Thursday, May 21, 2009

The History of Now

by Kurt W Forster @ TATE Etc.

Armin Linke has a studio in a humdrum part of Milan, but if one wishes to do more than catch a glimpse of this peripatetic photographer, one needs to travel with him. He packs his bags whenever something grabs his attention. At first this has nothing to do with the camera, but everything to do with his eye and a disarming intelligence. Linke quietly scrutinises his chosen location, selecting a view that is of a scope and depth to warrant taking a picture. One day in Iraq, before the last war, he did just that, some distance from one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces on a slope of asphalt and sand. While he set up his camera, a group of men uniformly dressed in black walked into his view. They were leaving the palace after bearing birthday wishes for the president. The resulting photograph is really composed of two images: one is premeditated, taking in the sweep of a symbolic site (with few or no symbols, apart from the tall lamp posts, as if it were an airport); the other is created by coincidence. It is precisely the accidental that endows the picture with an uncanny meaning: men are leaving the site of power, as if the place were to fall vacant at their departure. By dint of its dual nature, the image enfolds a brief moment within a static frame. Linke caught an instant (gone the moment he snapped the picture) whose symbolic time had not yet come, but whose enduring backdrop ceased to hold any significance. Instead of fading into obsolete reportage as the years go by, the picture continues to acquire incalculable references.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The red, yellow and blue planet

by Benjamin Secher @ The Telegraph

The year was 1903 and, less than a decade after they'd invented cinema, Auguste and Louis Lumière were once again down at the Paris patent office claiming a breakthrough in photography; this time, a practical system for recording the world in glorious true colour.

They named their radical technique the autochrome, identified its innovative component as potato starch - millions of granules of the stuff, dyed red, yellow and blue, and pressed between two plates of glass - then, with their typical sense of drama, retired to the laboratory for four years to perfect their invention.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Phase One Launches P 40+ with Sensor+

@ dpreview

Phase One has announced the P40+ medium format digital back. The new system incorporates the company's Sensor+ technology that offers both a full 40MP resolution capture mode and a second 10MP 'Sensor+' mode for faster image capture. The Sensor+ mode also increases maximum sensitivity from ISO 800 (in full resolution mode) to ISO 3200. The camera has started shipping at approximately €14,990 for the digital back and €16,990 for the camera system.