Friday, September 29, 2006

Magnum in Motion - Elliot Erwitt

Magnum in Motion is a great venue/project with essays, interviews, portfolios and more. A new essay has been posted on Elliott Erwitt. "Elliott loves dogs, beaches, nudists and religion as "interesting photographic topics". He says: "I have to do books – I've been around so long, most editors think I'm dead." Personal Best, a book of 350 images, is coming out in September."

Elliot Erwitt on Magnum

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Art Market

An arts degree, some experts claim, is now one of the most desirable qualifications in the world of business. Yet cross-pollination comes with a high risk of failure – is it worth it?

by Ronald Jones @ Frieze

A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Ideas and Integrities (1963)

Five years ago the newly appointed vice-chair of Global Product Development at General Motors, Robert Lutz, described the strategic shift he envisioned for the company to the New York Times: ‘I see us as being in the art business. Art, entertainment and mobile sculpture, which, coincidentally, also happens to provide transportation.’ Whether Lutz’ remarks stirred their intended audience of car buyers may be in doubt, given that GM lost $10.6 billion last year, but they did please the cultural pundits, who heralded his bravado as the harbinger of a trend where artistic talent is trumping business acumen as multinationals adjust to a global economy.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jeff Brouws : Approaching Nowhere

Currently at the Robert Mann Gallery (NYC)
"In Approaching Nowhere, Jeff Brouws surveys the evolving cultural landscapes of rural, urban and suburban America, from secondary highways to strip malls to decimated industrial sites and inner city housing. Combining bleak beauty with anthropological inquiry, he seeks the significance behind the cycle of construction, decline and renewal. Brouws' photographs go beyond mere description and gather layered meaning, often functioning as antipodal metaphors or asking sociological questions. When captured by his lens, deserted streets and freeways evoke the restlessness of an uncertain nation, and communicate a low-lying foreboding. On another level, these same images remind us that roads are part of a vital infrastructure, central to a consumer society's dependency on the conveyance of goods and services, as well as being essential components of economic development and national security."

Robert Mann Gallery release

Hasselblad H3D

"The Hasselblad H3D is the world’s first 48mm. full-frame, large-sensor, medium-format DSLR camera. The H3D has been developed around a brand new digital camera engine producing increased lens performance and a new level of image sharpness. By focusing solely on digital camera architecture, Hasselblad is able to offer photographers the full benefits of professional medium-format digital cameras as well as the ease of use of the best 35mm DSLRs"

Hasselblad site

Monday, September 25, 2006

Leica buys 51% of Sinar

"Leica Camera AG, Solms, takes over 51% of the shares of Sinar AG, Feuerthalen/Switzerland, from JENOPTIK Laser, Optik, SystemeGmbH, Jena ("JENOPTIK"). JENOPTIK and Leica Camera AG have signed corresponding acquisition and transfer contracts on September 25, 2006. Confidentiality was agreed concerning the transfer price.

The existing technical cooperation between JENOPTIK and Sinar AG concerning digital camera backs will be continued.

Sinar AG serves professional photographers with leading solutions in medium and large format cameras, both with analogue and digital technology. Leica Camera AG will continue and develop the Sinar business with the Sinar brand and company structure, based on the shared values of excellence and innovation.

Both companies will benefit from synergies in technical collaboration as well as marketing and sales. Leica Camera AG is confident that the acquisition will bring positive developments for customers, employees as well as shareholders of both companies. This is a first step on the strategic path towards growing the business of Leica Camera AG"

Press release here

Epson 3800 Pro

"Designed from the beginning to exceed all expectations in the area of photographic image quality, the Epson Stylus® Pro 3800 incorporates a brand new, compact, 17-inch wide printer design, a radical, new, photographic screening technology and Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink.

Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink technology has produced some of the world’s greatest images. Inspired by our past generations of pigmented ink technology, Epson UltraChrome K3 incorporates a three-level Black, along with new color pigments that raise the bar dramatically for professional color and black-and-white prints. The standard has been set." review

Friday, September 22, 2006

daguerreotype of 9/11

Jerry Spagnoli, untitled, september 11 2001, daguerreotype , 41/4 x 5 1/2 inches

scanned from the book :

Rexer Lyle, Photography’s antiquarian avant-garde : the new wave in old processes, New York, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2002, p. 46

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And now for a little humor....

From the website:
Aaron Johnson is to blame for What the Duck. WTD originated as a ‘blog filler’ for the vacationing Carol Kroll and has since continued at the demand of tens of people. If you would like to contact Aaron, he can be emailed here. FAQ’s can be directed here. And complaints can be sent here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

WHOA! The Seitz 6x17 panorama camera

From the website:
Key features Seitz 6x17 panorama camera

Create a high resolution 6x17 digital image (160 million pixels) in one second!

Ideal for use with world-class Schneider or Rodenstock large format lenses (on Seitz lens board) or Linhof Technorama, Fuji and other large format lenses (on adaptor plate)

User-friendly camera system and software with 640x480 pixel colour touch screen for perfect preview, editing, zooming and image control

State-of-the art computer technology with gigabit Ethernet file transfer, powerful portable mini-computer (storage device) and handheld control device (PDA) with IP network WLAN connection

Fully mobile and open system:
- full mobility for outdoors assignments (with camera, portable
mini-computer, handheld control device)
- possibility to use in studio and run software on
computer with free choice of operating system (Mac OS,
Windows, Linux)
Uncompromising precision of camera body and accessories

And it only around $30,000 without lens!

And it's size?

Check it out

Friday, September 15, 2006

Smithsonian Photography Initiative

I don't really like the interface, but SPI shows some real promise in terms of innovative use of collaborative tagging and storytelling using archive photography.

Smithsonian Photography Initiative

More info at EYE LEVEL

Leica M8 Hands-on Preview

by Phil Askey and Simon Joinson @
In 1954, at Photokina (or 'Foto Kina'), Leica introduced the first M series camera, the M3, the first Leica rangefinder body with a bayonet interchangeable lens mount, it was the beginning of a legendary series of cameras and lenses, the latest of which, the M7 is one of the only 35 mm rangefinder cameras still in production. For over half a century Leica has resisted the temptation to change the essential simple design established with the original M3 (it wasn't until 2002 that an electronically-controlled shutter was introduced allowing aperture priority automatic exposure). With an average 10 years between major upgrades and many of the original M3s still in regular use, the M platform is felt by its legion of fans to be the purest photographic tool available, and a welcome antidote to the mass of plastic feature-laden models that make up the rest of the market. Owning a Leica M camera has always been something people do with their hearts as much as their heads - and some of the 20th century's greatest photographers and most famous images were taken using them. It is no surprise then, that - despite talking about it for at least five years - Leica felt no need to rush into things when they decided it was time to bring the M into the digital age.

Read on

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


By Roberta Smith @ NY Times

“Ecotopia,” the edifying, entertaining and ecologically aware exhibition that opened last night at the International Center of Photography, means to get your attention. Near the entrance a looming, oozing black form threatens to engulf the show, like some leftover Valdez sludge trucked down from Alaska.

This enormous dollop is the first of several that punctuate the galleries. All are made, appropriately, of a lightweight, petroleum-based insulation material called Tubolit, widely used in the construction industry. An environmentally sound replacement for asbestos, Tubolit is recyclable, but it also offers further proof that the dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise, ranges far beyond gasoline.

Erupting from walls and doorways, lining windows and viewing rooms, and providing shelves for video screens and computer monitors, the meandering Tubolit globs manage to evoke not only sludge, but also toxic topiary, exotic rock formations and Flintstone-era habitats. Their symbolic versatility befits an exhibition in which nature is, by turns, magnificent, cute and enduring, while also increasingly dangerous and endangered, thanks to the widening scope of human indifference and exploitation.


ICP Gallery

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Found images

Years ago I bought a box of glass plate 4x5 negatives at an antique market. I ran across them last weekend while cleaning and organizing my office/studio/archive. There are probably twenty plates, but this one caught my attention as I was going through them. There is something still magical about the interaction between a subject and a large camera before the onslaught of mass media and the explosion of images on modern culture. I love old images.

photokina cologne

"At photokina, the focus is on image communiacation. The event is an impressive presentation of the shared future of photography, IT and telecommunications. Imaging is more - and that also applies to photokina 2006. The fair's structure, which is based on an imaging workflow, permits an integrated presentation of the topics of image capturing, image storage and processing, image transmission and service, image output, equipment and supplies."

photokina site

Monday, September 11, 2006

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Review

by Simon Joinson @ dpreview

Announced bang on schedule exactly a year after the camera it replaces, the FZ50 is the new flagship in Panasonic's big-zoom Lumix range, upping the image size to a class-leading 10.2 megapixels and adding a couple of welcome new features. Unlike the FZ30, which represented a leap forward in design and features over the FZ20 (and closed the gap between fixed lens and SLR cameras further than ever before), the new camera is a fairly minor upgrade.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Jason Salavon

The Top Grossing Film of All Time, 1 x 1 2000
Digital C-print mounted to Plexiglas
47" x 72". Ed. 5 + 2 APs

After posting the "Between the Lines" article at The Online Photographer, Ken Tanaka (another contributer) brought the work of Jason Salavon to my attention. Very interesting work. He was recently written about and interviewed on NPR. He currently has work on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington,DC. There is also a write up and interview at Gapers Block

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Between the lines

by Geoff Dyer @ The Guardian
Criticism sometimes achieves the condition of art; certain works of art are also a form of commentary or criticism. Roland Barthes's meditation on photography, Camera Lucida, is a classic example of the former. How to respond creatively to a book that has profoundly shaped the way the medium is regarded? A writer might feel compelled to follow George Steiner's grand advice and "write a book in reply". And if you're not a writer, but a photographer? If you do what Barthes is writing about?

Idris Khan's response was to photograph every page of the book and then digitally combine them in a single, composite image. The result of this homage to - and essay on - Camera Lucida (English edition) is a beautiful palimpsest: a series of blurred stripes of type in which the occasional word can be deciphered and one of the images reproduced by Barthes - a portrait of Mondrian by Kert├ęsz - glimpsed. Khan did the same thing with On Photography by Susan Sontag. The whole of the book can be seen in an instant, but the density of information is such that Sontag's elegant formulations add up to, and are reduced to, a humming, unreadable distillation. Already slight, the gap between texts and Khan's images will shrink further if the books are reissued with his "readings" of them - surrogate author photos? - on the covers.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Digital Tampering in the Media, Politics and Law

by Hany Farid, Associate Professor at Dartmouth

Photography, of course, lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1920s, shortly after the first commercially available camera was introduced, Stalin had his enemies "air-brushed" out of photographs. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of digital tampering in the media, politics, and the law. To help contend with the implications of this tampering, we have developed a series of tools for detecting traces of tampering in digital images.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Epson Claria Hi-Definition ink

The rumor is that Wilhelm has results for this product that are so good that Epson is still debating internally on how to present the results. As significant is the design of the supporting print head, which sports a 1.5pl minimum and 5, rather than the current 3 droplet sizes. The combination produces a stunning 4x6 in less than 15 seconds. I would be surprised if we don't see at least some of these advances in wide format.

From the Epson site:
"Claria Hi-Definition Ink is a revolutionary new six-color, dye-based ink technology that delivers unsurpassed image quality and long-lasting results. Claria is tailor-made to fit the needs of the discerning photo enthusiast. It provides vivid, true-to-life colors with a wide color gamut that's ideal for printing your best shots.

Best of all, photos printed with Claria ink will last longer than traditional, lab-processed photos. And, they'll even stand up to spills, smudges and fading. That means you can share and frame your favorite photos, or place them in an album — worry-free."

Epson site

PDF documents

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Revelation of Erasure

By Brian Dillon @ Tate, etc.

The cheap propelling pencil with which I'm writing this essay has a tiny white eraser tucked beneath its shiny top. I hardly ever use it - the action required is just too fiddly, and the metal cap likely to get misplaced between my second thoughts and the last stroke of rubber on paper. And anyway: what happens if the eraser runs out before the lead? A nagging thought like that could wipe the next sentence from my mind before I've erased the last. Actually, rubbing out what I've written - and writing this, as always, will be largely a matter of erasure - is only the most drastic option.A quick scribble will do to rid the page of a botched clause or an unhappy adverb. Alternatively, I might score the offending formulation through with a single line, so that it can be reinstated later, if things get desperate. In a hurry, I'll simply overwrite the old text, reshaping its letters where I can, obliterating others, as though shouting myself down. The result is a scratted mass of grey text, pretty much unreadable to anybody else.