Posts Tagged ‘Icons’

Earlier in the year I ventured out into the Irish rain and tried to document the event of the summer.

In June Bavaria City Racing brought Formula 1 to the streets of Dublin. More than 100,000 spectators were expected to gather for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon with Superbikes, Super cars, Touring cars, Formula 2, WRC, Drifters, and demonstrations from internationally celebrated F1 cars and drivers.

The map of the taken-over streets

f1

This is what I managed in the midst of the worst weather of the season._MG_6125_MG_6128

_MG_6139F1 McLaren wide1_MG_6157_MG_6237F1 Bavaria Dublin

I shot in three different locations. It was well worth the extra effort to talk to bar-owners in the city centre to let you up to the top of their buildings to allow you to shoot from above.

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I found a great article on buying the older retro cameras on Ebay.

The trouble is, after you have read this you are going to be poor and partner-less.  On the brighter side, you will have an immense collection of the greatest light recording tools on the planet!

Enjoy.

“One thing I’m always amazed at is how some of the best cameras can be bought on ebay at great prices simply because few sellers spend just a few minutes cleaning up the cameras they find at garage sales or in the attic before photographing them and listing them.  The metal bodied cameras of the 1930’s through 1970s were built like battleships.  They clean up beautifully.  I’ve collected more than 150 cameras on ebay over the last 2 years and have had great luck in winning high quality equipment that I shoot at least a roll of film with each of them.

Somebody may consider this a sacriledge, but I clean up each and every one of them using baby wipes.  These things clean up everything from leather to metal and plastic parts.  and I have never seen it damage any camera with whatever chemicals are in the wipe.  Maybe some other brand might do damage, but I can vouch that the Kirkland brand from Costco does no harm and does a great job in taking off everything but corrosion.  Clean lens glass with proper lens cloths, though and use proper lens cleaning fluid (if you must) so you don’t take the delicate coating off lenses and mirrors.

Beyond that, one usually just needs to replace the light seals on most cameras and get the proper batteries and then you have a camera that takes great, razor sharp pictures.  The great news is that there are great sellers on ebay that sell light seal replacement kits and hard to find batteries.  I’ve bought from each of them on more than one occasion and have been very happy with their products.  I suppose the most common of the no-longer-available batteries is the 625 mercury cell that was commonly used in such popular cameras of the 1960’s and 1970’s like the Cannon FTb SLR, the Canonet Series of Rangefinder Cameras, The Nikkormat FTn, Nikon F, and the Minolta SRT Series of SLR’s.  Sure, there are ways to use hearing aid batteries to replace this no longer available button cel, but I’m a very satisfied user of the Wein Cel  MRB625 that provides the exact 1.35Volt power those cameras (and their meters) were designed to use.  Even though they are the zinc/air type they still last over a year in storage after the tab has been removed.  At about $6 per cel they are worth being able to use these classic cameras at their original specs.

Another great product to know about in restoring old cameras is Ronsonal Lighter Fuel.  Used sparingly, this is a wonderful solvent that frees stuck parts such as leaf shutters and aperture blades.  It is thought to be a very pure solvent that leaves little or no residue after it evaporates.  I’ve been able to take wonderful pictures with many seemingly hopeless cameras because this stuff loosened up the old lubricant in cameras that haven’t been used in decades.  Usually, there’s nothing else wrong with them”.

article by Ebay user impu1se82

 

This is what was delivered shortly after I read this

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And luckily, impressively, I’m still with my girl. Phew haha. Merry Christmas!

This was a task I was to undertake for college, that I thought I would share. This is the deconstruction of an image using opinions from professionals across the fashion industry.

The Nude

Kate Moss signed up to David Yurman’s company in 2010 to model his new line of jewellery, posing with a ring from his upcoming autumn collection. Yurman himself started out in the art world as a prominent sculptor (Nordstrom, 2012), his wife also shared artistic flair being a recognised painter. The couple realised the importance of classic tradition when it comes to what should be in their advertising campaigns. The collaboration between themselves and an established photographer would make for an attractive and lucrative advertisement. Moss is photographed by Peter Lindberg (Grazia, 2010) on a beach with a few key elements on display. The ring is the main focus of the commission. I selected this particular shot because, in what it is surrounded by, the ring itself becomes redundant. This makes me question who or what is being advertised by the nude. By illustrating naked form in such a way, what cultural assumptions do we make in order to understand such powerful and seductive imagery?

Smith (2004, p56) validates that a client’s shoulders, in order to appear more interesting and less rigid should not form a horizontal line throughout the frame. Moss certainly does appear more alluring and less distant. The pose draws you in and increases the length at which you would normally gaze upon the subject. This seems to be a popular stance for models that want to appear aloof and alluring when on the final turn on the catwalk and indeed this particular pose comes from classical roots. Edward Steichen photographed Gwili Andre in an almost identical method (Ewing 2008, p 253) when she modelled jewellery by Tiffany in Vanity Fair in 1936. This shows that traditional mechanisms are still being used today to attract clients to purchase products.

Steichen suggested (Ewing, 2008, p191) that if you take good photographs the art will follow suit. I believe that Lindberg may have been inspired by this standard, although in order to appeal to a more demanding consumer, he would have had to have added something else. Tobia Bezzola commented (Ewing, 2008, p192)on De Meyer who at the time was the chief photographer of Vanity Fair, to develop a form of fashion photography that itself engages the art of seduction rather than merely serving to document the art of the couturier, meant that the objective qualities of the attire were of scant interest. This suggested that even back in 1914 fashion photographers were beginning to realise the power of the nude to increase the potential value of the model associated in the advertised image. Although this commodifies the naked model, actual, rather than suggestive exposure will increase the market value of the product on offer.

Kate Moss was discovered by the owner of Storm Modelling Agency at the tender age of fourteen in JFK international airport (MCM, 2012). During her career to her mid-thirties she has intrigued her viewers by promoting vulnerability and her dominance as the queen of Heroin Chic. The image directors knew that by placing Moss in an ad campaign on a beach, soaked and appearing fragile that the viewer would feel empowered over her and relate that feeling perhaps to the jewellery that was being advertised. She is after all hiding herself behind the ring. But as we are no longer in the early 1920’s, and the fact it’s just a ring, is she really hiding anything. Or is it in fact she is really trying to promote something else?

Considering other models would have bared themselves for promotion, I looked at the portrait of Demi Moore by Annie Leibovitz (Carter, 2008 p56). Although its popularity with audiences spanning the globe attracted considerable controversy Susan Kandel (Kandel,1992) defended Moore and Leibovitz against traditionalist right wing protesters and sympathised with the progression of the nude in contemporary art. “While the self-righteous on the right lambasted the photograph’s flamboyant immodesty, the well-intentioned on the left hailed its progressiveness. Woman displayed as an expanded object, happily complicit both with her expansion and her objectification.”  Kandel validates that the representation of the female body in twentieth century photography is laden with unease and constant negotiation between the physical and institutional bodies that constitute the very meanings of a women’s self-representation. Athough Kate Moss exposing a single nipple on the magazine advert attracted controversy we should realise that this is the movement of the times.

Many feel that the movement of exposure, in which female nudity is upon us now, stems from an attitude dating back to the early 1900’s. Josephine Baker (Rosetta, 2007) was one such icon which continues to inspire a century later. Famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines, her exotic beauty generated nicknames “Black Venus,” “Black Pearl” and “Creole Goddess.” Admirers bestowed a plethora of gifts, including diamonds and cars. Even today her legacy exists in live performance, art, photography, fashion and film. With all the glamour attained by baring all for the camera it’s clear to see why culture has transgressed in this direction due to demand and reward from the audience. Contemporary audiences are no different.

John Tagg (1998, p16) observes the socialisation of production and consumption, with the mechanisms of discipline and desire to reveal that, by combining the two notions we are offering a medium by which we have little or no control. The technology of the camera itself is creating a division of power both between the controller and the possessor. Tagg states that within the space of these contradictions there is undoubtedly room for cultural resistance, although dissent rarely develops. Even if in today’s pressing advertisements, there contrives much controversy, there will never be enough negative press to assert a deceleration of such a strong cultural movement. This adheres with the age-old phrase that any publicity is good publicity.

On reflection, this image, even with its controversy, shows us a sign of progression in fashion and advertising. We realise that the nude has immense power in the stimulus of separating ourselves from our hard earned finances. Moss gains acclaim from the fashion world, in keeping with and moving forward the notions of au courant feminism. David Yurman projects his acknowledgement of the movement by the advertising of his products in the current fashion, and society is influenced by what they see in the magazine of this ultra-modern culture. Peter (Lindberg, 1998) proposes that “creativity is really a rebirth, a true tone we feel for ourselves and for our world. All this is a question of how deep we are willing to go”.­­

My Mother has one, my Grandparents have one and even I have one. There’s a very good chance we all have one. In one way or another we all have a box under our bed. It could be a shoe box or an album, in our hard drives or your Facebook page. We all have a collection of past memories documented in the most basic, yet powerful, form. I’m talking, of course, about our past photographs. Some of the memories we cherish, others we grimmace at. Either way we cant hide from the power that grips us when we are exposed to the monster of our past. The monster of Photography.

So where did it all start, and what genius occurred in order that we could take a photo of granny making an idiot of herself in her Santa hat? I found this timeline which makes for very interesting reading. Credit goes to Philip Greenspun of Photo.net

  • ancient times: Camera obscuras used to form images on walls in darkened rooms; image formation via a pinhole
  • 16th century: Brightness and clarity of camera obscuras improved by enlarging the hole inserting a telescope lens
  • 17th century: Camera obscuras in frequent use by artists and made portable in the form of sedan chairs
  • 1727: Professor J. Schulze mixes chalk, nitric acid, and silver in a flask; notices darkening on side of flask exposed to sunlight. Accidental creation of the first photo-sensitive compound.
  • 1800: Thomas Wedgwood makes “sun pictures” by placing opaque objects on leather treated with silver nitrate; resulting images deteriorated rapidly, however, if displayed under light stronger than from candles.
  • 1816: Nicéphore Niépce combines the camera obscura with photosensitive paper
  • 1826: Niépce creates a permanent image
  • 1834: Henry Fox Talbot creates permanent (negative) images using paper soaked in silver chloride and fixed with a salt solution. Talbot created positive images by contact printing onto another sheet of paper.
  • 1837: Louis Daguerre creates images on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and “developed” with warmed mercury; Daguerre is awarded a state pension by the French government in exchange for publication of methods and the rights by other French citizens to use the Daguerreotype process.
  • 1841: Talbot patents his process under the name “calotype”.
  • 1851: Frederick Scott Archer, a sculptor in London, improves photographic resolution by spreading a mixture of collodion (nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcoohol) and chemicals on sheets of glass. Wet plate collodion photography was much cheaper than daguerreotypes, the negative/positive process permitted unlimited reproductions, and the process was published but not patented.
  • 1853: Nadar (Felix Toumachon) opens his portrait studio in Paris
  • 1854: Adolphe Disderi develops carte-de-visite photography in Paris, leading to worldwide boom in portrait studios for the next decade
  • 1855: Beginning of stereoscopic era
  • 1855-57: Direct positive images on glass (ambrotypes) and metal (tintypes or ferrotypes) popular in the US.
  • 1861: Scottish physicist James Clerk-Maxwell demonstrates a color photography system involving three black and white photographs, each taken through a red, green, or blue filter. The photos were turned into lantern slides and projected in registration with the same color filters. This is the “color separation” method.
  • 1861-65: Mathew Brady and staff (mostly staff) covers the American Civil War, exposing 7000 negatives
  • 1868: Ducas de Hauron publishes a book proposing a variety of methods for color photography.
  • 1870: Center of period in which the US Congress sent photographers out to the West. The most famous images were taken by William Jackson and Tim O’Sullivan.
  • 1871: Richard Leach Maddox, an English doctor, proposes the use of an emulsion of gelatin and silver bromide on a glass plate, the “dry plate” process.
  • 1877: Eadweard Muybridge, born in England as Edward Muggridge, settles “do a horse’s four hooves ever leave the ground at once” bet among rich San Franciscans by time-sequenced photography of Leland Stanford’s horse.
  • 1878: Dry plates being manufactured commercially.
  • 1880: George Eastman, age 24, sets up Eastman Dry Plate Company in Rochester, New York. First half-tone photograph appears in a daily newspaper, the New York Graphic.
  • 1888: First Kodak camera, containing a 20-foot roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter circular pictures.
  • 1889: Improved Kodak camera with roll of film instead of paper
  • 1890: Jacob Riis publishes How the Other Half Lives, images of tenament life in New york City
  • 1900: Kodak Brownie box roll-film camera introduced.
  • 1902: Alfred Stieglitz organizes “Photo Secessionist” show in New York City
  • 1906: Availability of panchromatic black and white film and therefore high quality color separation color photography. J.P. Morgan finances Edward Curtis to document the traditional culture of the North American Indian.
  • 1907: First commercial color film, the Autochrome plates, manufactured by Lumiere brothers in France
  • 1909: Lewis Hine hired by US National Child Labor Committee to photograph children working mills.
  • 1914: Oscar Barnack, employed by German microscope manufacturer Leitz, develops camera using the modern 24x36mm frame and sprocketed 35mm movie film.
  • 1917: Nippon Kogaku K.K., which will eventually become Nikon, established in Tokyo.
  • 1921: Man Ray begins making photograms (“rayographs”) by placing objects on photographic paper and exposing the shadow cast by a distant light bulb; Eugegrave;ne Atget, aged 64, assigned to photograph the brothels of Paris
  • 1924: Leitz markets a derivative of Barnack’s camera commercially as the “Leica”, the first high quality 35mm camera.
  • 1925: André Kertész moves from his native Hungary to Paris, where he begins an 11-year project photographing street life
  • 1928: Albert Renger-Patzsch publishes The World is Beautiful, close-ups emphasizing the form of natural and man-made objects; Rollei introduces the Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex producing a 6×6 cm image on rollfilm.; Karl Blossfeldt publishes Art Forms in Nature
  • 1931: Development of strobe photography by Harold (“Doc”) Edgerton at MIT
  • 1932: Inception of Technicolor for movies, where three black and white negatives were made in the same camera under different filters; Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Edward Weston, et al, form Group f/64 dedicated to “straight photographic thought and production”.; Henri Cartier-Bresson buys a Leica and begins a 60-year career photographing people; On March 14, George Eastman, aged 77, writes suicide note–“My work is done. Why wait?”–and shoots himself.
  • 1933: Brassaï publishes Paris de nuit
  • 1934: Fuji Photo Film founded. By 1938, Fuji is making cameras and lenses in addition to film.
  • 1935: Farm Security Administration hires Roy Stryker to run a historical section. Stryker would hire Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, et al. to photograph rural hardships over the next six years. Roman Vishniac begins his project of the soon-to-be-killed-by-their-neighbors Jews of Central and Eastern Europe.
  • 1936: Development of Kodachrome, the first color multi-layered color film; development of Exakta, pioneering 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera
  • World War II:
    • Development of multi-layer color negative films
    • Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa, Carl Mydans, and W. Eugene Smith cover the war for LIFE magazine
  • 1947: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour start the photographer-owned Magnum picture agency
  • 1948: Hasselblad in Sweden offers its first medium-format SLR for commercial sale; Pentax in Japan introduces the automatic diaphragm; Polaroid sells instant black and white film
  • 1949: East German Zeiss develops the Contax S, first SLR with an unreversed image in a pentaprism viewfinder
  • 1955: Edward Steichen curates Family of Man exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art
  • 1959: Nikon F introduced.
  • 1960: Garry Winogrand begins photographing women on the streets of New York City.
  • 1963: First color instant film developed by Polaroid; Instamatic released by Kodak; first purpose-built underwater introduced, the Nikonos
  • 1970: William Wegman begins photographing his Weimaraner, Man Ray.
  • 1972: 110-format cameras introduced by Kodak with a 13x17mm frame
  • 1973: C-41 color negative process introduced, replacing C-22
  • 1975: Nicholas Nixon takes his first annual photograph of his wife and her sisters: “The Brown Sisters”; Steve Sasson at Kodak builds the first working CCD-based digital still camera
  • 1976: First solo show of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, William Eggleston’s Guide
  • 1977: Cindy Sherman begins work on Untitled Film Stills, completed in 1980; Jan Groover begins exploring kitchen utensils
  • 1978: Hiroshi Sugimoto begins work on seascapes.
  • 1980: Elsa Dorfman begins making portraits with the 20×24″ Polaroid.
  • 1982: Sony demonstrates Mavica “still video” camera
  • 1983: Kodak introduces disk camera, using an 8x11mm frame (the same as in the Minox spy camera)
  • 1985: Minolta markets the world’s first autofocus SLR system (called “Maxxum” in the US);In the American West by Richard Avedon
  • 1988Sally Mann begins publishing nude photos of her children
  • 1987: The popular Canon EOS system introduced, with new all-electronic lens mount
  • 1990: Adobe Photoshop released.
  • 1991: Kodak DCS-100, first digital SLR, a modified Nikon F3
  • 1992: Kodak introduces PhotoCD
  • 1993: Founding of photo.net (this Web site), an early Internet online community; Sebastiao Salgado publishes WorkersMary Ellen Mark publishes book documenting life in an Indian circus.
  • 1995Material World, by Peter Menzel published.
  • 1997: Rob Silvers publishes Photomosaics
  • 1999: Nikon D1 SLR, 2.74 megapixel for $6000, first ground-up DSLR design by a leading manufacturer.
  • 2000: Camera phone introduced in Japan by Sharp/J-Phone
  • 2001: Polaroid goes bankrupt
  • 2003: Four-Thirds standard for compact digital SLRs introduced with the Olympus E-1; Canon Digital Rebel introduced for less than $1000
  • 2004: Kodak ceases production of film cameras
  • 2005: Canon EOS 5D, first consumer-priced full-frame digital SLR, with a 24x36mm CMOS sensor for $3000; Portraits by Rineke Dijkstra

 

Where on earth would we be without it? I hate to say it but we would be lost, then forgotten, without Photography. Part two coming soon. In the post I will telling my story of the positives and negatives of keeping a family photographic archive.

Fitting in with the previous article I thought I’d link Dublin’s connection and tribute to the famous Irish Poet.The Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square was commissioned by Dublin City Council to Cork-born artist Danny Osbourne.

In the following video we can see how Boyle put this memorable sculpture together.

Opposite the Statue is a smaller tribute to Oscar Wilde.

The name of the young lady is Constance; Oscar’s wife whom was pregnant with their first and only child.  The sculpture depicts her five months into the pregnancy. Which was said to be the time she found out that Oscar was having an affair with Robbie Ross. It’s said the staute was angled away from Wilde originally to signify her disgust at the matter. Today it’s not positioned the same way as the small monument was nearly robbed from the park. The local council repositioned her the wrong way.