The List Universe has a post featuring ten famous "last pictures." It includes the last known photographs of Hitler, Lincoln, and Princess Diana, among others. The picture above was the last photograph taken by a vacationing Canadian couple named John and Jackie Knill, of the onrushing leading wave of the 2004 tsunami that ended their lives presumably only moments later. Amazingly, their pictures were eventually found and returned to their family.
LIFE online: The big photography news on the internet yesterday is that LIFE magazine, in cooperation with Getty Images and Google, has begun putting its giant archive online. Unfortunately, the scans are not particularly good, but something is better than nothing. Eventually, we'll have more about the ins and outs of using the archive, but in the meantime, here's the basic link.
Ctein on the Radio: TOP's resident techspert holds forth on all manner of topics photographic, on an Inside Analog Photo Radio interview. Listen up!
Megaperls relaunched as 'Japan Exposures': Our friend Dirk Rösler's Megaperls Webshop has been expanded and relaunched as Japan Exposures. It features a more general home page and a new specialized bookshop featuring Japanese photography books of all sorts but especially signed copies of books by emerging photographers. Of course, the core of the site is still the shop, which makes it possible for photographers around the world to easily procure Japan-only photo products. Bookmark it!
...Especially if your name is "Pinky." More and more women are taking up digital photography with SLRs. For those who have a certain amount of, um, a certain style, Acme Made has just the thing—"The Bowler," a camera bag styled like a bowling-ball bag. It holds a DSLR and zoom lens, has a handy double zipper, comes in red, navy, and orange, and allegedly doubles as a purse....
Numerology serendipity: Curiously, we had almost exactly the same number of page views here on the main page of T.O.P. on Wednesday as on Tuesday—19,722 on Tuesday and 19,707 yesterday, only 15 apart. What is this, some kind of Minnesotan Senate race? I have no idea what it means, but it must have cosmic mystical significance of some sort. Either that or it's a coincidence, and we all know there is no such thing as coincidence.
Camera clocks: This one is bound to make camera collectors cringe, if only because of the likelihood that sooner or later, she'll desecrate a rare treasure by happenstance, but we thought we'd mention it anyway: J. Peterman is offering clocks made from old cameras by Minnesota artist Debra Dresler. Just the thing for your desk at the office, to let your camera-geek flag fly.
A very specialized peripheral: Any idea what this is? No, we're not actually going to make you guess. It's a crank-operated manual Hard Drive Destroyer —just the thing to have handy "if the power goes out...if the plane must land in enemy territory...if the embassy is under siege...." And if you just can't remember where you put that dang, um, hammer.
Best tech book: 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques: An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers by Andrew Darlow was chosen as the winner in the "Photography: Instructional/How-To" category of The National Best Books 2008 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
Book covers cover photos: And speaking of books, here's a really nifty exhibit. "Covering Photography: Imitation, Influence and Coincidence" is a show at the Boston Public Library. It's an interesting and different idea: it shows how the design of various book covers over the years have borrowed (or stolen) themes, memes, tropes and figures from a variety of famous photographs. Unlike many shows, you can see and enjoy this one online, on a special blog set up by the show's organizers. Well worth a visit when you get a chance.
The Photoshop interface rendered in real-world objects. Just the sort of thing you'd expect to find on the web: totally pointless...and yet, strangely cool.
Have a good Thursday!
Mike (Thanks to Stan Banos, Bill McFadden, and everyone who sent us the tip about the LIFE site)
Featured Comment by John Mason: "Google's LIFE photo archive might need some work, but it's great to have the photos easily accessible. The scans aren't the best, perhaps, but as Carl says, they aren't bad. The images look just about as good as they would have been in the magazine.
"The search function is primitive, but effective. Enter, for instance 'Smith midwife,' and you'll get three pages of photos, both published and unpublished, from Eugene Smith's famous 1951 photo-essay on Maude Callen, an African-American midwife from South Carolina. (Is it possible that the unpublished photos haven't seen the light of day since they were made? In any case, it's wonderful to have them.)
"My only real complaint is that I'd like to be able to see all of the published photos in the context in which they were meant to be seen—that is, in the pages of the magazine. Beside scanning negs and/or prints, Google/Getty ought to be scanning the entire page on which every photo appeared. It's important to be able to see how the photos related to each other and to the words which accompanied them."