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Friday, March 24, 2017 / Labels: ,

Wordsworth Donisthorpe and the first motion picture of London

Wordsworth Donisthorpe filmed London's Trafalgar Square traffic in 1890; these are the surviving 10 frames

March 24, 2017 /Photography News/ Born on March 24, 1847 in Leeds, Wordsworth Donisthorpe was an English individualist anarchist and inventor, pioneer of cinematography and chess enthusiast.

On 9 November 1876 Donisthorpe applied for a patent for the Kinesigraph, an apparatus 'to facilitate the taking of a succession of photographs at equal intervals of time, in order to record the changes taking place in or the movements of the object being photographed, and also by means of a succession of pictures so taken ... to give to the eye a representation of the object in continuous movement ...' 

Donisthorpe's Kinesigraph camera was evidently inspired by the 'square motion' wool-combing machine designed by his father, with the 'falling combs' replaced with falling photographic plates. The camera was built, but how well it worked is not recorded. 

On 24 January 1878, a letter from Donisthorpe, 'Talking Photographs', appeared in Nature, in which he suggested that his Kinesigraph, used in conjunction with Edison's recent invention the Phonograph, could produce a talking picture of Prime Minister William Gladstone. 

Each individual photograph was to be illuminated by an electric spark and projected in sequence onto a magic lantern screen. The materials available for photography at that time did not lend themselves to motion picture work, and nothing else is heard from Donisthorpe on this subject until 1889, when he patented a film camera and projector. Louis Le Prince was living in Donisthorpe's home town of Leeds, and it may be that word of Le Prince's 1888 experiments revived Donisthorpe's interest in the problem.

The patent for Donisthorpe's new camera, also called the Kinesigraph, was taken out jointly with William Crofts. It was a unique camera mechanism, which again had more in common with textile machinery than with other photographic devices. A shuttle carrying the film moved upwards as the film itself was pulled down, resulting in the film being stationary relative to the lens during each exposure. Development was entrusted to Crofts, and it was perhaps at a Camera Club lecture that he became aware of Eastman celluloid roll film. The new medium was ideal for their camera. 

Some time between late 1889 and early 1891, Donisthorpe and Crofts set up their Kinesigraph in a building overlooking London's Trafalgar Square, and shot at least one short film. It is an evocative, multi-layered view. Foaming water from one of the famous fountains is framed against a sooty background of the domed National Gallery building, with the bustling traffic of pedestrians and horse-drawn omnibuses; ten frames survive.
  
This footage has not been contested as the first motion picture ever taken of the city of London

In 1894 William Crofts died, and any hope that might have remained for the eventual success of the Kinesigraph project died with him, Donisthorpe never being able to acquire backing for the project of moving pictures. 

Donisthorpe later invented a new language (Uropa), and assisted his sons in experiments with colour and sound motion pictures. He died on 30 January 1914.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Labels: , , ,

DIY Instagram-inspired photo booth


March 21, 2017 /Photography News/ DIY Photo Booth Inspired by Instagram is a fan project by nineteen-year-old Alexander Morris, from County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Instagram photo booth is built entirely out of medium density fiberboard and resembles the app’s iconic logo.

This isn’t the kind of project you’ll probably finish on one Saturday. The whole project involves some significant woodshop abilities including cutting, measuring, sanding and painting, not to mention the essential electrical components.

You can find and download the the entire 18-step process at Instructables.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017 / Labels: , ,

In photos: Seminole Indians and Missionary Harriet Bedell

Deaconess Bedell with Mary Osceola Huff and Fanny Stuart, between 1933 and 1960
March 19, 2017 /Photography News/ These images reflect the lives of Florida's Seminole Indians and the missionary activities of Deaconess Harriet Bedell among them. The photographs include group portraits of Seminole men, women, and children, as well as images of the Seminoles engaged in a variety of daily work and recreational activities.

Ruby - Charlie Tigertail's Sister, ca. 1910
Ruby - Charlie Tigertail's Sister, ca. 1910
Harriet Bedell, missionary and friend to the Seminole Indians of Florida, was born in Buffalo, New York on March 19, 1875. She was trained as a schoolteacher but was inspired several years later by an Episcopalian missionary who spoke at her church describing the many needs of missionary work. In 1906 she applied to, and was accepted by, the New York Training School for Deaconesses, where her one-year course of study included instruction in religious matters, missions, teaching, hygiene, and hospital nursing. Following her training she was sent as a missionary-teacher to the Cheyenne Indians at Whirlwind Mission in Oklahoma. 

Miccosukee mother rocks her baby in a hammock, between 1033 and 1960
Miccosukee mother rocks her baby in a hammock, between 1033 and 1960
Because of her experience in both teaching and working with Indians, in 1916 an Episcopal bishop requested that she consider an assignment in a remote area of Alaska. 

Ruby Jumper Billie holding her infant Billie L. Cypress, 1948
Ruby Jumper Billie holding her infant Billie L. Cypress, 1948
Through speaking engagements following her service in Alaska, Bedell was invited to visit a Seminole Indian reservation in southern Florida. Appalled by their living conditions, she began her campaign to improve the quality of life among the Mikasuki-Seminole Indians by living and working with them, not merely teaching them. She sought to revive the doll making and basket weaving skills which had become nearly extinct. She encouraged the incorporation of the intricate patchwork designs made by Indian women into articles of clothing for both women and men. Sales from the arts and crafts store at Blades Cross Mission helped to provide improved income for the Mikasuki-Seminoles.

Bedell emphasized health and education rather than religious conversion in her work with the Seminoles; their spiritual and physical comfort was more important to her than religious conversion, and her work and friendship with the Seminoles of Florida reflected those values.

Deaconess Bedell on the porch of the Mission of Our Savior : Collier City, Florida,  between 1933 and 1960
Deaconess Bedell on the porch of the Mission of Our Savior : Collier City, Florida,  between 1933 and 1960
Nation's smallest Post Office in Ochopee, Florida, 194-
Nation's smallest Post Office in Ochopee, Florida, 194-
Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida 

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Thursday, March 16, 2017 / Labels: ,

Remembering Anna Atkins, author of the first photographically illustrated book

March 16, 2017 /Photography News/ Born 218 years ago today, on March 16, 1799, Anna Atkins (maiden name Anna Children) was the first person to print and publish her own book illustrated entirely by photography.

Instead of traditional letterpress printing, the book's handwritten text and illustrations were created by the cyanotype method. Atkins printed and published Part I of British Algae in 1843 and in doing so established photography as an accurate medium for scientific illustration.

Atkins learned directly about the invention of photography through her correspondence with its inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot. Although she owned a camera, she used only the cameraless photogenic drawing technique to produce all of her botanical images. With the assistance of Anne Dixon, Atkins created albums of cyanotype photogenic drawings of her botanical specimens. She learned the cyanotype printing method through its inventor, the astronomer and scientist Sir John Herschel, a family friend. 

Anna Atkins produced a total of three volumes of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions between 1843 and 1853. Only 17 copies of the book are known to exist, in various states of completeness. Copies are now held by, among other institutions: 
  • British Library, London
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • New York Public Library
  • Royal Society, London, whose copy with 403 pages and 389 plates is thought to be the only existing copy of the book as Atkins intended
  • Victoria & Albert Museum London houses a number of original works in their library
Because of the book's rarity and historical importance, it is quite expensive. One copy of the book with 411 plates in three volumes sold for GBP 133,500 at auction in 1996. Another copy with 382 prints in two volumes which was owned by scientist Robert Hunt (1807-1887) sold for GBP 229,250 at auction in 2004.

Atkins was known to have had access to a camera by 1841. Some sources claim that Atkins was the first female photographer, while other sources name Constance Talbot, the wife of William Fox Talbot, as the first female photographer. As no camera-based photographs by Anna Atkins or any photographs by Constance Talbot survive, the issue may never be resolved.

Photos courtesy of the New York Public Library
 
[Titlepage]. 419632. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part I. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Delesseria sinuosa. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part V. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Himanthalia lorea. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part I. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Cystoseria granulata. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part I. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Cystoseira fibrosa. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part II. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Laminaria digitata. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part II. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Furcellaria fastigiata. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part IV, version 2. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Asperococcus Turneri. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part V. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Delesseria sanguinea. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part V. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.
Fucus ceranoides. Atkins, Anna -- Photographer. 1843-53. Photographs of British algae: cyanotype impressions. / Part II. The New York Public Library. Spencer Collection.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 / Labels: , , ,

Photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor: My desperate journey with a human smuggler

Photo: Barat Ali Batoor 
March 15, 2017 /Photography News/ Photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor was living in Afghanistan — until his risky work forced him to leave the country. But for Batoor, a member of a displaced ethnic group called the Hazara, moving home to Pakistan proved dangerous too. And finding a safer place wasn't as simple as buying a plane ticket. Instead, he was forced to pay a human smuggler, and join the deadly tidal wave of migrants seeking asylum by boat. He documents the harrowing ocean trip with powerful photographs.



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Tuesday, March 14, 2017 / Labels: , ,

In photos: Remembering Diane Arbus and her profound world

March 14, 2017 /Photography News/ Born into a wealthy Jewish family in New York 94 years ago on March 14, 1923, Diane Arbus made her reputation photographing people on the margins of society: losers, misfits, nudists, transvestites, prostitutes, the mentally retarded, sideshow freaks, and almost anyone who seemed not to fit in easily with her upper middle class background. And occasionally she photographed celebrities, sometimes to their dismay.

Diane Arbus, Untitled (3), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, Untitled (3), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
At age 18 Diane married Allan Arbus (divorced 1969), an employee at her family’s store. Before separating, they worked collaboratively, first taking photographs and creating advertisements for the store, then creating commercial fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar, Show, Esquire, Glamour, The New York Times, and Vogue.

Eddie Carmel, Jewish Giant, taken at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, NY, 1970
Eddie Carmel, Jewish Giant, taken at
Home with His Parents in the Bronx, NY, 1970
After taking a brief photography course with Berenice Abbott, Arbus met Lisette Model, an Austrian-born documentary photographer, and studied with her from about 1955 to 1957. With Model’s encouragement Arbus gave up commercial work to concentrate on fine-art photography. In 1960 Esquire published Arbus’s first photo-essay, in which she effectively juxtaposed privilege and squalor in New York City. Thereafter she made a living as a freelance photographer and photography instructor.

Unlike many photographers with whom she overlapped, like Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank, Arbus would often meet a subject and form a long relationship, the diaries and date books show. It could take 10 years for her to produce her best photographs of that subject.

Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967
Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967
Arbus' best-known single work is her haunting photograph of side-by-side twin girls, whose identical faces are just enough different that they seem like a paradigm of good and evil, darkness and light. Stanley Kubrick liked them so much he alluded to the pair with the creepy children who haunt the giant hotel in his movie "The Shining."

Toward the end of her life, she explicitly described her work in those terms. "I do feel I have some slight corner on something about the quality of things. I mean it's very subtle and a little embarrassing to me, but I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them."

Arbus experienced "depressive episodes" during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been worsened by symptoms of hepatitis. Arbus wrote in 1968 "I go up and down a lot," and her ex-husband noted that she had "violent changes of mood." On July 26, 1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor. Her good friend Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old.

Diane Arbus, Teenager with a Baseball Bat, NYC, 1962
Diane Arbus, Teenager with a Baseball Bat, NYC, 1962
Today Arbus, who once said her pictures sought to capture “the space between who someone is and who they think they are,” has become one of America’s best-known photographers and one of its most controversial.

Diane Arbus, Untitled (1), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, Untitled (1), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
A collection of her photos was published in 1972 in connection with a successful major exhibition of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. That same year her work was shown at the Venice Biennale, marking the first time that an American photographer received that distinction. In 2003 an extensive exhibition of her work opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and later traveled throughout the United States and Europe. An accompanying book, Diane Arbus Revelations (2003), contained some 200 photographs as well as excerpts from her letters and notebooks. In 2007 Arbus’s estate gifted her complete archives - including photographic equipment, diary pages, and the negatives of some 7,500 rolls of film - to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


Diane Arbus, Mexican dwarf in his hotel room in N.Y.C., 1970, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, Mexican dwarf in his hotel room in N.Y.C., 1970, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, Untitled (7), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, Untitled (7), 1970-71, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, A young man with curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Diane Arbus, A young man with curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966, © The Estate of Diane Arbus. Courtesy of Masters of Photography
Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York City (1962)
Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York City (1962)


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Friday, March 10, 2017 / Labels: , ,

Remembering Toni Frissell: "I'd rather stalk with a camera than a gun"

"I'd Rather Stalk with a Camera Than a Gun", photo of American photographer Toni Frissell, c. 1935
"I'd Rather Stalk with a Camera Than a Gun", photo of American photographer Toni Frissell, c. 1935
March 10, 2017 /Photography News/ Born on March 10, 1907, Toni Frissell (or Antoinette Frissell Bacon) was an American photographer, known for her fashion photography, World War II photographs, portraits of famous Americans and Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.

Underwater view of a woman, wearing a long gown, floating in water. Photograph by Toni Frissell at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida (1947). This image was later used as the cover for the album Undercurrent by Bill Evans and Jim Hall, the album Tears in Rain by This Ascension and Osvaldo Golijov's "Oceana," and also for the album Whispering Sin by the Beauvilles.
Underwater view of a woman, wearing a long gown, floating in water. Photograph by Toni Frissell at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida (1947). This image was later used as the cover for the album Undercurrent by Bill Evans and Jim Hall, the album Tears in Rain by This Ascension and Osvaldo Golijov's "Oceana," and also for the album Whispering Sin by the Beauvilles.
Frissell worked with many famous photographers of the day, as an apprentice to Cecil Beaton, and with advice from Edward Steichen. She initially worked for Vogue in 1931 as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931, and later took photographs for Harper's Bazaar. Her fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women.

German actress Lilli Palmer (1914-1986), with husband Rex Harrison (1908-1990) in the background, photographed by Toni Frissell (1907-1988) in 1950
German actress Lilli Palmer (1914-1986), with husband Rex Harrison (1908-1990) in the background, photographed by Toni Frissell (1907-1988) in 1950
In 1941, Frissell volunteered her photographic services to the American Red Cross. Later she worked for the Eighth Army Air Force and became the official photographer of the Women's Army Corps. On their behalf, she took thousands of images of nurses, front-line soldiers, WACs, African-American airmen, and orphaned children. She traveled to the European front twice. Her moving photographs of military women and African American fighter pilots in the elite 332d Fighter Group (the "Tuskegee Airmen") were used to encourage public support for women and African Americans in the military.

"Victoria Station, London". Fashion model (identified as Lisa Fonssagrives with English bobby on platform at London's Victoria Station. Photograph by Toni Frissell (one of the most celebrated female photographers of the 20th Century), published by Harper's Bazaar in 1951. Part of a collection gifted to the Library of Congress by Frissell. Very poor scan of a very beautiful picture. I tried my best to bring out the contrasts and remove the various artifacts, but I wish they'd clean it up and scan it again. Note, the location of this picture has been mistaken by United States Library of Congress the actual location is Paddington station.
"Victoria Station, London". Fashion model (identified as Lisa Fonssagrives with English bobby on platform at London's Victoria Station. Photograph by Toni Frissell (one of the most celebrated female photographers of the 20th Century), published by Harper's Bazaar in 1951. Part of a collection gifted to the Library of Congress by Frissell. Very poor scan of a very beautiful picture. I tried my best to bring out the contrasts and remove the various artifacts, but I wish they'd clean it up and scan it again. Note, the location of this picture has been mistaken by United States Library of Congress the actual location is Paddington station.
In the 1950s, she took informal portraits of the famous and powerful in the United States and Europe, including Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, and worked for Sports Illustrated and Life magazines. Continuing her interest in active women and sports, she was the first woman on the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1953, and continued to be one of very few female sport photographers for several decades.

Nuns clamming on Long Island
Nuns clamming on Long Island
In later work she concentrated on photographing women from all walks of life, often as a commentary on the human condition.

Toni Frissell died of Alzheimer's disease on April 17, 1988

Abandoned boy holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following German aerial bombing of London, England, 1945
Abandoned boy holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following German aerial bombing of London, England, 1945
Her photographs illustrated the following books:
  • A Child's Garden of Verses (1944)
  • Bermuda: The Happy Island (1946)
  • Mother Goose (1948)


  • The King Ranch, 1939-1944 (1965)


  • Tethered, by Amy MacKinnon (August 2008)


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / Labels: ,

Remembering Nicéphore Niépce, author of world's first known photograph

March 7, 2017 /Photography News/ Born 252 years ago on March 7, 1765, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce was a French inventor, most noted for producing the world's first known photograph in 1825.

By the age of thirty, Niépce had been a professor at an Oratorian college, a staff officer in the French army, and the Administrator of the district of Nice, France. In 1795, Niepce resigned from his position as administrator of Nice to returned to Chalon-sur-Saône --his birthplace-- and pursue research with his brother Claude.

Never one to stick with one pursuit for too long, he had become fascinated with popular art of lithography by 1813. Since Niepce himself had no artistic talent, his son Isadore would make the designs for his lithographs. Niepce would place engravings (which he made transparent) on plates coated with light-sensitive varnishes and expose them to sunlight through a process he called heliography, which literally means "sun writing".

Niépce took what is believed to be the world’s first photogravure etching, in 1822, of an engraving of Pope Pius VII, but the original was later destroyed when he attempted to duplicate it. The earliest surviving photogravure etchings by Niépce are of a 17th century engraving of a man with a horse and of an engraving of a woman with a spinning wheel.

The oldest heliographic engraving known in the world. Reproduction of a 17th century Flemish engraving, showing a man leading a horse. Made by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce in 1825, with an heliography technical process. The Bibliothèque nationale de France bought it 450,000 € in 2002, deeming it as a "national treasure".
The oldest heliographic engraving known in the world. Reproduction of a 17th century Flemish engraving, showing a man leading a horse. Made by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce in 1825, with an heliography technical process. The Bibliothèque nationale de France bought it 450,000 € in 2002, deeming it as a "national treasure".
When his son Isadore was called up for military service, Niépce decided to find a way to produce images directly from nature.

Niépce sterted experimenting with silver chloride, which darkens when exposed to light, but eventually looked to bitumen, which he used in his first successful attempt at capturing nature photographically. He dissolved bitumen in lavender oil, a solvent often used in varnishes, and coated the sheet of pewter with this light capturing mixture. He placed the sheet inside a camera obscura to capture the picture, and eight hours later removed it and washed it with lavender oil to remove the unexposed bitumen. He began experimenting to set optical images in 1793. Some of his early experiments made images, but they faded very fast. The earliest known, surviving example of a Niépce photograph was created in 1825.

View from the Window at Le Gras, the first successful permanent photograph created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1825, Saint-Loup-de-Varennes. Captured on 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. Due to the 8-hour exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.
View from the Window at Le Gras, the first successful permanent photograph created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1825, Saint-Loup-de-Varennes. Captured on 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. Due to the 8-hour exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.
Starting in 1829 he began collaborating on improved photographic processes with Louis Daguerre, and together they developed the physautotype, a process that used lavender oil. The partnership lasted until Niépce’s death in 1833. Daguerre continued with experimentation, eventually developing a process that little resembled that of Niépce and naming it  the "Daguerréotype".

The Niépce Prize has been awarded annually since 1955 to a professional photographer who has lived and worked in France for over 3 years. It was introduced in honour of Nièpce by Albert Plécy of the l'Association Gens d'Images.

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Monday, March 6, 2017 / Labels: , ,

Remembering Marion Carpenter, the first White House female photographer

March 6, 2017 /Photography News/ Born 97 years ago today, on March 6, 1920, Marion A. Carpenter was the first female National Press Photographer to cover Washington, D.C., the White House and to travel with a US President.

After studying photography in St. Paul when was in her 20s, she moved to Washington to take a job at the Times-Herald before setting her sights on the White House job. Soon she became one of President Harry S. Truman's favorite photographers, being the only woman among a handful of photographers who traveled with Truman.

Her unique status made critics of some of her male colleagues, such as Washington Times-Herald columnist Tris Coffin, who complained in print that she used her feminine charms -- "smiled and teased" -- to persuade politicians to pose for her. Later, when Carpenter saw Coffin in the Senate restaurant, she sloshed a bowl of navy bean soup over his face, then stalked out. A photograph of the incident was published with the headline "Carpenter Nails Coffin."

An undated photo from Acme Telephoto: "Free-lance photographer Marion Carpenter demonstrates how she threw a bowl of Senate bean soup at columnist Tris Coffin in the Senate Dining room today. She objected to some remarks he made about her in his copyright column. Her aim was good and she scored a direct hit."
An undated photo from Acme Telephoto: "Free-lance photographer Marion Carpenter demonstrates how she threw a bowl of Senate bean soup at columnist Tris Coffin in the Senate Dining room today. She objected to some remarks he made about her in his copyright column. Her aim was good and she scored a direct hit."
According to what she told her friends late in life, a love affair with a married man may have helped end her career prematurely.

Carpenter's marriage to a Navy officer who abused her ended in divorce. In Washington, she fell in love with a Capitol journalist. When the affair ended, Carpenter remarried. Her new husband, a radio announcer, took her to Denver, where they had a son. By 1951, the marriage -- and her career -- were over. She was 31.

Back in St. Paul, Carpenter ran a wedding photo business and worked as a nurse to support her mother and child. Her later life is not well known.

Marion Carpenter died on October 29, 2002, at the age of 82 in the house on Margaret Street, nearly destitute, and alone except for her Rottweiler, Karl.

Among Carpenter's prized belongings is a book about Harry Truman, marked at a page where a photograph shows the president smelling a cherry blossom. Also in her belongings when she died were photos she took of Truman, which the president inscribed to "Miss Carpenter." One of those photos, which showed Truman striding uphill toward the Washington Monument, bears the message: "It's good exercise if you keep it up, but not for high-heeled shoes, Miss Carpenter." Even when she climbed a ladder to the top of the Capitol dome to take a picture almost 300 feet above ground in a skirt, newsmen found it hard to just be nice. A front-page photo of her, high on the ladder, was captioned: "This picture ought to prove you never can tell what a woman photographer will do next."

Detail of a Christmas card (Photograph 58-649) sent to President Truman in 1949 from Marion Carpenter
Detail of a Christmas card (Photograph 58-649) sent to President Truman in 1949 from Marion Carpenter
The White House Correspondents' Association which Carpenter belonged to, has a picture of her with other members of the WHCA who covered President Truman taken at the White House. Even though she was a member of the Association, because she was a woman she was not allowed to attend the annual WHCA dinners, which 14 Presidents had attended since 1924. It was not until 1962, when President John F. Kennedy stated he would not attend the annual dinner, that the ban on women members was lifted.

Several of Carpenter's cameras auctioned with her estate are now considered historic items. Her first camera was a Seneca Competitor View. Other cameras were the 'Rolleicord III' produced in late 1949 by the Rollei-Werke Franke and Heidecke Corporation, and the Iloca Rapid B, a German rangefinder camera from the 1950s.

A book first published in 2003 by Ramona Rush, Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education: A 30-Year Update, describes Carpenter in the preface as a "newly found pioneer White House news photographer" and provides several pages on her life. A book published in 2007 by Anne Commire, Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages, has an article on Marion Carpenter. The St. Paul Camera Club issues an annual "Marion Carpenter Award" in her honor for the best monochrome photojournalism print, also known as the "Annual Monochrome Photojournalism Print Award."
 

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Sunday, March 5, 2017 / Labels: , ,

Remembering inventor and pioneering photographer Jules Dubosq

March 5, 2017 /Photography News/ Born 200 years ago today, on March 5, 1817, Louis Jules Dubosq was a French instrument maker, inventor, and pioneering photographer.

Remembering Inventor and Pioneering Photographer Jules Dubosq, stereoscope
"Still life with skull", by Louis Jules Duboscq, ca. 1850
In 1844 David Brewster invented the stereoscope, a new invention that could take photographic images in 3D. Later, Louis Jules Duboscq took Brewster's invention, improved on it, began to manufacture the apparatus as well as to produce stereoscopic images. 

In 1851, Dubosq dispayed his pictures in London where the stereoscope attracted the attention of Queen Victoria during one of her visits at Crystal Palace. As a consequence several British and continental makers started to produce stereoscopes and stereoscopic images, and within a few years hundreds of thousands of stereoscopes were sold. 

In 1855, together with the chemist Henri Edme Robiquet, Dubosq improved the method of preserving dry collodion plates, and in 1861, he proposed the polyconograph, a camera attachment with a series of movable plateholders, which made it possible to produce a large number of small pictures on a single plate. 

In the 1860s the famous microphotographs of Rene Dagron were produced with Dubosq's equipment, and in the same years Dubosq presented an arc-light apparatus for enlarging photographic images. 

Dubosq also made several pioneering experiments on moving image technology. 

Among other instruments he built were a colorimeter, a polarimeter, and a heliostat.

Duboscq won medals at the World's Fair  in London in 1851, and in Paris in 1855 and 1856. In 1853 he published Practical Rules For Photography which discussed his apparatus. He was also an Officer of the Legion of Honour.

Dubosq died on September 24, 1886.

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Saturday, March 4, 2017 / Labels: ,

Remembering photographer Margrethe Mather


Imogen Cunningham's 1922 portrait of Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston
Imogen Cunningham's 1922 portrait of
Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston

March 4, 2017 /Photography News/ Born on March 4, 1886, Margrethe Mather was a photographer who --through her exploration of light and form-- helped to transform photography into a modern art.

Despite her amazing body of work, Margrethe Mather remains an enigmatic figure, being best known for her association with Edward Weston, widely renowned as one of the twentieth century's most important photographers. However, many consider Mather to have been Weston's mentor and teacher. She shared with him her intuitive eye for composition and her innate sense of artistic style, teaching him how to edit an image to its very essence. Being a part of the growing bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles, she also introduced him to her circle of bohemian friends, who taught him to view life from a variety of perspectives. In turn, Weston encouraged Mather to exhibit her work and compete for recognition.

Margrethe Mather was very outgoing and artistic in a flamboyant way, and her permissive sexual morals were far different from the conservative Weston at the time - Mather had been a prostitute and was bisexual with a preference for women.

Since Mather and Weston met in 1913 they worked together until he departed for Mexico in 1923 with Tina Modotti.

Player on the yit-kim, by Margrethe Mather, Los Angeles, Cal.
 Player on the yit-kim, by Margrethe Mather, Los Angeles, Cal.
The photographs Mather made, both alone and in collaboration with Weston, helped set the stage for the shift from pictorialism to modernity. Many of her photographs were more experimental than those being produced by her contemporaries.

Mather died on December 25, 1952.

Her work is featured in the book, Margrethe Mather & Edward Weston: A Passionate Collaboration (W.W. Norton & Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2001).

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Friday, March 3, 2017 / Labels: , , ,

The Craft Camera, a DIY digital cardboard camera

March 3, 2017 /Photography News/ Do you want to try your hand at making your own digital camera? Photographer Coralie Gourguechon has come up with the Craft Camera, a DIY digital camera that consists of a simple cardboard body and a low-cost electronic system from Arduino

The Craft Camera has been developed by Coralie Gourguechon as part of a personal project graduation in Product Design, on the thema "Low-Tech VS Hi-Tech".







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Tuesday, February 28, 2017 / Labels: , ,

DIY: Free printable DSLR lens hoods

February 28, 2017 /Photography News/ It isn't that lens hoods are really expensive, but if you hardly ever need one, you can probably find a better way to spend the $10-50 a lens hood would set you back.

lenshoods.co.uk and lenshoods.net are two nearly identical websites that offer free printable lens hood templates for a huge list of lenses. The only difference with lenshoods.net is that it offers hoods that are “optimized” for crop sensor cameras. Whether you need a hood for a Canon prime, a Nikon telephoto, or a Sigma macro lens, you'll find that on both sites. Templates are available in PDF format and nearly every lens has a standard round hood and a petaled hood available.

Here’s what the templates look like:

free printable lens hoods


All you need to do is print out the template (on A4, A3, or A2 paper), cut it out of black card stock, and assemble it with tape or glue.

The resulting lens hood may not make your camera look more impressive, and may not be as effective as the real thing, but you'll get it for the price of the paper you print on. 

If you’d like to have a unique looking hood for your lens, you can also design your own custom lens hood.  

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Monday, February 27, 2017 / Labels: ,

In Photos: Remembering Robert Macpherson, the first to photograph inside the Vatican

February 27, 2017 /Photography News/ Born 203 years ago on February 27, 1814, Robert Turnbull Macpherson was a Scottish artist and photographer who worked in Rome, Italy in the 19th century.

During his initial years in Rome, Macpherson practiced his art as a painter. While records exist of several works between 1840 and 1845, his only known surviving work is a large oil painting of the Roman Campagna, dated 1842. In addition to painting, he worked as an art dealer.

In 1851, having failed to achieve notice as a painter, Macpherson turned to the new art of photography, using albumin on glass negatives. By 1856 he had transitioned to collodio-albumin, allowing the easier transport of dry plates. He typically utilized large-format negatives and long exposure times to attain exceptional detail of Roman architecture, monuments, ruins, landscapes, and sculptures. His work emphasized careful composure of scenes to capture three-dimensional architectural relationships on the two-dimensional photographic medium. Macpherson emphasized the artistic aspects of his photography, stating in 1863 that "I remain a photographer to this day, without any feeling that by doing so I have abandoned art, or have in any way forfeited my claim to the title of artist."

By the early 1860s, Macpherson's photographic career was near its zenith, with exhibitions in Edinburgh and London. His work received critical acclaim, with "subjects chosen with fine taste and the pictures executed with skill and delicacy."

Macpherson was the first photographer permitted to photograph inside the Vatican, and in 1863 published Vatican Sculptures, Selected and Arranged in the Order in which they are Found in the Galleries, a guide book to 125 Vatican sculptures featuring woodcut illustrations carved by his wife from his photographs.

By the late 1860s Macpherson's fortunes were in decline. His health had deteriorated due to malaria, and the increasing political instability in Rome reduced the stream of British tourists that made up much of his customer base. At the same time, technical advances in photography moved the medium from the realm of artists to that of a commodity.

Robert Macpherson died on 17 November 1872, and was buried at San Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome, though his grave has since been lost.

Over the course of his photography career, Macpherson cataloged 1,019 photographs. Today, a significant number of Macpherson works are held at the George Eastman House, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the British School at Rome. Smaller collections are found worldwide.

Roma - Trinita dei Monti, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Roma - Trinita dei Monti, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Tomba di Cecilia Metella, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Tomba di Cecilia Metella, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)

Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, ca. 1858, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, ca. 1858, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)


Rome - St. Peter's Dome in the Vatican, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Rome - St. Peter's Dome in the Vatican, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Rome - Loggia of Raphael in the Vatican Palace, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Rome - Loggia of Raphael in the Vatican Palace, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)

Rome - Trajan's Forum and column, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
Rome - Trajan's Forum and column, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)

The Chiaramonti Museum, one among the Vatican Museums, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)
The Chiaramonti Museum, one among the Vatican Museums, Before 1872, By Robert MacPherson (1811-1872)

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