Have you ever wanted to eliminate the distracting background from sculpture photographed on-site? Cutting out the background can be very easy or a bit challenging, depending on how complex the image is. The magic wand tool can be a very effective tool when your background is simple in nature.
1. Select the magic wand tool from the toolbar.
2. Click on the area you want to sample. The magic wand will outline the area with flashing dotted lines.
3. Initially, the magic wand may only pick up some of the background. Use the sub-tools to add or subtract to the selection and continue clicking on the areas to add until the sculpture is isolated.
4. Use the Exposure tool to adjust the background to white or black, pulling it to the far right for white or far left for black.
5. You may need to use the clone tool to clean-up areas that the magic wand tool missed.
Luminous Lint is an expansive photography resource that includes images and text about historic and contemporary photographic practice, as well as artist biographies, styles and movements, thematic content, information about printing techniques and processes, and chronological information about the history of the medium.
The website also features images of artworks as well as artists’ monographs, making it a great starting place to research photographers or photographic movements.
For more information, check out Luminous Lint!
The Getty Conservation Institute recently released a new resource called the Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes, which provides a growing collection of in-depth PDF guides of various photographic processes and their variants. The goal of the project is to help researchers and those working with photography collections correctly identify the photographic process of specific prints in their collections so as to make the safest decisions regarding the conservation, exhibition, and storage of the works.
The Atlas currently contains guides to eleven processes, including Albumen, Silver Gelatin, and Photogravure, and combines historic information about the process with information about how artists were using the technique in the darkroom, as well as contemporary conservation science knowledge.
For more information, explore the Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes.
The world’s largest film camera is currently at Two North Riverside Plaza, and will be there through Thursday, October 31. The camera was built in order to be used in a project by photographer Dennis Manarchy, from Rockford, IL, called Butterflies & Buffalo: Tales of American Culture.
The camera is 35 feet long, and makes photographs that are larger than life size—more than six feet tall and four feet wide! Manarchy’s project is to make portraits to document at least 50 distinct cultural groups in the United States and plans to travel more than 20,000 miles in order to capture such wide diversity. I’m curious about how they’ll make a darkroom big enough to develop a piece of film that’s bigger than they are!
For more information, visit the Butterflies & Buffalo website, watch the preview for the project on Vimeo, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or swing by the West Loop to see the camera for yourself.
Broadway Photographers is a website devoted to the visual culture of the American theater from 1865–1965. It features biographical content of photographers and performers, as well as thematic modules about theatrical photography. The website can be browsed by photographer, performer, or production, and also by keyword searching.
For more information, visit Broadway Photographs: Photography and the American Stage.
Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society is a research database of more than 45,000 records culled from the exhibition catalogs of published by the Photographic Society in London from 1870 to 1915. The database contains detailed records of all exhibits, reproductions of the catalog pages, and information about “exhibitors, judges, hanging and selecting committee members, photographs, and companies.”
For more information or to explore the database, click here.
The Lee Miller Archives, located in East Sussex, England, is a privately run archive that maintains the legacy and career of the artist, including “60,000 negatives, mainly black and white, most of her manuscripts, captions, notes, letters and ephemeral material, her cameras, and some of her personal effects such as her US Army uniform.” Their website boasts an image collection of more than 3,000 of Lee Miller’s photographs, including final images as well as contact prints:
Following the exciting launch of our long-awaited online picture library over three thousand of Lee Miller’s photographs can now be seen together for the first time. Many of the images, converted from the original negatives or vintage prints into digital format, have not previously been in circulation and are a fascinating addition to the published work. All aspects of Lee’s remarkable career are represented, including her Surrealist images, World War II photo-journalism, 20th century fashion photography and celebrity portraiture!
Lee Miller was an icon of photography—both as a model and a photographer in her own right—beginning in the 1920s when she began modeling for Vogue staff photographers including Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene. She moved to Paris in 1929 and studied under Surrealist photographer Man Ray (the pair discovered the photographic technique of solarisation during this time), and soon after opened her own studio in New York. During World War II she served as a war photojournalist. After the war, her career remained closely tied to photography and the arts, and she died at the Farley Farm House in 1977, where the Lee Miller Archives is now located.
For more information, visit the Lee Miller Archives.
Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive are available via Google Images, only a small number of which have been published. Eventually the project will include about 10 million images. You can search specifically in the LIFE search portal, or you can add “source:life” to any Google image search to return only images from the LIFE photo archive.
The archive includes documentary photography by many well-known photographers working in the magazine industry during the hey day of photojournalism, including Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt,
The very first cover of LIFE magazine was a photograph taken by Margaret Bourke-White of Fort Peck in Montana. The issue was published on November 23, 1936. Images from the LIFE photo archive are for personal, non-commercial use only.
For more information, visit the LIFE photo archive digital collection hosted by Google Images.
Founded in 1949, the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY is the world’s oldest museum of photography and recently announced that it will be the first photography museum to join the Google Art Project:
So far, 50 high-resolution images from their collection—encompassing the birth of photography to the late 20th century—have been added to the Google Art Project website with zooming capabilities and robust cataloging information, and much of the object data was previously unavailable online. More photographs will eventually be added, and the GEH is also partnering with Google Maps Street View to provide 360º views of their galleries and grounds.
For more information, visit the George Eastman House in Google Art Project or read the GEH Press Release.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently released a new iPad app, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” to accompany a current photography exhibition.
Digital cameras and image-editing software have made photo manipulation easier than ever, but photographers have been doctoring images since the medium was invented. The false “realities” in altered photographs can be either surprising and eye-catching or truly deceptive and misleading.
Faking It is a quiz that asks players to spot which photos are fake and figure out why they were altered. Through fifteen sets of questions accompanied by more than two dozen remarkable images, the Faking It app challenges misconceptions about the history of photo manipulation.
Images in the app range from a heroic portrait of Ulysses S. Grant to a playful portrait of Salvador Dalí, and from New York’s glamorous Empire State Building to Oregon’s sublime Cape Horn.
The app complements the exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop (on view October 11, 2012–January 27, 2013).