Photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who became widely known outside the photojournalism community when she was abducted and held captive in Libya in 2011 along with three other journalists, was among those profiled by German carmaker Audi in a series of ads during March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament in the United States. Apparently both Lynsey and the Audi A3 have something to do with being uncompromised. Others who are uncompromised according to Audi include a boxer, a chef, and two comedians. (Whatever, Audi.)
It's good to see a photographer profiled, though, and a big slap on the back to Lynsey for pulling in some of those endorsement dollars. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. She really is a great photographer—here's her website.
Actor Nicholas Cage and the 19th century photo that proves
he's really an ageless vampire.
Of course, it could just be a guy who looks like Baudelaire. Let's not forget the whole Nick Cage vampire thing.
• And now as long as we're in 19th century France...the redoubtable and protean (both!) Roger Cicala, who runs the very effective and efficient LensRentals company and by this writer's lights has more energy than any two people would know what do do with, has written a delightful long article about the very famous 19th century French photographer Nadar. Including, apropos the foregoing item, an animated GIF showing Nadar from every angle. In focus and not motion-blurred.
Very enjoyable article.
Incidentally, if you are jonesing for any of the latest greatest cameras or lenses, I suggest renting from LensRentals first. It's easy to do and lets you try out equipment without laying out all the long green needed to buy.
• Tom Westbrook is keeping his review of the Mamiya 7II current. The Mamiya 7II is a 6x7cm film rangefinder camera that costs a whopping $3,859 new at B&H Photo, sans lens (I recommend the 65mm ƒ/4, the reason being that it's not any slower than the normal lens so you might as well go a little wider). They are available secondhand for much less on eBay.
The Mamiya 7II is perhaps about as far from a general-purpose camera as you can currently get. It's for people who only need a few focal lengths, don't care about precise framing, don't want to photograph close up, always work in good light, don't mind lugging around a 3 lbs. camera, and prefer the hassle, expense, and delay of film to the relative immediacy of digital. It's really not very well suited for snapshooting, architecture, low light, or fast action, being best, perhaps, for environmental portraits, scenes, and landscapes—and for a more contemplative, deliberate approach to photography.
Mamiya 7II rangefinder with 65mm lens, showing the
handmade leather case from Japan Exposures.
Why then, with all that, would anyone want to use one? Because it's also among the easiest medium-format cameras to load film into, and it's refreshingly simple to operate and uncommonly fun to use. It's actually light and handy for a camera with such a large negative, and it can be focused by the legally blind. And the lenses are absolutely superlative—really just the kind of optics that will keep a smile plastered on your face continually. Mostly because the results can be spectacular, especially in larger prints. For the right project, could make for a welcome diversion from computer cameras.
• Miss your visits to old-fashioned camera stores, the kind that were stuffed to the scuppers with cool stuff? If you live in the vicinity of Staunton, Virginia, USA, you're in luck, because you can stop by the Camera Heritage Museum. Staffed by volunteers, it contains a collection of cameras and related gear worth more than $300,000.
Staunton is right near the Shenandoah Valley (and Shenandoah National Park), which features some of the most quietly lovely countryside in North America. Perfect for a photographic-themed jaunt, especially in Springtime (there's nothing like a Virginia Springtime—gorgeous).
The O. Winston Link Museum is nearby, too. (See Kent Wiley's Featured Comment below.)
• Institutions on the move...: News has been confirmed that the International Center of Photography will be moving away from its Midtown Manhattan location, where it has occupied the old Kodak building since the 1980s. The reasons have not been confirmed, but one NYC TOP reader pointed out that the real estate has been getting astronomically more valuable, and the ICP, which has reportedly been paying only nominal rent or perhaps none at all, might have been asked to start ponying up (that last bit is speculation only, not reporting!).
Here's a brief history of the ICP's chunk of the island.
...And not: Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., apparently The Corcoran Gallery of Art will not be moving, after previous plans to do so drew an avalanche of complaints from many quarters. Now it has agreed to a takeover, but will remain in its present quarters (a beautiful Beaux Arts building just west of the White House that Frank Lloyd Wright thought was the most beautiful building in Washington. The Corcoran College of Art + Design, Yr. Hmbl. Ed.'s alma mater, is in the same building). Under the new arrangement, the collection will be absorbed into The National Gallery, and the School, although continuing to operate independently (or so they say), will become part of George Washington University, which will assume ownership of the building and become the degree-granting institution.
The deal, however, is not quite done yet.
Miyako Ishiuchi, 2014 Hasselblad Award winner
• "The Hasselblad Foundation is pleased to announce that Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi is the recipient of the 2014 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography for the sum of SEK 1,000,000 (approx. EUR 110,000). The award ceremony takes place in Tokyo on 6th March, 2014. An exhibition of her work, Miyako Ishiuchi—2014 Hasselblad Award Winner, will open on 7th November, 2014, at the Hasselblad Center in the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. The same day, the Hasselblad Foundation will host a symposium with the award winner, and a book on the work of Miyako Ishiuchi will be released."
Here's the page. The Award is among the most generous available to photographers.
• Ctein in Yellowknife: Yes, that's really him beneath all that winter garb. We have his word for it and the word of his friend Viv, the cinematographer. I have chosen to believe them :-) .
(Thanks to Arnaud Réveillon, MM, Jeffrey Schimberg, Michael A. Smith and Frank Marshman, Roger Overall, Hugh Crawford, David A. Goldfarb, Cal Amari, and Ctein)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Miserere: "The other day we discussed selfies from before they were selfies. Are you presenting today the first historical instance of a celebrity photobomb, courtesy of Baudelaire?"
Kent Wiley: "If in the vicinity of Staunton, Virginia, stop by The O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, a little farther south on I-81. A lovely little museum located in the Roanoke passenger rail station with lots of prints of Link's work from the '50s."
Mike replies: That link is a Link link. I'm just sayin'.
Peter (partial comment): I have a Mamiya 6 and the leaf shutter of it and the 7 makes handheld exposures of 1/8 sec. normal and with luck 1/4 and 1/2 possible.
I fail to understand the economics of buying the newest great digital camera every year or so, yet finding film shot on a 25-year-old camera too expensive.
Mike replies: Hey, you're the second person to say that! About the speed I mean.
No sale here on that idea. I have lots of experience of DSLRs and Mamiya 6's and 7's, and for speed there's no contest. Sensors are three stops faster than film—even being conservative—and fast lenses for DSLRs are three stops faster than the ƒ/3.5 normal for the Mamiya 6 or the ƒ/4 normal for the Mamiya 7. That's six stops advantage to the DSLR. Even if you assume I can't hold anything faster than 1/30th with a DSLR—two stops slower than you say you can—that's still a four-stop advantage to the DSLR. You'd need to be able to handhold one-second exposures reliably to come close to matching the DSLR.
In fact the speed advantage for the DSLR might even be more than I've assumed here. The numbers above assume 400 speed film, ISO 3200 on the DSLR, and don't even take IS technology into account. If you say you can use 800-speed film, I'll just counter with ISO 6400—well within usable quality range on pro DSLRs. And with IS I could easily match your best hand-holding shutter speed and very likely do you a stop or two better.
Also, I do buy too many cameras, but that's because I write about them. As we've discussed here before, you only need to replace your digital SLR once every four to six years.
Don't get me wrong; I agree the Mamiyas are darned nice cameras. I love 'em and frequently admire the work I see done with them. But for low-light photography, which I do a lot of, digital SLRs win going away.