Posts

Wet Plate Collodion Weekend 2015 – Llanthony Priory, Wales

Last weekend of the 7th, 8th and 9th of August myself and a bunch of other wet plate photographers gathered ourselves in a field just besides the gorgeous ruins of the Llanthony Priory in Wales, UK. We met up on the Friday afternoon, or rather in the evening for those of us that needed to come from far flung corners of the UK and Scotland (and Geralt from the USA) and we would start our wet plating on the Saturday morning. Getting there almost proved too much of a challenge as my satnav decided to give up 30 miles before reaching the final destination. Lucky for me, I found someone with a map! IMG_9907 Brilliantly arranged once again by Tony Richards (you can find his blog here), there was an easily accessible field for our dark tents, running water and a pub on site. I brought along my newly purchased and blacked out Eskimo 3 quickfish tent, a gift for my birthday this year, but still opted to shoot with my small half-plate camera as I know the camera are silverbath are in good working order and the plate holder is light tight. The amount of space in the Eskimo tent now means I can go up in plate sizes as I'll finally have space for that silver bath I still mean to build!IMG_9944 We started our Friday in the pub, catching up with old and new friends. The camp site was fine, the grass wet and dewwy and the night just a bit cold. Ahhhh Camping in the UK, always a joy!
IMG_9949

the stars were out in force!

 

SATURDAY

On the Saturday morning, we get started. The first few plates seem to be ok. Not without their faults, but acceptable. The first few go into the bin or on the recycling pile. I get a couple of good plates, but I also see some issues that I've not had to this extent. On the plus side, I've had a lot less problems with crepe lines. Some plates work fine, and I'll be proud to add them to my permanent collection.

159-1

Like this 'staining'

154-3

I love this one!

IMG_9915

Digital snap of the same spot

164-8

Technically OK, just a shame that the framing isn't very good....

150-1

As the afternoon heated up, we had a LOT of fogging issues

 

SUNDAY

I had gone to bed a bit earlier this time and set my alarm at stupid-o-clock in the morning, to start shooting around 6.45. Since most of us will be packing up and driving back home today, we won't have the entire day. Starting with a view on the priory that was popular with my fellow wetplaters the day before, I tried to catch the early morning sun as it passes onto the ruins. After a test plate on glass (which was an utter failure) I tried another, which I messed up in my plate holder, hence the damage in the center. This was 40 seconds on f22. I have no idea why I got that watery crap on the edge of my plate though. My best guess at this moment is that I may not have developed as well as I could have, or rinsed as well as I should have.

163-7

oops

158-6

Attempt 2. The sun hits the priory. I digitally cleaned up the sky a little, but there's still a lot going on there

IMG_0018

my Eskimo tent on the right - proud part of an eskimo tent line-up 🙂

 

Giving up on that view as the sun had now gone behind a large stack of clouds, I moved my camera a little closer to my darkroom. The rest of this day would be overcast but also less hot, providing us with less contrast and less fogging issues.

156-4

One of several attempts

151-2

also a personal favourite

157-5

The last shot of the weekend

  The whole weekend has been an absolute joy - the location, the company, the activities, the food and drink at the bar.... even the weather. Good luck to Tony for trying to top this one next year, I know I'll be looking forward to it!

Wetplating with Wil

Here I am sat, on my birthday, packed and ready for a fun weekend of wet plating frolicking in Wales, poised to go our for dinner with my husband, that I remember my wet plating session with Wil. So I'll just leave these here.....   112-2   111-1 114-3

California Honeymoon

Monday, May 4th

We take our own car to Heathrow, as parking there for 2 weeks turns out to be about the same price as taking the train. No hauling suitcases for us and we arrive well on time. The moment we try to check in, it turns out that I made a stupid little mistake on Sean's Esta, putting in an o instead of an 0, and he cannot be cleared to fly until we book another one on my mobile. This is super stressful but I am very glad that for the first time in a long while my phone just does what it's asked to do. About 12 hours later we are in the USA, collect our upgraded rental car and drive to the hotel. I am happy we brought out own satnav as I wouldn't have wanted to navigate the streets of LA by map at night. Or by map at all! We arrive around 22:00 at the hotel.

IMG_7487

Tuesday, May 5th

After a rough and restless night we wake up silly early and cannot seem to go back to sleep. We get up at 6.30, have breakfast at the hotel around 7.30 and off for Hollywood. We see the walk of fame and sunset boulevard (which is a bit of a...dump) but we're too early for most thing to even be open! After a much-needed coffee and a view of the Hollywood sign through a tourist binocular, we are off to see the sign closer-up.

We drive to the observatory through an amazing neighbourhood to a fantastic view over the city and hills. In the afternoon we go to the Citadel outlet shopping centre where we spend money on things we don't really need; apart from my wetsuit ofcourse!

We have out dinner at a diner, which was a poor choice and more for convenience sake than anything else. Sean is hoping to join a local Kyukushin Dojo for their Tuesday training session tonight. He can, and does, and I for one am very impressed as I sit on the side trying really hard not to fall asleep....

IMG_7488

OMG

IMG_7492

IMG_7498

IMG_7506 IMG_7517

IMG_7528

IMG_7542 IMG_7543

IMG_7548

Wednesday, May 6th

We're going to Disneyland!!! The ride over is smooth and after putting down $17 for parking we take the little tram to the entrance. The day start off great; The bobsled ride (Matterhorn) that Sean wants to go into, is closed for maintenance. We head into Toontown and get stuck in a ride that's breaking down! Then we find out that pretty much all the big rides are closed - in all fairness, there was a list at the entrance, but we were way too excited to get in to look at it properly. We still have fun in several silly rides, have a blast with the great purchase of a pair of  Malificent horns (small children are easily convinced you are a villain on a day off) and going on Splash Mountain was a baaaad choice. The Indiana Jones ride, as well as the Finding Nemo submarines were an unexpected success. Then, as a final stroke of genius, the park shuts early!!!! At 19:00 things start shutting down, restaurants closing and everyone gets kicked out at 19:30.....Boooo!

IMG_7555

IMG_7559

IMG_7582

Thursday, May 7th

After a broken night due to an alarm going off, we get up, pack our bags and have breakfast. We fail to find the address to 'It's a wrap' vintage shop on the satnav, so we point it toward Jack's Surf outlet instead. We find it (disappointing), we find a secondhand bookshop nearby (also disappointing) and finally and most wonderful antique shop, filled with goodies. Ellie, the owner of Gramma's Attic is lovely (and also went to the early-closing Disneyland yesterday) and we end up taking away a gorgeous black dress and a 1920's-1930's ice cream scoop. We then continue to Huntington beach where we have a great lunch at a 'good food' place and shop somewhat for bikini's and surfboards. The weather is cloudy and a little chilly and there is no waves.

Later in the afternoon we take the I-5 south to San Diego. Along the way we managed to slow puncture the front tire, which we keep filling up and after checking into the hotel we exchange the car at Dollar rental. Since we're already in that area we go into Old Town for some Mexican food.

IMG_7592

IMG_7595 IMG_7596

Friday, May 8th

Tonight, and this morning in San Diego it doesn't just rain - it pours! Bad news for us is that this means that we cannot go surfing, unless we'd like to risk infections and/ or becoming very ill. Apparently, when it rains after a dry spell, all the crap from the city washes into the sea. Not only that, they get the rubbish from Mexico on top of that! Needless to say, we stay on dry land today. We talk a while with a surf dude at 'the Surf Bunker' named Travis, who recommends going to the Wavehouse further down the road. With our luck though, its closed! Closed!!

Thank goodness there is an arcade next door that is open and we throw some quarters at our misery. Afterwards, we drive to San Diego antique district where we have beautiful burritos for lunch / early dinner and shop around a little. Sean even manages to find some retro games to take home. We then ask the satnav to take us to a cinema, to have a look if there is anything we want to see perhaps, it guides us to Sea World... which is closed....and after resetting the directions to another cinema it doesn't have anything we'd like to see.

Back at the hotel, we walk to a pizza place for cake and margaritas and quickly jump into the hotel pool before it shuts for the night.

IMG_7633

IMG_7626

IMG_7617 IMG_7616

Saturday, May 9th

We check out of our hotel in the morning, drive to the same Japanese-run fruit-and-crepe place we had breakfast yesterday and then go on to a secondhand board shop we passed yesterday (you may have guessed by now that it was closed at that time). Sean finds himself a great board, just what he was looking for. Across the road there is a kite festival going on and we decide to join in by getting ourselves a dragon kite. We have ice creams, enjoy the show and the great weather for today the sun is out in force!

At around 13:00 we set our satnav back to LA, first to the Anaheim center of photography. We arrive around 16:30 - it looks abandoned and it's... CLOSED! When the machine wants to charge us $14 for the privilege of undergoing this nonsense, I throw a little fit and get back in the car without paying the ticket. Lucky for me, a kind lady actually lets us out of the complex. We try the Getty instead. The satnav guides us to the rear of the building and after some cursing, swearing and honking by my fellow road users, we arrive at the Getty. Which is open!

We view their photography collection on display and after being thoroughly disappointed with the (second half of the) day, we pay for parking and head towards our hotel.

IMG_7650

IMG_7666

Sunday, May 10th

Today, we're off to the Rosebowl, a giant monthly fleamarket held in Pasadena, LA. We get up at 6:30, enjoy our complimentary breakfast, pack up and we're on our way. We get there nice and early around 7:30 and dang! They did not lie when they said it was big! We decide to skip all the new stuff as we won't have time for that and focus on the antiques and vintage clothing sections as those will be hard enough to cover as-is. There is some amazing stuff for sale on this market - some cheap, some bizar, some wonderful and everything suited for every budget. We manage to find some amazing things: I get a short dress with apple print, a small musical box with a dancing man, a flight suit and a full leather sports / weekend bag. Sean finds a retro skateboard deck, fully made of wood and a bunch of retro games.

With pain in my heart, we leave around 13:00 to head for Vegas.

Driving through the Mojave desert is not as I imagined it. It's not actually very desolate with petrol stations around every other corner - and what's up with those little fences next to the Motorway? Are they afraid people will wander off into nowhere? We stop a few times and reach Vegas around 18:00. We booked a room at the Luxor (the pyramid) and after refreshing ourselves, I change into my old new black Cinderella dress for dinner and we take a walk on the strip.

IMG_7672

96-10

98-11

99-12

IMG_7705 IMG_7710

Monday, May 11th

We agree that Vegas is a little like Disneyland meets Times Square; the buildings are mad and everything is expensive around here. Even though we are - I am - happy to have seen it, we're also happy to have been here at night time. It looks so .... dead... during the day! We drive towards the North side of the strip to try and find the 'World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop' from the TV show. It's a lot smaller than we thought it would be and after checking out the other shops as well, just across the street we set off for Death Valley.

Today's drive will be out longest, according to our planning so wanting a fairly early start we leave Vegas at 11:00. Within the hour, there are plains with Joshua trees, mountain ranges and vast open spaces of hostile rocky terrain. We see sand dunes, salt flats, gravel pits, dust plain, dust devils and snowy hilltops. This is amazing and I am a little sad that I 'only' brought my medium format camera with me, instead of a proper proper old big one.

We get to our destination, a hotel at a half-way point at around 20:30, half an hour before reception closes for the night. We settle in with some store-bought cheesecake and a B horror movie. And I can tell you that watching a B-horror movie, set in a small town in the middle of nowhere is NOT a good thing to watch when staying overnight in a small town in the middle of nowhere!

IMG_7725 IMG_7727

IMG_7728

IMG_7735

IMG_7744

IMG_7752 IMG_7753

65-6

84-9

Tuesday, May 12th

After a restless night we pack up and go find breakfast in the nearest town. We have a look around some small shops, get a drink in the saloon (it has horse ties and swinging doors and everything!) and set course for the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. Our hotel keeper advised us a different route than satnav wanted us to take, so we drove for many a mile through orange growing country before going off into the hills again. Along the way we stop at a lovely antiques shop where I manage to find a few stereo cards to add to my ever growing collection.

Going through Sequoia National Park is tough - an hours of slowly winding upwards, fortunately with stunning views to easy my pain. We reach the old man around 17:00, have a good look around - but not too good as it's freezing cold up here - and then go find food and out hotel for the night.

IMG_7813 IMG_7808

IMG_7815

IMG_7819

IMG_7829

Sherman! Buddy!

IMG_7839

IMG_7830

58-5

Wednesday, May 13th

We leave the hotel early in the morning, after some amazing complimentary self-cooked waffles. Today we'll be setting course for Yosemite National Park. We drive a while and stop along the way at some random antique shops and I manage to find myself a beast of an X-ray lens. I don't yet know how I should be using it - let's just say it won't be for original purposes. We reach Yosemite proper at around 13:00, drive a little further in but do not really have time to do a walk as we had planned as we'll need to reach San Fran by the end of today. We also managed to miss inspiration point, but I suppose the Tunnel view vantage point more than made up for that. We also have our lunch there, on a log next to a stream....ahhh. Relaxation! It's out first 'normal' sandwiches we have had here and the desert we got - a cake/custard vanilla/ banana whatever sort of pudding mix - is utterly delicious!

Then, we drive another 3+ hours to San Francisco, arriving at around 19:30. We check online for tickets to Alcatraz, but as it turns out, May is not a slow season around here and everything is sold out! The night tours are even sold out for the next 2 months! Oh well, we head out for a slice of pizza and dive into a book shop that's open late.

36-3

48-4

IMG_7849 IMG_7860 IMG_7861

IMG_7873

IMG_7885

Thursday, May 14th

Today we'll be spending the day in San Fransisco. Going up Polk street, we have breakfast at a 'French' Boulangerie place, having coffee from a cereal bowl (honestly, these Americans! ;-)) Visiting the Fisherman's Wharf, we quickly determine this is NOT for us as the area is overly touristy and walking onwards to the Alcatraz landing dock we see that normal tours are booked up till Tuesday. Sean does receive some kind compliments on his wooden skateboard deck from the local bums, which is nice. We take a street tram towards Mission street - we are hoping to find a skate shop that can fit Sean's deck with some trucks and wheels. We find one and he gets the work done.

We carry on a few blocks to a bunch of Antique and thrift stores before going towards Chinatown. Chinatown, like Fisherman's wharf is unfortunately yet another tourist trap. We do sit in at a great teashop, having a full-on taster session with the salesgirl. We opted for dinner at the 'Great Eastern Restaurant', a place where apparently Barack Obama once had a Dim Sum take-away, or so the proudly displayed newspaper clipping tells us. We walk back to the Hotel UP the giant sloping hills, wandering what it would be like to live here (and having to carry shopping bags up this hill....and what if you forgot the butter....?)

IMG_7890

32-1 IMG_7907 IMG_7913

Friday, May 15th

We walk over to Lombard street 'the crookedest street in the world' - which was yet again, disappointing. We walk back to our hotel to check out and head over to Santa Cruz instead. Sadly for us, there's not much surf going on. The winds are fierce (and a bit chilly). We park at the hotel, take a walk on the pier where we spot a group of sea lions chilling out, go over the boardwalk and have some hotdogs for lunch. The place we decided to sit down at, the picnic basket also does these amazing wild flavours of ice cream, most of them from local farms.

We take the car for a drive round some other beaches in the area and to a local surfshop to get Sean a boardbag. We visit the museum of surfing at the lighthouse and then lo and behold! There's waves!! Sean heads out on his new board, we meet a new surfer in the area and help him out a bit. Afterwards, we head into the Santa Cruz main street for dinner and some late night shopping. I could get used to shops being open till 22:00!

33-2

IMG_7978 IMG_7939

IMG_7944

70-7

Saturday, May 16th

We have some complimentary waffles and head out to the beach. Again, no waves! Instead, we check out some of the sample sales advertised along the roads and make several unplanned stops for yard sales in between. At a local surfshop, Sean finds some tiny fins to go with his board and I find some vintage clothing to put on Etsy. Win!

We then drive South along the Coastal Highway, stopping countless times to take photos. When we arrive at our hotel for tonight, the historic Santa Maria Inn, it turns out that it played host to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Eva Gardner, Judy Garland, etc etc. No=one famous stayed in our room, however. We take it easy for the night as there is nothing to do or see in this area.

IMG_8006

IMG_8008

IMG_8009 IMG_8023

IMG_8032

IMG_8042

Sunday, May 17th

We get up quite late and re-pack all of our stuff. My hand luggage now has a killer weight due to that massive 'radioactive' lens I just 'had' to buy. We enjoy a continental breakfast and set off to Venice beach, where we booked the last hotel of this trip. We are hoping to meet up with James Cooper, one of Sean's former colleagues who lives somewhere in the area. We arrive fairly early and after a bit of faff parking the car, we walk up to Santa Monica Boulevard, play a few games in the arcade and end up at 'Hama Sushi' in Venice for food. They are not the cheapest place, I'm sure, but their dishes seem quite original and sure were tasty!

IMG_8063

IMG_8076 IMG_8068

IMG_8057

Monday, May 18th

It is our final morning and again, there are no waves! We have been unlucky on this trip with quite a few things, but thank goodness there was also plenty fun stuff and more than enough to make us want to come back!

We have out breakfast at a nearby cafe, complete with building site ambience. We grab the car, check out a few shops on the South side of Venice and then drive towards Santa Monica. There, we get bored real quick with the dime-a-dozen up-scale shops, but we do manage to find a massive charity shop. We have crepes for lunch and head back to the car. The car!! Where did that car go!!!!

PANIC STATIONS EVERYONE!!! WHERE DID THAT CAR GO!?!?!

Turns out we were looking in the wrong building.....sigh....

The rest of the day runs smoothly, dropping off the car, getting to the airport and faking my hand luggage really isn't that heavy at all. Bye bye California! We hope to visit again soon!

IMG_8093

Wet Plate Photoshoot: Wil & Varun

Just after the last wet plate weekend in the Peak District, I photographed two friends on consecutive days. They both know Calvin (see his shoot here) from their weight lifting club and Calvin had been kind enough to recommend me for a shoot.   On the Tuesday, It was Wil Solano. I have to admit I was pleased to meet him. A polite, intelligent and somewhat soft-spoken man, he seemed enthusiastic about the photographic process and his plates came out better than many I had tried before. Maybe it was because of the great weekend we have had recently, or maybe I am getting a bit better with timing, pouring etc. but also the fact that strong men with beards seem to capture well in this process. 🙂  
Wil

Wil

Wil

Wil

  On the Wednesday I would meet Varun Choda, a big fella, easy to smile with a good sense of humour, with an equally impressive beard. Maybe I shouldn't be photographing people with beards - I'm having serious beard-envy! Can you believe that this guy is still single? I'm loving how the images we captured all seem to be a blast from the past - we started with a test plate with just his arms folded, which led to 'you look like you should be holding a massive hammer' to: ' I only have this one!'. He told me he likes art and to paint, so we did another version with brushes, which I believe came out better. His portrait came out as well as Wil's the day before and he kindly agreed to sit for one last plate. He looked quite the sight in the middle of a cemetery sitting at a tiny table staring intently into the lens!  
untitled-124

Varun with hammer

Varun

Varun with brushes

Varun

Varun portrait

untitled-128

The bad guy in a 1970s Hong Kong Movie?

     

Overly bored in Overijssel

The last few weeks my life have taken a drastic turn for the worst as we had to move back to Europe to settle in with my parents for the time being, the job in Sydney lost and our Visas cancelled. The weather has been horrid and cold, with a occasional blasting of ice and snow and all of us, including my folks (my mom does volunteering work, my dad works in construction) were forced to sit in. Sean managed to get a few interviews, the last of which went pretty well and he was asked to come over the Ubisoft Bluebyte in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the supposedly last phase of testing. We are currently keeping our fingers crossed on that one! Myself, I had to keep occupied with reading (the 'Malazan book of the Fallen' series of Erikson), more reading (photography books, magazines - have found a nice little book with some chemical formulae for developers and such, which I will share within the next few weeks), yet more reading (antique books), shopping (charity shops, the local auction house) and visiting friends. I have bought a gigantic camera, found a lens to go with it and created a funding campaign on Indiegogo.com to get some sponsorship in getting things up and running. Because lets be honest, I could use some help ....... I am ironing out the last details on this campaign, so look out for it within the next couple of days!   IMG_7061 (2)                 I also managed to find yet more un-posted Medium format images, although I believe these will be the very last one I took in Sydney. They are of Helsa, a model fairly local to Bondi Beach, where we held our shoot on a bright and blazing Sunday morning. A few members of the Sydney Analogue Photographers Meetup Group were in attendance, despite the heat and crowds.  

no images were found

  Behind the scenes:  

no images were found

 

Pages

Annie Leibovitz

Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on the 2nd of October 1949 as the third of six children. Her mother, Marilyn Edith, née Heit, was a modern dance instructor of Estonian Jewish heritage; her father, Samuel Leibovitz, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved frequently with her father's duty assignments, and she took her first pictures when he was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War.

In high school, she became interested in various artistic endeavors, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while working various jobs. Photographers such as Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson influenced her during this time. "Their style of personal reportage - taken in a graphic way - was what we were taught to emulate."

When Leibovitz returned to the United States in 1970, she started her career as staff photographer, working for the just launched Rolling Stone magazine. She photographed The Rolling Stones in San Francisco in 1971 and 1972, and served as the concert-tour photographer for Rolling Stones Tour of the Americas '75. In 1973, publisher Jann Wenner named Leibovitz chief photographer of Rolling Stone, a job she would hold for 10 years. Leibovitz worked for the magazine until 1983, and her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the Rolling Stone look.Richard Avedon's portraits became an important and powerful example in her life; she learned that she could work for magazines and still create personal work.

On December 8, 1980, Leibovitz had a photo shoot with John Lennon for Rolling Stone, promising him that he would make the cover.She had initially tried to get a picture with just Lennon alone, which is what Rolling Stone wanted, but Lennon insisted that both he and Yoko Ono be on the cover. Leibovitz then tried to re-create something like the kissing scene from the Double Fantasy album cover, a picture that she loved. She had John remove his clothes and curl up next to Yoko on the floor. Leibovitz recalls, "What is interesting is she said she'd take her top off and I said, 'Leave everything on' — not really preconceiving the picture at all. Then he curled up next to her and it was very, very strong. You couldn't help but feel that he was cold and he looked like he was clinging on to her. I think it was amazing to look at the first Polaroid and they were both very excited. John said, 'You've captured our relationship exactly. Promise me it'll be on the cover.' I looked him in the eye and we shook on it."Leibovitz was the last person to professionally photograph Lennon—he was shot and killed five hours later.

In the 1980s, Leibovitz's new style of lighting and use of bold colors and poses got her a position with Vanity Fair magazine. Leibovitz photographed celebrities for an international advertising campaign for American Express charge cards, winning her a Clio award in 1987. In 1991, Leibovitz mounted an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. She was the second living portraitist and first woman to show there. Leibovitz claims she never liked the word "celebrity". "I've always been more interested in what they do than who they are, I hope that my photographs reflect that."

In 2001, her daughter Sarah Cameron Leibovitz was born, when Leibovitz was 52 years old. Her twins (two girls) Susan and Samuelle were born to a surrogate mother in May 2005. Leibovitz was not married, but had a close relationship with noted writer and essayist Susan Sontag. They met in 1989, when both had already established notability in their careers. Even though Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag never formally stated their relationship Annie has said in her book A Photographers life "Words like 'companion' and 'partner' were not in our vocabulary. [....] We were two people who helped each other through our lives. The closest word is still 'friend'." Susan Sontag, a noted essayist and art critic, died in 2004.

Leibovitz is working, publishing and exhibiting her work to this day.

Lewis Hine

Today I ashamedly admit I picked this specific photographer not because his work isn't any good - but because his story is fairly straightforward (and I need to pack a bag because I'll be going away for the weekend!). It strikes me how some photographers can produce stunning work, which later on will be viewed as some of the best work even made - and it can still be seen by their peers, within their own timeframe, as inherently worthless. OK, OK, worthless may be too big a statement - but you know what I mean.
  Lewis Wickes Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on the 26th of September, 1874. After his father died in an accident, he began working and saved his money for a college education. He studied sociology at the University of Chicago, Columbia University and New York University and then became a teacher in New York City at the Ethical Culture School, where he encouraged his students to use photography as an educational medium. The classes traveled to Ellis Island in New York Harbor, photographing the thousands of immigrants who arrived each day. Between 1904 and 1909, Hine took over 200 photographic plates, and eventually came to the realization that documentary photography could be employed as a tool for social change and reform. In 1906, Hine became the staff photographer of the Russell Sage Foundation. Here Hine photographed life in the steel-making districts and people of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the influential sociological study called the Pittsburgh Survey. In 1908, he became the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), leaving his teaching position. Over the next decade, Hine documented child labor, with focus on labor in the Carolina Piedmont,in American industry to aid the NCLC's lobbying efforts to end the practice. During and after World War I, he photographed American Red Cross relief work in Europe. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Hine made a series of "work portraits," which emphasized the human contribution to modern industry. In 1930, Hine was commissioned to document the construction of The Empire State Building. Hine photographed the workers in precarious positions while they secured the iron and steel framework of the structure, taking many of the same risks the workers endured. In order to obtain the best vantage points, Hine was swung out in a specially designed basket 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue. He would work again for the Red Cross, this time during the Great Depression photographing drought relief in the American South, and for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), documenting life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. He also served as chief photographer for the Works Progress Administration's (WPA) National Research Project, which studied changes in industry and their effect on employment. Hine was also a member of the faculty of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. In 1936, Hine was selected as the photographer for the National Research Project of the Works Projects Administration, but his work there was never completed. The last years of his life were filled with professional struggles due to loss of government and corporate patronage. Few people were interested in his work, past or present, and Hine lost his house and applied for welfare. He died at age 66 on November 3, 1940 at Dobbs Ferry Hospital in Dobbs Ferry, New York, after an operation. After Lewis Hine's death his son Corydon donated his prints and negatives to the Photo League, which was dismantled in 1951. The Museum of Modern Art was offered his pictures but did not accept them; but the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York did.  

no images were found

     
img_0611-115x115

Robert Capa

Over the next few days I'd like to delve into the lives of the photographers that founded the Magnum Photo agency. I've come across Capa on several occasions now in my work for Linus Carr and it was about time I read up on him. Capa is known for redefining wartime photojournalism. His work came literally from the trenches as opposed to the more arms-length perspective that was the precedent previously. He was famed for saying, "If your picture isn't good enough, you're not close enough." Robert Capa was born on the 22nd of October 1913 as Endre Erno Friedmann to Born Endre Friedmann to Dezso and Júlia Friedmann in Budapest, Hungary as the oldest of two sons. Deciding that there was little future under the regime in Hungary, he left home at 18. He studied political sciences at the University in Berlin where he was a self-taught photographer and in 1931 he started working as a photo lab assistant at a publishing house (Ullstein). In 1932 and 1933 he worked as a photo assistant at a news agency (Dephot). In 1933, he moved from Germany to France because of the rise of Nazism, but found it difficult to find work there as a freelance journalist. He adopted the name "Robert Capa" around this time - "cápa" ("shark") was his nickname in school. From 1936 to 1939, he was in Spain, photographing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, along with Gerda Taro (born Gerda Pohorylle), his companion and professional photography partner, and David Seymour. In 1936, Capa became known across the globe for the "Falling Soldier" photo. There has been a long controversy about the authenticity of this photograph and whether or not it was staged. In July 1937 Capa went on a short business trip to Paris while Gerda remained in Madrid. She was killed near Brunete during a battle. Capa, who was reportedly engaged to her, was deeply shocked and never married. In 1938, he travelled to the Chinese city of Hankow, now called Wuhan, to document the resistance to the Japanese invasion. Many of Capa's photographs of the Spanish Civil War were, for many decades, presumed lost when Capa fled Europe in 1939, but surfaced in Mexico City in the late 1990s.Ownership of the collection was transferred to the Capa Estate, and in December 2007 was moved to the International Centre of Photography, a museum founded by Capa's younger brother Cornell.
At the start of World War II, Capa was in New York City to find work. The war took Capa to various parts of the European Theatre on photography assignments. He first photographed for Collier's Weekly, before switching to Life after he was fired by the former. He was the only "enemy alien" photographer for the Allies.
His most famous work occurred on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) when he swam ashore with the second assault wave on Omaha Beach. He was armed with two Contax II cameras mounted with 50 mm lenses and several rolls of spare film. Capa took 106 pictures in the first couple of hours of the invasion. However, a staff member at Life in London made a mistake in the darkroom; he set the dryer too high and melted the emulsion in the negatives in three complete rolls and over half of a fourth roll. Although a fifteen-year-old lab assistant named Dennis Banks was responsible for the accident, another account, now largely accepted as untrue but that gained widespread currency, blamed Larry Burrows, who worked in the lab not as a technician but as a "tea-boy". Only eight frames in total were recovered. Capa never said a word to the London bureau chief about the loss of three and a half rolls of his D-Day landing film.
Life magazine printed some of the frames in its June 19, 1944 issue with captions that described the footage as "slightly out of focus", explaining that Capa's hands were shaking in the excitement of the moment (something that he denied). Capa used this phrase as the title of his autobiographical account of the war, Slightly Out of Focus. In this work, he also tells about his romance with Elaine Justin, a beautiful young redhead he used to call 'Pinky'. They were together from February 1943 until 1945 when they broke up and Elaine married her friend, Chuck Romaine. After this romance, Capa became the lover of actress Ingrid Bergman, who was travelling in Europe at the time entertaining American soldiers. In December 1945, Capa followed her to Hollywood, where he worked for American International Pictures for a short time. Bergman tried to persuade him to marry her, but Capa didn't want to live in Hollywood. The relationship ended in the summer of 1946 when Capa travelled to Turkey. In 1947 Capa travelled into the Soviet Union with his friend, writer John Steinbeck. He took photos in Moscow, Kiev, Tbilisi, Batumi and among the ruins of Stalingrad. The humorous reportage of Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, was illustrated with Capa's photos. It was first published in 1948. In 1947, Capa founded the cooperative venture Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Vandivert, David "Chim" Seymour, and George Rodger. His early guidance and charismatic personality were critical to the agency's success. Capa toured Israel after its founding, and supplied the copious photographs for a book on the new nation written by Irwin Shaw, Report on Israel. In the early 1950s, Capa travelled to Japan for an exhibition associated with Magnum Photos. While there, Life magazine asked him to go on assignment to Southeast Asia, where the French had been fighting for eight years in the First Indochina War. Despite the fact he had sworn not to photograph another war a few years earlier, Capa accepted and accompanied a French regiment with two other Time-Life journalists, John Mecklin and Jim Lucas. On May 25, 1954 at 2:55 p.m., the regiment was passing through a dangerous area under fire when Capa decided to leave his Jeep and go up the road to photograph the advance. About five minutes later, Mecklin and Lucas heard an explosion; Capa had stepped on a landmine. When they arrived on the scene, he was still alive but his left leg had been blown to pieces, and he had a serious wound in his chest. Mecklin called for a medic and Capa was taken to a small field hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He died with his camera in his hand. In order to preserve the photographic heritage of Capa and other photographers, Capa's younger brother, Cornell Capa (a photographer himself) founded the International Fund for Concerned Photography in 1966. To give this collection a permanent home he founded the International Centre of Photography in New York City in 1974. The Overseas Press Club created an award in his honour, the Robert Capa Gold Medal. It is given annually to the photographer who provides the "best published photographic reporting from abroad, requiring exceptional courage and enterprise".

no images were found

         

Baron de Meyer

I have come across this photographer many times now since I've buried myself neck-deep into vintage photography. The images he created in the first half of the 20th Century are soft, elegant and feminine - and I personally love them! Adolph de Meyer was reportedly born in Paris on the 1st of September 1868, the son of a German Jewish father and Scottish mother—Adolphus Louis Meyer and his wife, the former Adele Watson. He was educated in Dresden and in 1893 he joined the Royal Photographic Society and moved to London in 1895. He used the surnames Meyer, von Meyer, de Meyer, de Meyer-Watson, and Meyer-Watson at various times in his life. From 1897 he was known as Baron Adolph Edward Sigismond de Meyer, though some contemporary sources list him as Baron Adolph von Meyer and Baron Adolph de Meyer-Watson. Where he got his title 'Baron' from is uncertain as some sources claim it had been granted in 1897 by Frederick Augustus III of Saxony, others claim he inherited it from his grandfather in the 1890's or even state that there is no evidence of this nobiliary creation whatsoever. On 25 July 1899 de Meyer married Donna Olga Caracciolo, an Italian noblewoman who had been divorced earlier that year from Nobile Marino Brancaccio; she was a goddaughter of Edward VII.  The couple reportedly met in 1897, at the home of a member of the Sassoon banking family, and Olga would be the subject of many of her husband's photographs. The de Meyers' marriage was one of marriage of convenience rather than romantic love, since the groom was homosexual and the bride was bisexual or lesbian. As Baron de Meyer wrote in an unpublished autobiographical novel, before they wed, he explained to Olga "the real meaning of love shorn of any kind of sensuality". On the outbreak of World War I, the de Meyers moved to New York City on the advise of an astrologer, where he became a photographer for Vogue from 1913–21, and for Vanity Fair. In 1922 de Meyer accepted an offer to become the Harper's Bazaar chief photographer in Paris, spending the next 16 years there. After the death of his wife in 1930/31, Baron de Meyer became romantically involved with a young German, Ernest Frohlich (born circa 1914), whom he hired as his chauffeur and later adopted as his son. On the eve of World War II in 1938, de Meyer returned to the United States, and found that he was a relic in the face of the rising modernism of his art. He died in Los Angeles on the 6th of January 1949, his death being registered as 'Gayne Adolphus Demeyer, writer (retired)'. Today, few of his prints survive, most having been destroyed during World War II. He will be remembered for his elegant photographic portraits in the early 20th century, many of which depicted celebrities such as Mary Pickford, Rita Lydig, Luisa Casati, Billie Burke, Irene Castle, John Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Ruth St. Denis, King George V of the United Kingdom, and Queen Mary.  

no images were found