane Sandy aftermath as a backdrop to further her career. Needless to say, those photos did garner attention, just not the kind she wanted.

Now Vogue is on an eerily similar hot seat after their most recent issue contained a high fashion spread honoring Sandy responders. General opinion seems to be that the photos were in bad taste, relegating the first responders to 'prop' status while the Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors clad models took center stage.

See MORE...

January 10, 2013 /Photography News/ Born 185 years ago today, on 10 January 1828, Farnham Maxwell-Lyte was a chemist and the pioneer of a number of techniques in photographic processing. As a photographer he is known for his views of the French Pyrenees.

Maxwell-Lyte was 16 when he first came across photography, hearing the news of William Henry Fox Talbot's invention of the calotype. In 1853, he travelled to Luz-Saint-Sauveur in the Pyrenees on account of his bad health and in 1856 his family joined him. He settled in Pau, and frequented an English circle where he met a group of photographers including John Stewart, Jean-Jacques Heilmann, Pierre Langlumé and Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, who were known as the "Group of Pau". He lived in France from 1853 until 1880. In 1854, he was one of the founders of the Société française de photographie and he was also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Pyrenees, 1860 by Farnham Maxwell-Lyte
As both a chemist and a photographer, Maxwell-Lyte made many improvements to the technique of photographic processing, working with collodion and wax paper, and introducing a process of his own invention which he calledmétagélatine; this process was adopted by several photographers and is described, as the "Metagelatine Dry Process", in Wilson's Cyclopedic Photography. In 1854 he wrote up the results of his investigations into what became known as the "honey" process. This was "a method of improving the wet-collodian process by extending the longevity of the sensitized plate". As its name suggests, in this process honey was used both as the preservative solution and in the dusting-in process. The 17 June 1854 issue of Notes and Queries contains his description and analysis of his experiments with the process. Maxwell-Lyte's letter appeared a fortnight after George Shadbolt, former editor of theBritish Photographic Journal, had independently contacted the Photographic Society (now the Royal Photographic Society), giving his description of an identical experiment with honey.

Frances Benjamin Johnston 1.jpg
January 15, 2013 /Photography News/ Born 149 years ago, on 15 January 1864, Frances Benjamin Johnston was one of the earliest American female photographers and photojournalists.

She received her first camera from George Eastman - the inventor of the Eastman Kodak cameras - and was trained by Thomas William Smillie, the director of photography at the Smithsonian Institute. 

Johnston began her professional life as an artist-reporter. Sensing a changing trend in journalistic illustration while working as the Washington correspondent for a New York newspaper, she turned to photography.

She made her name as a photographer in the 1890s, taking portraits of the political elite in Washington, D.C. - she was the official White House photographer during the Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosvelt, and Taft administrations.

The Ladies Home Journal published in 1897 Johnston's article What a Woman Can Do With a Camera, urging women to consider photography as a means of supporting themselves. She co-curated (with Zaida Ben-Yusuf) an exhibition of photographs by twenty-eight women photographers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, which afterwards travelled to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Washington, DC.

Johnston photographed events such as world's fairs and peace-treaty signings and took the last portrait of President William McKinley, at the Pan American Exposition of 1901 just before his assassination.

In 1904 Johnston joined the Photo-Secession.

In the 1920s she became increasingly interested in photographing architecture, being one of the first contributors to the Pictorial Archives of Early American Architecture. Her photographs remain an important resource for modern architects, historians and conservationists.

She was a juror for the second Philadelphia Salon of Photography, received four consecutive Carnegie Foundation grants to document historic gardens and architecture of the South, and was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in 1945. 

Photographer turns dreams into surreal photos

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


If you think your dreams are out of this world, check out conceptual photographer Ronen Goldman's work. The photographer, who lives in Tel Aviv, has been recreating his mesmerizing and haunting dream fragments in a six-year series called The "Surrealistic Pillow" Project. About the inspiration behind the series, he says, "I try and conjure up an image that corresponds with that dream and create the scene in my mind. Once that whole process is done, I switch on the photographer brain and start to try and figure out how I can technically execute the idea." Check out his blog for more behind-the-scenes action, and inspiration for his photos. Goldman's work has been prominently featured on CNN, Huffington Post and Reddit.

Thumbnail image for Ruth_Harriet_Louise_selfportrait.jpg

Ruth Harriet Louise Self-portrait, c. 1928
Born 110 years ago today, on 13 January 1903, Ruth Harriet Louise was the first woman photographer active in Hollywood. She also ran Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's portrait studio from 1925 to 1930.

When Louise was hired by M.G.M. as chief portrait photographer in the summer of 1925, she was twenty-two years old, and the only woman working as a portrait photographer for the Hollywood studios. In a career that lasted only five years, Louise photographed all the stars, contract players, and many of the hopefuls who passed through the studio's front gates, including Greta Garbo, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, and Norma Shearer.

Louise died in 1940 of complications from childbirth.


A collector of vintage photography equipment got an extra bonus when he picked up a French camera at an antique store: never-before-seen images circa World War I France.

Anton Orlov details the story of the lucky find on his blog the Photo Palace, where all of the eight photos from the Jumelle Belllieni stereoscopic camera can be seen.

Orlov writes in his blog that he came across the images completely by accident, as he was cleaning the recently purchased camera. He opened up the film chamber and found the negatives on a stack of glass plates.

He writes, "While viewing the images in their negative form it was difficult to say for sure what was on each of them, but after scanning them it became clear that they dated back to the First World War and were taken somewhere in France. Adding, "I absolutely love finding images that likely have never been seen by anyone in the world."

The photography enthusiast tells Yahoo News by email, "I was very surprised when I found them. " He noted that while he had found "plenty of undeveloped" film in old cameras before, he explained, "those are indeed ruined when exposed to light, and even if I try developing them it would be a very slim chance of getting anything usable from them."

The black-and-white photos were taken in France, and document some of the destruction of the countryside. The images seem to be perfectly preserved, except for a couple that are marred by streaks of light.

Two of the photos seen here show the remains of the war: Two soldiers stand next to a big bomb. Another shows two men on horseback surveying the remains of a crashed airplane.

See MORE ...

Manlanat Island in Jomalig Quezon

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Manlanat Islet is one of the islets in Jomalig Quezon. The island is a birdwatching site and this is one of the most picturesque islets in the Polilio Group of Islands.



Reposting from the official PiPho Org site, the clubs October monthly photo contest results popularly known as MPC. Theme for last month was "Seven Deadly Sins". Irving Velasco made the top spot again while the 2nd placer is VP Zer Cabatuan, 3rd is by Nicco Valenzuela and Ralph Licerio, Irving Velasco holds the 4th and 5th places in particular order. Judges are Mark Burgos, Oly Ruiz and Gina Avecilla.


Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

here were several different types of gladiators who fought at the time of the Roman Empire. Wearing different kinds of armor, and welding a mix of weapons, these fighters were pitted against each other in the arena and often enough met their death there. In this photo gallery, LiveScience takes a look at some of the more common types of gladiators that fought in the era of the empire.


Winner: Grand Prize and Nature

Photograph by Ashley Vincent

An Indochinese tigress named Busaba shakes herself dry after a swim at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand. Titled "The Explosion!" the photo was the winning entry in the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest.

The Indochinese tiger--found in parts of Myanmar (Burma)ThailandLaos,Vietnam, and Cambodia--is one of six tiger subspecies, all of which are endangered or critically endangered. It's estimated that only about 350 Indochinese tigers exist in the wild.

See MORE ...


A collection of unpublished early color photographs of the Beatlesare going up for auction in the U.K., the BBC reports.

The photos were taken in 1964 during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. They include stage shots of George Harrison with his red Rickenbacker guitar, close-up portraits of the group at a press conference at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel and photos from a private party at the Beverly Hills mansion of Capitol Records president Alan Livingston. Since color film was expensive at the time, most images of the Beatles before 1965 were in black and white.

100 Greatest Beatles Songs

The photos were snapped by Dr. Robert Beck, a physicist and inventor who left the collection of 65 slides in an archive at his Hollywood home after his death in 2002. They will be sold by Omega Auctions on March 22nd to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' first album,Please Please Me.

See MORE ...


January 5, 2013 /Photography NewsBorn 175 years ago today, on 5 January 1838, John Calvin Moss was an American inventor credited with developing the first practicable photoengraving process in 1863. 

Photoengraving, also known as photo-chemical milling, is a process of engraving using photographic processing techniques. The full form of photoengraving is photo mechanical process in the graphic arts, used principally for reproducing illustrations. The subject is photographed, and the image is recorded on a sensitized metal plate, which is then etched in an acid bath. In the case of line cuts (drawings in solid blacks and whites without gradations of color), the photoengraving is done on zinc, and the result is called a zinc etching. In the case of halftone cuts, the work is done on copper. The halftone effect is accomplished by photographing the subject through a wire or glass screen, which breaks the light rays so that the metal plate is sensitized in a dotted pattern; the larger dots create the darker areas, the smaller dots the highlights. The finer the screen, the greater the precision of detail in the printed product. 

Early Nantucket Island Photos

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Nantucket 3.jpg
Clinton Folger's "Horsemobile" delivering mail, on South Beach Street, at Hayden's Bath House entrance. For nearly twenty years, from 1900 to 1918, Nantucket was the only place in the nation that successfully fought encroachment of the automobile within its limits. Opposing politicians on the mainland and large property owners, mostly non-residents, Nantucketers kept the island free of the "gasoline buggy" until the final vote of the town on May 15, 1918. By the narrow margin of forty the automobile was allowed entry. Clinton Folger was the mail carrier for Nantucket. Because cars were forbidden by the town, he towed his car to the state highway for driving to Siasconset. Source: Nantucket Historical Association

December 13, 2012 /Photography News/ Nantucket is an island 30 miles (48 km) south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and the Nantucket County. 

The island features one of the highest concentrations of pre-Civil War structures in the United States. It also has the oldest operating windmill in the United States (since 1746).

The Nantucket Historic District, comprising all of Nantucket Island, was added to USA's National Register of Historic Places 46 years ago today, on December 13, 1966.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2012 is the previous archive.

February 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.