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Thursday, 20 December 2012


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I am glad to see that Jerry Uelsmann is represented in this book and exhibition.
I will be sure to see it this winter at the National Gallery of Art in DC.

The book looks really interesting.

As for being the first scholarly treatment of photographic manipulation, I'd quibble; certainly David King's "The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia" (1997) deserves a mention in this category.

Another good one (if you can find it) is "Photo Fakery" by Dino Brugioni -- he used to head up photo interpretation at the CIA.

I haven't seen the book, but I have the show. I also attended a talk that accompanied the opening of the show. Aside from the intended manipulations (Jerry Uelsmann talked about that), Mark Osterman talked about just the basic processing during the history of photography lends itself to manipulation. For example, in a b&w photograph with the woman wearing a black dress; how do we interpret that (is she in mourning?) How do we know she wasn't wearing a red dress at the time of exposure. This show gives a lot to think about. When it comes around, I would strongly suggest going.

I was given a copy of the English translation of the 1937 German book "The Secrets of Trick Photography" by OR Croy. I covers all the usual faking techniques as well as techniques for improving du photos, shooting glass objects, tabletop etc.

saw the NY exhibit in person...more there than one might expect.

"You might, however, find it revelatory to learn that photography has been prevarication-prone nearly from day one of its existence."

Not really, it's something I've known for years... But it is a topic that has recently received a great deal of attention, less because it's an important part of photographic history than because of recent media cock-ups involving Photoshopped photographs. (And I suppose as part of the ongoing film v. digital battle.)

One can win the book with a photo-manipulation contest run by Adobe: http://adobe.ly/UWpKLF

Gary Nylander: "This reminds me of a great old book that I picked up years ago called The Art of Retouching Photographic Negatives.

This 1936 book by Robert Johnson is online at the Internet Archive.

SPECtre: "One can win the book with a photo-manipulation contest run by Adobe.."

Indeed, Adobe was a sponsor of the exhibition. Rather like Alfred Nobel sponsoring a peace prize, eh?

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