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Reading time now……
Back to the theme of our last competition, Ashley and I were discussing some ideas he had that more than piqued his imagination and are really straight out of camera – no arguments!
This involved a very old photographic method dating from 1853 – the Tintype. Tintypes are defined as “A tintype, also known as a melainotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion.” (source Wikipaedia). The technique produces what I consider to be stunning portraits. If you’d like to watch the process, Tested – a science entertainment channel on Youtube featuring Adam Savage from Mythbusters – presented this great video showing a picture taken by Michael Shindler. There is a related video in Michael’s Studio where Michael describes how almost any film camera can produce the images. You can see a gallery from photographer Giles Clement here and for the ultimate in road shows PetaPixel had this article about a travelling Lumiere Photobooth. Check it out!
While we are playing with black and white and historical images, some may have heard of the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. A photography exhibition at MOMA entitled New Documents in 1967 highlighted the almost documentary style of some of the prominent photographers of the time that took what looked like family snaps to a different level. The exhibition celebrates 50 year this year, and New Yorker magazine celebrates that with this article. Have a look at the images – they may inspire the street photographer in you.
So you may ask who are some of the great photographers that you can learn from? This article in Photography Talk introduces you to 31 of them. Have a look at the images and see what inspires you.
To finish my little lesson in historical imagery, I’d like to re-introduce you to chiaroscuro – which the great painters such as Rembrandt employed. It uses strong contrast between dark and light to give greater depth to an image. I judged at Adelaide Hills Photography club last week and one of their competition sections had to be using this technique. There were some very good images in that section, so I did a little more hunting on the web to find some tutorials for you that explore the method. Visit 500px (which is also a great source of inspiring images) for a tutorial by Alexandria Huff which uses colour images – you don’t need to have B&W. Australian photographer Leonard Metcalf has a short article on the technique as well at Len’s School. For some inspiration, visit the Photo Argus for some examples.
Finally, some more travel imagery – of long forgotten places. This time long forgotten places in the USA that shows those classic signs we remember from our past. There are still a few left in Australia if you know where to look.