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.
The archives manager at Bishopsgate Institute recently discovered boxes containing more than 3,000 slides depicting London’s landmarks including churches, statues, buildings, and social scenes from the Victorian period to the early 20th century.
In 2007, a project to digitize the images launched, some of which can be seen here. More than 600 images were digitized, and in October 2013 were published in a book called The Gentle Author’s London Album.
For more information, visit the Spitalfield’s page on the album. To view a sampling of images, visit the ITV News article about the project.
Image: Traffic on Tower Bridge, 1905 Credit: Bishopsgate Institute
Panoramio is a photo-sharing community powered by Google that allows users to tag their photos with geographic information so they can be plotted on a map and searched for by location. You can browse by location, and click on individual images from the map, or search for specific sites and locations.
Some of the images are indeed panoramas, and Panoramio includes both flat and spherical panoramas (the latter provide a 360º of a place). For example, check out this haunting spherical panorama of the Holocaust Monument in Berlin.
This website is useful for studying architecture, cities, and the built environment, and it’s also great for some arm-chair traveling. You can also add your own images to the project.
For more information or to start exploring, check out Panoramio!
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.
The University of Chicago Photographic Archive has a digital collection that contains images from five series encompassing the University’s history, including individuals and groups, buildings and grounds, events, student activities, sports, the Yerkes observatory, and the Chicago Maroon student newspaper.
This is a great resource for school pride and nostalgia and also a stellar resource for studying the development of campus architecture.
Image credit: Cochrane Woods Art Center I. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf02108, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
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.
The photography blog PetaPixel recently posted about photography books in the public domain that have been included in Project Gutenberg digital library. Of the 37 books to be fully digitized, perhaps the most exciting is the inclusion of William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, published in 1844. The book details his calotype process and includes 24 images of finished calotype prints with text describing the image’s creation and significance.
For more information, visit Project Gutenberg.
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.
Vivian Maier (1926–2009) moved to Chicago in 1956 and though she worked as a nanny to support herself, she spent her spare time taking photographs and making films. Her work was largely unknown during her lifetime, as the more than 10,000 negatives she made were kept hid:
Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.
While Maloof and his team were cataloging her work, they maintained an image-heavy website dedicated to her life and work, and the Chicago Cultural Center mounted an exhibition “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” (7 January–3 April 2011), which garnered a lot of public interest in Chicago’s “nanny photographer”.
Authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams released a new book of Vivian Maier’s photographs last month called Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. In addition to providing context for the artist’s life, the book publishes 275 of her photographs. To celebrate, After-Words New and Used Books in downtown Chicago is hosting a book signing party on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30.