Photos never taken

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on September 24, 2006

Michael David Murphy is running a great blog which is filled with photos he never took. This is the latest of his unphotographables:

This is a picture I did not take of a man eating a burrito while walking down the street carrying a brand new 20-inch 55cc gas-powered chainsaw, nor is it of the look on his face when he passed a woman pulling an empty shopping cart with a six-foot long plastic battle ax tucked beneath her arm.

Amazing imagery! I wish he had taken this and the others he writes about. Btw, he does take photos as well.

David Octavius Hill

Posted in History of Photography, Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on September 20, 2006

David Octavius Hill devoted most of his life to improving the arts in Scotland. He published the first lithographic view of Scotland in “Sketches of Scenery in Perthshire” (1821), and also produced lithographs for “The Works of Robert Burns.” He was a portrait painter, and once Secretary of the Scottish Academy of painting, an Academy which he himself had established.

In 1843 a major upheaval in the Church of Scotland took place, resulting in the formation of the Free Church of Scotland. Its first meeting took place in May that year, and was considered sufficiently momentous to have the event commemorated in a painting. The task was quite formidable, as there were four hundred and seventy people present, and it was intended that each of these people should be present in the painting. Sketching each person individually would have been a colossal task. A much respected scientist of the day, Sir David Brewster, saw in the newly invented calotype process the solution, and suggested that Hill, who was secretary of the Scottish Academy, go into partnership with a chemist, Robert Adamson.

(click on the image for the hi-res)

To this end Hill and Adamson took individual portraits of the clerics. The painting, which took twenty-three years to complete, is in the Hall of the Presbytery, Edinburgh, but the photograph is the more remembered. Hill was paid £1500 for the task. The painting is very large, measuring 12ft x 4ft 8ins.

Hill and Adamson’s pictures are all calotypes. One of them has, on the reverse, “Sol fecit” (the sun made it.)

In 1847 Robert Adamson died, aged only 27, and Hill gave up photography and returned to painting. The short partnership is all the more remarkable for the large output; in the four years more than 1500 calotypes had been produced. The Hill and Adamson photographs are much valued today, whilst Hill’s paintings are ignored and forgotten.


sources: text, images 0102


Leica M8 review & the miracles of modern technology

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on September 19, 2006

Thanks to Chris Weeks recent blog entry i came along something very interesting which is (to a certain degree) funny as well. Erwin Puts wrote an indepth-review about the new digital Leica M8 and posted some test photos along with it. It seems that pictures taken with the M8 are still under an embargo and not allowed to be published yet, which can be understood from a certain point of view. Due to the wonders of modern technology and google’s cache system the site, though the photos have been removed when you follow the original link , can still be seen in its complete glory.

Ironic, isnt it? Well, modern times!

Josef Sudek

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on September 15, 2006

extract of a longer article:

“Josef Sudek was born in 1896 in Kolin on the Labe in Bohemia. As a boy he learned the trade of bookbinding. He was drafted into the Hungarian Army in 1915 and served on the Italian Front until he was wounded in the right arm. Infection set in and eventually surgeons removed his arm at the shoulder. During his convalescence in an Army Hospital, he began photographing his fellow inmates. After his discharge, Sudek studied photography for two years in a school for graphic art in Prague. Between a disability pension and intermitment work as a commercial photographer, Sudek made a living. In 1933, he held his first one-man show in the Krasnajizba salon. Since 1947, he has published eight books. In the early 1950’s, Sudek acquired an 1894 Kodak Panorama camera whose spring-drive sweeping lens makes a negative 10 cm x 30 cm. He employed this exotic format to make a stunning series of cityscapes of Prague, published in 1959.

Sudek’s work first appeared in America in 1974 when the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, gave him a retrospective exhibition. The same year Light Gallery in New York City showed an exhibition of his photographs. On his 80th birthday in April, 1976, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague inaugurated a comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Sudek’s work which later appeared at the Photographer’s Gallery, London.

In spite of his disability, Sudek always used large format cameras and from the 1940’s on he made only contact prints. He worked without assistants in the open air in city and countryside. His hunched figure supporting a huge wooden tripod was a familiar sight in Prague. Although he never married and was rather shy, he was not a recluse and was renowned for his weekly soirees for listening to classical music from his vast record collection. Sudek died quietly and without suffering or illness in mid-September 1976 in Prague.”

source: Josef Sudek by Charles Sawyer [Originally published in Creative Camera, April 1980, Number 190]

Morning Trolley (Prague)

Sunday Afternoon on Kolin Island

Z Invalidovny (From the Veterans Hospital)

In Church

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has a large collection of Josef Sudeks photographs online. You might as well have a look at the Sudek-Atelier.

Leica goes digital – Leica M8 video

Posted in Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on September 14, 2006

For everyone dreaming of winning the jackpot and not knowing what to spent the money for, here is an idea. Why not spent $4.800 on this Leica M8, the new digital Leica? See this small video for a short presentation of the Leica M8 in use.