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).
An important photography archive at the New York Public Library has recently been re-discovered, partially digitized, and cataloged. The archive includes over 41,000 prints from Farm Security Administration photographers, which were collected and sent to the NYPL by FSA founder Roy Stryker. It includes some prints previously unknown, and many that are not included in the Library of Congress Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection.
The New York Public Library has not only digitized more than 1,000 images that do not appear in the Library of Congress online catalog, it has also made them available today on a special NYPL site. It also has another site containing the records — but no images — for all 41,000 FSA photos in their collection.
Via the Lens blog at the New York Times.
The Netherlands Institute in Turkey has recently released the first installment of digital images from the vast photographic archives of Dutch historian Machiel Kiel.
A former director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT), at which this project is now implemented, Kiel is a scholar whose career has revolved around the study of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Balkan countries — an area of study that he pioneered. His archive represents an invaluable source for researchers of this heritage. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 90s, it contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived, or have been significantly altered in, the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.
Images are available for publication free of charge (with attribution). For more information, see the FAQ section of this page.
The Developing Room is a working group devoted to the study and practice of photography. Founded in 2008, the Developing Room is based at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Our mission is to promote innovative work in the field of photography studies by organizing public projects and fostering international collaboration.
Click here for more information about this group.
Photojojo is now selling magnetic fisheye, macro/wide angle, and telephoto lenses for cell phones. These lenses attach via a small adhesive magnetic ring and work with both the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4 (even leaving room for the flash). The lenses should also work with other camera-equipped cell phones, including the Android. All three lenses sell together for $49.00.
For his project Vanishing Cultures, photographer Dennis Manarchy is traveling around the country documenting various cultures with a one-of-a-kind, 35-foot-long camera called “Eye of America”. Styled like an old fashioned large format camera, it’s so large that a person can work comfortably inside it. The negatives measure 6×4.5 feet, and are so large that windows must be used as lightboxes to examine them. The detail in a portrait subjects’ eyeball alone is a thousand times greater than what you get with the average negative. Resulting portraits will be featured on prints 2 stories tall.
Via PetaPixel. See their article for a video introducing the camera and a video introducing the project.
The Nicholar Artamonoff Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, an archive of historical photographs of Byzantine Turkey, is available online.
The Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection includes 543 photographs taken in Istanbul and five archaeological sites in Western Turkey (Ephesus, Hierapolis, Laodicea on the Lycus, Pergamum, Priene) from 1935 to 1945. The high quality photographs are of great value as they show buildings, sites, and objects that no longer exist or are in a better state of preservation than today.
Photographs may be browsed by tag (keyword), site name, and geography. Each photograph also includes a correlating Google Map, allowing visitors to see historical
Start-up company Lytro is causing a buzz with their so-called light field camera, the first to allow users to shoot first and focus later.
While viewing a picture taken with a Lytro camera on a computer screen, you can, for example, click to bring people in the foreground into sharp relief, or switch the focus to the mountains behind them.
The camera will be released to the consumer market later this year. Via The New York Times.
Before embarking on a research trip, you might prepare to photograph materials in libraries and archives. It can be difficult to capture quality images of archival materials, especially in low-light situations. A recent guest post on ProfHacker details one way of stabilizing a digital camera, which includes using a clamp, articulated arm and wired camera remote as a sort of portable copy stand.
Keep in mind that some of the processes advocated in the article will not be allowed in all archives or libraries. Check with archives, museums or libraries before your visit to ask about policies; most will have specific requirements for equipment used in reading rooms. If you have questions about cameras or other photography best practices, please contact the VRC.
Via Derivative Image.