In the past few decades, we have witnessed rapid changes in the world of photography and cameras. The history of photography is long and rich, and tongue-in-cheek video from Glove and Boots will tell you about the bad sides of photography that came before our smartphones.
Kodak’s been struggling to regain its place in the world of photography ever since it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. At the time they said that “Since 2008, despite Kodak’s best efforts, restructuring costs and recessionary forces have continued to negatively impact the company’s liquidity position”. Basically, they’re not making enough money.
But why? Well, according to Cheddar’s take, it’s all down to the fact that they ignored the future of photography and the march towards digital. He suggests that Kodak intentionally shunned digital because it would be competing with and eating into the sales of its other primary product – film.
Almost 2,000 years ago, in the year 79, the Roman city of Pompeii was annihilated by Mount Vesuvius. Buried under ash, with many of its residents trapped and unable to escape it’s said to have killed around 2,000 people. It’s been a great source of interest ever since. Especially to archaeologists.
After centuries of excavation, much of the city has now been uncovered. It can be difficult to really grasp the scale of a city like Pompeii from the ground, though. But thanks to this 45-second drone video published by the Porta Stabia archaeological group, we can see a better overview of the area.
“There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work” – Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940)
Lewis Wickes Hine was an American sociologist and photographer, whose work was instrumental in changing child labour laws in the United States.
Hine is my favourite photographer. Aside from being technically excellent, his black and white photographs are some of the most important ever taken. His record of the first half of the 20th century is a unique glimpse into the real lives of working class America, and his work for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was instrumental in bringing about change for the nation’s children.
This is a story about a camera, a rather special camera. Every camera has a history, so they say. But it is not all that often that one has such a rich and documented history. One that was thought to be lost but has been found again. This is the story of Sean Flynn’s Leica M2.
I have been very lucky throughout my career to have found some amazing cameras, but every now and again you come across something that sets itself apart. This is one of those cameras. The vast majority of the cameras I see have no record, you literally have no idea where they have been. But this camera is different, it has a well documented history that was thought to have been lost. But through a bit of digging and a lot of luck the history of this camera has revealed itself.
When we think of either paparazzi or spy cameras, I believe most of us wouldn’t connect them with the late 19th century. Photographer and scientist Carl Størmer (1874 – 1957) had an unusual and controversial hobby at the time. He was only nineteen years old when he walked around Oslo with a spy camera hidden underneath his vest. He was secretly taking photos of famous men and women of the time. because of this, he is sometimes referred to as “Norway’s first paparazzi.”
We all get that feeling sometimes when we look at our work and we feel we have been creating the same kind of images for too long without experimenting. It is good to create a portfolio of work which showcases your skill in one style, but we as artists still need to experiment to grow and to keep ourselves from going insane.
A good way of being inspired to experiment is to look through your body of work, find an area you haven’t really dabbled in then put on your experimenting hat and get stuck in.
I’m sure many of you were fascinated by mysteries when you were kids. Some of you maybe still are, even though many mysteries from our childhood have been demystified, especially the photos of “paranormal activities.”
Photographer Mathieu Stern turned his childhood obsession into photos. He recreated the three most famous ghost photos that scared all of us when we were kids. In his latest video, he shows the process and the method, some history behind the images, but some fun bloopers as well. Although the video is fun, the final result of the photos brings back the memories of the times when we were still afraid of ghosts.
Total solar eclipse is coming on August 21, and I guess your cameras and protective filters are ready. But before you start filming or photographing this phenomenon, would you like to see the first ever photo of it?
Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski was the one who took the first correctly exposed daguerreotype of total solar eclipse. It was on July 28, 1851, in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). No one before him managed to do it; it’s not an easy task even today. But Berkowski made a breakthrough 166 years ago.
There’s a very succinct analogy by Marshall McLuhan, summing up our society’s focus on the past:
“We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
McLuhan was referring to technology, but his observation works just as well in the context of modern-day photography: Even as technology reshapes it, we can’t seem to stop looking longingly into the past.