One of our trusted Fstoppers readers sent us this video, and I found it really interesting. Digital cinema specialist Rob Hummel recently gave a lecture at Cine Gear Expo 2011. In his lecture he described exactly what is going on when both film and digital mediums capture light to form an image. The graphics in his presentation help explain why old fashion film can still produce more aesthetically pleasing images than digital. He also describes a little known secret about how gamma rays present at high altitudes can actually destroy camera sensor's pixels. I've personally flown with a bunch of cameras dozens of times with no pixel problems but maybe my cameras are able to mask the destroyed pixels through software? Either way, the exciting news I took from this video is that digital sensors still have a lot of potential gains that can make our images even better in years to come.
Just like the story of Vivian Maiers, every now and then a discovery is made that not only brings a smile to your face but also sends a chill down your spine. Such is the story of the famous 1906 black and white film A Trip Down Market Street. For almost a century, historians have been trying to accurately date the short 13 minute film, and up until recently it was thought to have been shot in Sept 1905. When historian David Kiehn unveiled the truth about the film's date, everyone was shocked to learn that it was filmed in San Francisco just days before the devastating earthquake and sequential fire of 1906. The behind the scenes story on how the origin of the film was created is quite remarkable.
Every now and then it's fun to go back in time to see how photographers approached photoshoots requiring a large amount of production. Back in 1988 Brian King was on the cutting edge of digital photography with his use of Sitex imaging computers. Well before the advent of Photoshop, Brian was able to piece together multiple images by scanning negatives and turning them into primitive digital media. By today's standards, the final product is pretty comical but this is what the first results of 'digital photography' looked like in the advertising world. I have to say, if a single photograph took this much effort and planning today I would probably have given up on commercial photography a long time ago.
Sally Mann is an American photographer who has pushed the limits of black and white fine art. Early in her career, Sally captured both real and staged moments of her children's youth that quickly became subject of much controversy. Immediate Family, a collection of images of her children under the age of 10, showcased mainly normal, happy childhood moments. However other images featured her kids unclothed with themes of depression, anxiety, and even death. Obviously Sally's work sparked strong emotions, and the debate about what is exploitation and what is art became synonymous with her name. The acclaimed What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann is an interesting documentary that focuses on Sally's work and how she approaches her craft. Now a praised nature photographer, Sally discusses her contraversal early images as well as many of her current projects including landscapes in the deep south and portraits of her husband as he deals with muscular dystrophy. Check out Sally Mann's bookstore for great reading material from this revolutionary photographer. Click the full post for the full documentary.
Lomo Photography or Lomography has gained quite the cult following in recent years. And it’s no wonder. These little Lo-Fi cameras, such as the Lomo LC-A, produce some really cool and compelling images. Aside from the Lo-Fi look of the Lomo, the other main feature of Lomography is the cross processing of the Color Slide Film. Check out the video below by SLR Lounge and then view the full post to see the Photoshop tutorial.
Recently over at the forum, a conversation came up about shooting nudes and glamour style images. One of our readers recommended a short documentary on famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton. We've all seen Helmut's images but if you were like me you might not have known the man behind the images. This 5 part documentary, filmed by June Netwon, shows Helmut working through his shoots with such famous models as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer as well as the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. It always amazes me how images I would consider 'snapshots' can become iconic images in the fashion world. Fashion photography today often involves studio lighting and extensive photoshop, but as this documentary shows, Helmut was able to cut through the heart of his subjects with nothing more than a film camera often times in auto exposure. Check out more about Helmut over at the Helmut bookstore.
I have to admit, I really enjoy the bands, artists, photographers and other creative professionals I discover watching Carson Daly's show Last Call. One such artist is Los Angeles based photographer Alex Prager. If I had to describe her work, it would be very editorial in nature with a lot of retro clothing, fashion wigs, and classic Americana references. What I find most inspiring about her work is that she holds nothing back when creating the bright and simple world found in her photographs. Almost every one of her images looks as if it was actually created in 1967 whether it be the hair style, the makeup, the clothing, the cultural references, or even the lighting and film grain. What's even more remarkable is her humble story on how she became a photographer with no formal training at all. If you enjoy this interview from MOMA then click the full post to watch more candid video of Alex talking about her work.
Chris Marquardt has developed a really mind blowing new camera called The Invisible Camera. Using ground breaking technology developed by the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Chris has designed a camera that can properly expose an image even when the film is exposed to ambient light. The special film uses a technique called "directional desensitization" which prevents the emulsion from capturing light; the only light registered is from the very small projection created by the tiny pin hole. What's even more mind blowing is this technique might allow for images to be captured at ISO 1/500th or 15 stops lower than ISO 100! Chris estimates that this increase in resolution would be equivalent to about 3,000 5D Mark II cameras which I can't even imagine. Hopefully some of our more technical readers can explain this to me since I have a feeling it's going on sale a week from this Friday and The Invisible Camera has offered a demo model to Fstoppers.
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.
One of our readers just emailed us this great video of landscape photographer Ansel Adam's darkroom. Michael Adams, Ansel's son, gives us a full tour of Ansel's home studio and shows some of his prints as well as much of his equipment. I currently have Adam's Moonrise, Hernandez hanging in my kitchen and it's really fun to see what the untouched negative looked like before all the dodging and burning. What's always amazing to me is that these prints were all done before the days of the computer, and every area that was altered had to be done by hand and with extreme precision. If you don't already own some of Adam's work, head over to the Ansel Adam's store and pick up a book or print.
Remember the Vivian Maier story we posted a few weeks ago? Well it has been the most popular post we have ever had on Fstoppers. For those who found it as intriguing as I did, here is an update. Below, CBS News covers the story in a new interview and I would highly suggest checking out vivianmaier.blogspot.com where you can stay up to date on the newest images that have been scanned in.
Sometimes you come across a video that just makes you feel good, and this is one of those videos. Brooklyn resident Todd Beiber was out cross country skiing in Prospect Park during the huge blizzard which brought in 2011. During his ski adventure he happened to spot a canister of undeveloped 35mm film. Being the photo enthusiast that he is, Todd developed the film on his own and vowed to track down the owners of the lost roll of film. What he found was very similar to the Vivian Maier's story: a bunch of great images that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. So after watching this video, I feel like it is only appropriate for Fstoppers to help Todd find the owners of this roll of film. Will you help him as well? Hopefully we will get a wonderful follow up video of Todd hanging out somewhere in Europe :)
Harry Taylor donated his time and talent to HeartsApart.org, an organization created to keep families connected while our military is serving abroad. In the video below Harry shoots 3 portraits which involve creating a positive image on a sheet of glass. This type of photography was created in the 1850s and if you are as interested in it as I was, you can learn more here.