I am speechless. No, not really because I am about to go on. Take a look at the upcoming Fujifilm FinePix x100 digital camera (expected release: early 2011). Wow. Did the designers get this right? Yes. They did. Even down to the screw hole in the trigger button that accepts an old school cable release! Amazing.
My second thought after “WOW!” was that of of disappointment in that it has a fixed 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) f2 prime lens meaning that you can’t zoom or change the lens. I am over that disappointment remembering that sometimes the limitations of some things is what makes them great. Everything else that they thought of will make up for that (and the lens sounds super anyway). Like a large CMOS sensor. Solid metal top controls. A hybrid viewfinder and a small built-in flash as well as a full TTL hot shoe. Fuji GETS IT.
I just bought a new Olympus Pen E-P2 and I really like it despite it is missing a couple of features that I am baffled that they left off (built-in flash and built-in viewfinder). I do love that I can use my Voigtlander lenses on it though. HOWEVER, if the fine people at Fuji would like me to be a tester for what I think could be the camera to watch in 2011, hey, it is the least I could do. SEND ME ONE! Pretty please? Seriously, anyone know anyone at Fuji? Anyone?
*tap tap* This thing on…?
Viviam Maier Was a street photographer from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. She was a native of France but lived for 50 years in Chicago where she took most of her images. She was very much unknown until now. A year before her death, John Maloof purchased a box of her negatives at an auction which had obtained her things from a storage locker that had delinquent payments. At that time, he had no idea what treasure he had: turned out to be about 30-40,000 negatives with some 10-15,000 still undeveloped.
Over on The Twitter @scratchbomb submits this awesome find of early Russian color photography from Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. The photos were taken during 1909-1912 and again in 1915 to document the state of the nation before the start of WWI and the Russian Revolution. He developed a three plate photography system that would take three negatives of the same scene yet each was shot through a different filter. Projecting the images through the correct color light could recreate the full color composite. I imagine this was not an easy thing to do.
Unless you are in the digital age. Now they can be brought to life as originally intended. The Library of Congress purchased the collection of nearly 2000 negatives in 1948. Here is a bit about how they were created and then recombined today.
And here is a self portrait of the photographer himself:
light-test.com collects the lighting tests that photographers make before taking their final shots. Somtimes it will be an assistant standing in place of the actual subject. Other times it will be the subject. Since they are considered throwaway photos you will often get pictures of people doing strange things or making weird faces like Steven Spielberg is doing above.
Will Govus. So young but making some beautiful night images. Using a twin-lens reflex with long exposures he captures misty scenes in his Georgia town lit by ‘natural’ artificial light. The results are very atmospheric.
Photo montages are great when done right and Dutch Danish photographer Peter Funch is definitely doing it right with his series Babel Tales. Taking numerous shots of the same exact place he finds similarities in the different images and collages those elements into one image. I think it is successful and reminds me of 100 Meters of Existence.
Remember my post last week about Polaroid failing to understanding their market value and stopped making their self-developing film? Well it sure created a flurry of comments on this site the likes of which I have never seen before. Thank you to all of the commenters. (I would thank you all individually but I am a very busy man. Sorry.)
Anyway, there is hope yet…sort of. A group calling themselves Impossible b.v. has signed a 10 year lease agreement with Polaroid for the factory and all the equipment used in the Netherlands plant which made the now defunct film and film cartridges. Impossible b.v. plans to use the facility to make:
“… a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films.”
Whatever that means. Just give us back our wonderful grainy odd-colored auto-developing film, will ya? Does it have to be that complicated? Sheesh.
Simon Høgsberg has created a photograph that is 100 meters long and 78 centimeters tall by stitching together a whole bunch of photos. All the photos were taken from approximately the same spot on a bridge in Berlin over a course of 20 days. I didn’t think I would like this as much as I do. This could have easily failed but I think the results are quite effective. (via Kottke)
I also really like the photos from his “Tower of Babel” series that he gave up on because he, “…no longer believed in the idea behind it”. And, actually, all of his work is very good. Highly recommended.
Back in February of 2008, Polaroid announced that it would stop making instant developing film at the beginning of the new year. Hey wait…that is NOW!! Millions of art nerds and lo-fi addicts will no longer be able to purchase auto-developing film for those Polaroid cameras that they bought for $10 at a thrift store . I myself, thinks that sucks.
But now, Polariod has released PoGo, a camera that inklessly prints a 2X3 inch photo in about 60 seconds. You better have some extra batteries on hand as you can only print about 20 photos on one charge. And the thing is only 5 megapixels.
If you ask me, I think Polaroid’s instant film popularity wasn’t due to the on-the-fly results that you got with a Polaroid camera. It was the murky quality and physical properties that you could futz with during the developing process that made them so endearing. To me, it was the ‘non-instant’ developing speed of their ‘instant film’ that I loved. It created in me a mysterious anticipation for what may appear on that plastic sheet that I waved back and forth in my hand (which may or may not have accelerated developing time – no one knows for sure).
Is it me or is Polaroid missing the point on this one?
Here is a save Polaroid site if anyone is interested in putting up a futile fight.
If you do not check boston.com‘s Big Picture at least once a week then you might as well sell your computer to someone who is willing to put it to good use. Seriously, add this one to your RSS feed. The collections are always striking and provocative.
Right now they are posting the Best Photos of 2008 in three installments. Parts two and three will be tomorrow and Saturday.
It snowed here last night. Just a bit really. I was hoping for more. Anyway, here are some photos of snowflakes taken with a photomicroscope. There are examples of different types of flakes that occur at different temperatures. I expect to spot these as tatoos on snowboarders after the holidays. Trampstamp anyone?
The comments get pretty scary in the God/No God category around the 80th comment too. Downright frightening.