Tag Archives: new

When “In with the New” Means Bringing Back the Old

The brass 1840s Petzval lens.

The brass 1840s Petzval lens.

The Petzval lens was developed in 1840. The brass fixture was pretty simple in design — especially compared to what’s available today — and its speed made it perfect for portrait shots. While it has been surpassed by many models after it and the digital revolution, Lomography has found a place for this oldie in today’s photo world… to the tune of over $1 million in donations to bring back the old.

So what does a lens from 1840 have to offer us now? Take one look at the results of this brass lens, and you’ll understand why some photographers still use some of the old models.

By flickr user Jonathan Wong.

By flickr user Jonathan Wong.

By flickr user Alan Butler.

By flickr user Alan Butler.

By flickr user hdll88.

By flickr user hdll88.

By flickr user micmicmor

By flickr user micmicmor

But Lomography has found a new crowdsourced way to raise awareness and funds to bring it back. The camera company recently launched a Kickstarter page to begin remaking this ancient relic for digital SLR cameras. The Kickstarter campaign currently has 11 days left and has raised $1,182,391 from 2,860 backers. Their goal was $100,000.

A New Market With this kind of a response, it begs the question — who’s pitching in? Where did this massive funding come from? Clearly Lomography has a sizable following based on their reaction from this project, but let’s think deeper. This kind of thing might catch on for other models and companies.

One of the most profitable e-deals in recent years involved the selling of a popular photo editing app, Instagram, to social media giant, Facebook. This merger solidified this trend’s potential, and Lomography’s Kickstarter campaign shows that it’s still growing strong.

An example of a typical Instagram photo with filter applied.

An example of a typical Instagram photo with filter applied.

Instagram appeals to anyone wanting to share photos, but specifically to those wanting to share photos that look like they were taken 50 years ago. The app’s photo filters allow the user to fake the look of an aged photo by accentuating colors or placing film borders around their iPhone snapshots. Why did this catch on? The same reason Lomography saw this as a viable crowdsourcing opportunity.

I’m Guilty…

It’s true. Even I have gone the way of Instagram. (The evidence: http://instagram.com/amklann) The app has been really denounced by a lot of photographers, but the tide is turning, and some are realizing that for anyone wanting to share their views, it’s worth trying.

The Future of This Trend

It’s no doubt that with the success of Lomography’s Kickstarter campaign, this trend will continue. The big picture: this shows there is major interest in old film technology being brought to digital world.

A fellow photographer on Deviantart who shoots with some old equipment suggested that the Kodak Aero Ektar lenses could be next. Not only are they cheaper than the reproduced Petzvals, but they have many of the same beautiful features.tumblr_ln5vhrgLV31qekrnyo1_500

Hey, we can dream! All of the photographers who either (like me) came about after the digital shift and were either too cheap or too lazy to pick up the old ways, or those who gave up their film equipment during the transition are no doubt excited for this opportunity.

What old equipment are you dying to use with your digital SLR?

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Searching Seattle’s Neighborhoods

IMG_7406Living in a new city is incredibly exciting, and something that comes with time is getting the feel of that new city. Seattle is a place with a very well-defined neighborhood structure. Tons has been written about what separates each of these little enclaves, but getting there and seeing it for yourself is really the only way to understand it.

A quick lesson on Seattle geography... and infographics.

A quick lesson on Seattle geography… and infographics.

A couple weeks ago, Seattle’s International District (ID) was having their annual Dragon Fest. For $2 at each participating restaurant in the neighborhood, patrons get a generous sample of their fare and a chance to breathe in all the sights and smells of the ID. Having never been to this section of town, it was a lot of fun.

Multicolored dragons adorn the streets, Shimmering Chinese characters line the sides of buildings and archways over intersections. It’s amazing to feel so transported only a 20 minute bus ride away from our home.

After a few bites of steamed pork buns, dumplings, dim sum, and gelato, we found ourselves in a garden. Rows of ripening vegetables twisted around gravel pathways. We made our way up higher, past a pig roasting spit and beautiful flowers, to a Japanese garden. Above all the festivities below, with the gentle hum of the nearby I-5, we enjoyed some down time before hopping the bus back home.

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The Aftermath – Nemo

Here are some shots of the aftermath of the blizzard that hit New England this past weekend. Before the storm, I couldn’t imagine everything covered in 2+ feet of snow, and after it hit, it looked as strange as I imagined it.

Unlike winters past, there was no snow on the ground before Nemo, and the storm completely changed the landscape, transforming everything into another world.

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Amazing Day/Night NYC Photos

This guy is amazing. He takes two shots — day and night — of the same location, capturing the unique flow of traffic and pedestrians in both worlds. Amazing. Check out the full article here: http://www.visualnews.com/2012/04/24/day-to-night-one-image-captures-a-day-in-new-york/

Copyright Stephen Wilkes

Copyright Stephen Wilkes

 

Photographer Stephen Wilkes captured the images from a fixed position, capturing images over up to a 15 hour period and later stitching them together into the seamless whole that you see here. The series, appropriately called Day to Night, tells the story of a city which bustles around the clock: people remain in the images both bright and dark. What does change are the activities presented: Coney Island transforms from a suntanning mecca to a brightly lit carnival, while hot dog venders close up shop and movie billboards light up around Times Square.


Art of the Americas wing opens at Boston’s MFA

After 11 years of preparation, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston celebrated the opening of their new $345 million Art of the Americas wing on Saturday November 20th. Admission to the new area was free to the public, and the museum was packed with visitors lined out the door.

A wide-angle view of the 63-foot-high ceilings of the new Shapiro Family Courtyard

Fifty-three new galleries are now open in the new wing devoted North, South and Central American art from the Pre-Columbian era through the third quarter of the twentieth century, adding 133,491 square feet to the museum’s footprint, a 28 percent increase.

The courtyard

The new wing highlight’s the city’s central role in American history. Boston’s MFA was founded in 1870 and has been expanding ever since.

Many of the wing’s galleries are dedicated to individual artists or artistic movements including Native North American art, African-American artists, the colonial portraiture

of John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart, silverware of Paul Revere, the Hudson River School of landscape painting, photography, and works by John Singer Sargent.

The new wing places colonial American culture in the same realm as those of other peoples inhabiting the Americas prior to the colonization, making quite the statement. Portraits of George Washington crossing the Delaware and standing next to a horse’s rear end, Colonial wing chairs, tea sets, quilts, a bust of Thomas Jefferson, and antique claw-foot cabinets reside in the same section of the museum as Maya ceramics.

The new wing features a wide array of art

 

Just for the occasion, Thomas Sully’s “The Passage of the Delaware” was unrolled, stretched, retouched and reframed in its original frame which had been in storage. The painting is 17 feet by 12 feet and weighs 1,000 pounds; understandably, the museum had not been able to properly displace the Revolutionary-era masterpiece before the new renovations. The piece was given a center spot in the new wing.

The works themselves aren’t the only new spectacular additions to the museum. The physical structure added onto the building has transformed the façade of Boston’s MFA. The new Shapiro Family Courtyard creates a whole new 12,184 square foot social space within the museum. It’s composed almost entirely of glass and has 63-foot-high ceilings.

If you didn’t already have an excuse to visit the MFA in Boston, the new architectural renovations and artistic acquisitions are well worth a trip to our nation’s Cradle of Liberty.