Restoring An Antique Tintype
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It's amazing what a skilled set of hands can do with a tool as powerful as Photoshop. Take, for instance, the world of photographic restoration. It's a different set of skills than just the regular old image editing and retouching so many of us do in our regular photographic workflows. When it comes to restoring an old image, I can't think of any challenge more daunting than a 19th century tintype. Here's a link to a collection of these photographs, which were made right on a sheet of metal. Check out the amazing transformation that takes place in this restoration project, and keep it in mind the next time you feel like a retouching project is too daunting.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Okay, one more fireworks post. I found lots of shards and rocket remnants in my city yard last week, and one of them was big enough to tote a D-SLR camera aloft, I'm sure. Well that's just what these folks did when they stuck a camera to a rocket and shot it into the air. Repeatedly. Actually, it wasn't a D-SLR, but a little pocket video camera. And it worked well regardless. The video is a bit disorienting, sure, but it's also pretty darn cool. Thank goodness for tiny digital video cameras, and the people crazy enough to risk their destruction in search of cool footage.
Fireworks Time Lapse
Monday, July 11, 2011
So, one week ago the nation was celebrating. People everywhere were blowing up all sorts of fireworks to commemorate the rockets' red glare on the fourth of July. In my neighborhood the practice was... extreme, to say the least. In fact, it sounded the way this great video looks. It's a time-lapse of the Chicago skyline dotted with fireworks wherever you look. Fireworks which, coincidentally, are illegal within the city limits. And since this video's so neat, I can sort of see the appeal. But still, just to be clear, setting off fireworks in a crowded neighborhood later than 11pm kind of makes you a jerk, at least around my house, no matter how cool they look.
Linda McCartney's Thoughtful Photographs
Friday, July 8, 2011
I've been seeing a lot of Linda McCartney's work lately. And that's a good thing, because before now I never realized what a talented photographer she was. I'd always sort of assumed she was a rock star wife in the right place at the right time, fortunate to photograph the Beatles in their heyday from behind the scenes. But that was my mistake, one born out of simple ignorance. The release of a beautiful new Taschen retrospective of her work has prompted many photo blogs—including Brain Pickings, which finally prompted me to write about the late Mrs. Sir Paul—to feature her work. What a talent. The images show that she was a gifted photographer who certainly would have been a success no matter what she would have turned her camera to. Along with the Brain Pickings collections, there's another great gallery of her work at Everyday I Show, which is well worth checking out whether you love everything Beatles related, or if you just like being inspired by wonderful photography.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Amazing outdoor photographer Carr Clifton is releasing a beautiful new book called Sacred Headwaters, which serves as a visual accompaniment to National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis as he fights to save the Sacred Headwaters of three wild rivers in British Columbia. Filled with beautiful images from land and air, this collection is a must have for fans of Clifton's work, for those who appreciate this endangered area, and for anyone with an interest in the natural world and efforts—by artists and others—to protect it. Read more about the book and the project at Clifton's web site, then click over to Greystone Books to order a copy for yourself.
Own Your Own McCurry
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I've been fortunate in my career to interview some of the greatest photographers around. None of them have been greater, or more influential, or have had such an impact on me personally, than Magnum photographer Steve McCurry. Perhaps best known for his iconic "Afghan Girl" National Geographic cover, McCurry has a tremendous portfolio of images—many of them portraits—from three decades traveling the world. He's a true photographic icon, and if like me you are a huge admirer of his work you may want to look into the new Iconic Photographs limited edition book from publisher Phaidon. Complete with a limited edition photographic print, the book is signed and numbered (up to 3,300) by Mr. McCurry himself. At just under $400 it's an option for collecting his work that is within reach of those who aren't the typical millionaire art collector. And a great way to own a collection of fabulous documentary and portrait photographs from one of the world's best photographers.
Moby Photos: Destroyed
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This week is all about photo books. We'll start with one by Moby. You know, Moby, that quiet little bald guy with glasses who makes that loud fun dance music stuff? He's actually a pretty talented artist in a variety of arenas. He supports artists too, allowing independent filmmakers like you and me to use his music free of charge—which I have done. Well his talents also extend to photography as well, and he's got a new book and London exhibit that coincided with last month's release of a brand new album, Destroyed. Apparently Mr. Moby takes his camera wherever he goes, and this book documents his travels around the world as a touring musician. Check out the work via the Hotshoe blog, and consider supporting this artist who supports the work of so many others by buying his new book, or maybe the record by the same name—which of course features a Moby photograph on the cover as well.
Old Egypt In Color
Friday, July 1, 2011
Regular readers know of my fetish for antique images of exotic locales that have been photographed in color well ahead of the time when color images were commonplace. Well here's a pair of great galleries I've added to my must-see list. First is a group of photographs of Egypt from the early 1900s at the Brain Pickings blog. They're lantern slides—like glass transparencies—that were used in "magic lantern" viewers. Images from Egypt generally spark our western interests on their own, so this gallery of 100-year-old color photos is nothing short of mesmerizing. The second gallery is filled with images from a locale that isn't quite so exotic: the good ol' US of A. But the images are from the wild west in the 1920s and 30s, so they aren't your everyday fare. And as color photos, they're remarkably rare. Fascinating for photographers and historians alike, whether you just appreciate the oddity of seeing old worlds in color, or whether you just appreciate a glimpse into the past that isn't quite as abstract as black & white.