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.
Do you remember the first stop-motion movie, with a galloping horse? Eadweard Muybridge made it in 1872, and the funny thing is – the first stop-motion movie was made because of a bet. The question was: do all four of the horse’s hooves leave the ground at the same time at any point of the gallop? And Leland Stanford, the founder of the Stanford University, hired Muybridge to help him settle the bet.
Selfies are a 21st-century thing, right? Well, they certainly got popular in the 2000s, but the first selfies were taken way back. Before it was cool. Photographer Joseph Byron may be responsible for the first selfies ever taken, both individual and group. I think they could easily get tons of likes on Instagram today.
Although Nikon’s official 100th birthday isn’t until July 25th, they’re starting the celebration early. And why not? 100 years is nothing to sniff at, so why limit it to just one day? Nikon Corporation, founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Japan Optical Industries Corporation) was founded when three leading optical manufacturers merged to form a single company.
Over the next few decades, they produced optical lenses (including those for early Canon cameras), binoculars, microscopes and inspection equipment. During World War II, they also manufactured bomb sights and periscopes for the Japanese military. Since then, they’ve helped to push camera technology in ways nobody could have ever imagined. The company itself has also gone through a lot of development of its own in that time, too.
The principles of photography really haven’t changed all that much since its early beginnings. The technology has come a long way, the recording mediums have evolved, but the fundamental principles are still the same. You still need a light tight box (your camera body), something to project light from your scene to the inside of the box (a lens), something on which to record it (film or a sensor) and a way to control the exposure (shutter).
In this 1948 training film from the US Navy, we learn about the history of photography as it stood at that time. We take a look at the original camera obscura and how it evolved into the bleeding edge technology of mid 20th century. That technology may be a far cry from where it is today, but some things never change.
Recently me and Joseph Parry got to collaborate with lighting equipment company Pixapro, on a promotional shoot to showcase how their equipment can be used on location, and in various environments. The Maiden is the first of these shoots. Shoots can be born in many ways, The Maiden was birthed from an idea I had a while back walking through the infamous Cottingley woods, which is not too far from where I live.[Read More…]