January 2006 Archives
January 25, 2006
Image and description by Michael Golembewski: "Another image from the RCA roof set. I especially like the motion on the bus. Camera: Magic Lantern Scanner Camera. Size:12MB Greyscale."
Michael Golembewski, an artist and interaction designer, currently living in Olympia Washington, USA, has been building, refining, and making images with what he calls "scanner cameras". Here's his account of the discovery:
"Several years ago, I built my first homemade digital camera. The idea was simple - I would take an ordinary flatbed scanner, and use it in place of photo paper with a large format camera.
"My first scanner camera was made from lots of duct tape, a cardboard box, and the cheapest flatbed scanner that I could find. I expected this to be a quick little art project, one that would take a week or two at the most. But when I got my first homemade digital camera to work, I noticed that some wonderful things were beginning to happen.
"The objects in the scene that were stationary photographed normally, while the objects that were moving were twisted and distorted into wonderful shapes. At first, I thought that this was a mistake, that something was wrong with my new contraption. But I soon realized that the motion of the scanner was meshing with the motion of the recorded scene, creating unexpected, yet predictable, results...
"I was tremendously excited by these developments. Instead of building a camera that mimicked the functionality of a traditional photographic camera, I had stumbled across a new tool for examining the relationships between time, motion, and image. What I though would be a two week art project has turned into one that has lasted for almost three years, and shows little sign of stopping."
I say, "Bravo and kudos, Michael!"
Check out his very cool web site at www.scannerphotography.com. And please enter your comments and thoughts here to share with other Lens Culture readers. Thanks!
January 23, 2006
The New York Public Library has developed an image database to provide free and open online access to over 415,000 images from the Research Libraries, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
On first visit, discoveries included: reformer Thomas A. Larcom's portrait collection from Dublin's Mountjoy prison; photographs recording the westward progress of the American transcontinental railroad; photographs of Depression-era New York City by Lewis Hine and Berenice Abbott; "Drugstore Photographs, Or, A Trip Along the Yangtze River,1999" by Dylan Stone, 26,000 color snapshot photographs taken in 1999, recording the streetscape, block by block, of Manhattan south of Canal Street; Asia and the Pacific Rim in Early Prints and Photographs; and Metropolis: New York City Water and Transit Infrastructure.
Aiming to grow to half a million images and more, the NYPL Digital Gallery promises to be an exciting project to watch unfold.
January 7, 2006
Yuri Eremin. Summer. 1926
Currently on exhibit at the Gilbert Collection in London, Quiet Resistance: Russian Pictorial Photography, 1900-1930s explores the Russian pictorial movement in the first years after the October revolution of 1917. The collection consists of some 100 photographs and includes work from Alexander Rodchenko, Alexander Grinberg, Yury Yeremin, Nikolai Andreev, Nikolai Svishchov-Paola and others. Quiet Resistance, for the first time, brings together photos by Russian masters from the same period and provides an extraordinary opportunity for visitors to explore an aspect of Russian photography that has been overlooked until now.
"The pictorial trend in Russian photography strove to approximate photography to painting, using mainly 'soft' lenses and special, often very sophisticated, printing techniques. Pictorial photography challenged documentary shots and, just like painting, sought to convey the emotional side of things, and to express the individual senses and meanings implied by the artist in his work."
Vassili Ulitin. Boats at low tide, 1926