Hilmar Pabel

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The year 1968 began uneasily in Czechoslovakia. The previous October, a group of students in Prague’s Technical University staged a demonstration to protest electricity cuts at their dormitories; their shouts of “More light!” were a pointed rebuke towards the stifling rule by the Communist party. So, when the new year came, the party yielded by electing a new First Secretary, Alexander Dubček.

The 47-year old was a compromise candidate — Dubček had carefully cultivated his bland and ambiguous personality for years. Now, finally with power, he changed positions. A reform program — timid by international standards, but ambitious in the eyes of Communist cadres — was launched to create ‘‘Communism with a human face.’’ The flowering of freedom of speech and press, freedom to travel abroad, and relaxation of secret police activities followed, but it was brief. A worried Soviet Union rolled its tanks into Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

On the first day of invasion, German photographer Hilmar Pabel took the photo above of a distraught woman carrying a photo of Dubcek and Czechoslovak President Ludvík Svoboda. Pabel was a man whose stature as a humanist photographer would have been greater had he not been a propagandist for Nazism during the Second World War. In a photoessay for Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, Pabel documented Jews living in the Lublin Ghetto as shifty and avaricious: living in dirt and hiding consumer goods and foods in the cellars.

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After the war, Pabel was briefly imprisoned for his work, but got out to work with Red Cross to photograph children displaced by war to help them reunite with their parents and family. By the 50s and 60s, his reputation has recovered, and his works were published by Life, Paris Match, and Stern.  In 1961, he was the recipient of the Cultural Prize of the German Society for Photography, followed by two World Press Photo awards. Two photoessays he filed from Vietnam (Story of the Little Orchid, 1964 and Thuan Lives Again, 1968) were widely praised, although some critics scoffed that he was reaching back into his propagandist past to portray American army hospital staff as Good Samaritans.

 

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Read: A Visit From The Good Squad

This is quite a book. Unique in my mind. I’m not really sure how to describe it, other than it snaps you off with precision, twisting and turning with a single paragraph. One chapter, toward the back, is all diagrams. Yep, diagrams. What I’m learning about these wonderful authors is their ability to observe and cut, observe and cut. You and me, our behavior, our passive aggressive shit. Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Good Squad requires your undivided attention. Read a bit and come back and you might miss things or overlook the nuance. This book made me feel and that’s about all I can ask. Oh, and it won the Pulitzer, which people tell me is a big deal….. Thanks Jennifer. Get it, read it.

Source: http://shifter.media

Photo News Weekly Roundup 9/23/17

Every weekend we bring you some of our favorite news stories from the just ended week. Brew a cup, settle in, and see the most important photo and camera news as curated by our crack editorial team.

Here’s the news for the week ending September 23, 2017.


New Zenit will use Leica guts

Around the time that we published our review of the E, Zenit announced a return to the market with a new version of their best-selling SLR. In their announcement, Zenit said that their new full-frame mirrorless camera would rival the luxury of Leica. New rumors this week say that boast hits quite close to home. Website USSRPhoto told Peta Pixel that the interior of the new camera would essentially be those of the Leica SL, the brand’s medium format camera.

But not all of the Zenit will have German DNA as all the lenses for the camera will be made by KMZ, the company that has always produced the Zenit near Moscow. But if the Leica rumors are to be believed, fans of the Zenit probably shouldn’t count on a camera body made from tank metal.


Yashica hints at some sort of camera comeback

Polaroid and Zenit aren’t the only camera brands rising from the ashes this year. Yashica, who made some seriously awesome cameras until 2003, released a new website, a vague video and a smartphone lens, all while hinting that something new is coming camera-wise. Then a second video came out with the company saying they would be releasing an “unprecedented camera.”

Stop and wonder what “unprecedented” could mean in 2017. More often than any other camera, the woman uses the Yashica Lynx in the video. I have no idea what the company has in mind, but a new film rangefinder would seem to me pretty unprecedented in 2017.


Snap Shots

Get ready for your iPhone photos to get about 50 percent smaller when you upgrade to iOS 11. Apparently the phone will use the HEIF format, which makes photos heif as big as they are when taken in JPEG form.

Are you a photographer that obsesses over your Instagram page? Maybe you’ve carefully cultivated the aesthetic and plan out everything according to the 3 photo grid? You may be pissed off soon.

Have you heard of Abkhazia? Only four U.N. members recognize it as a sovereign area on the coast of the Black Sea bordering the Caucasus Mountains. One Russian photographer has spent the last few years documenting it.

A photo collector has struck negative gold in China, where he buys massive amounts of discarded negatives to bring to life.


And that’s it for this week. See you next time, photo nerds.

CASUAL PHOTOPHILE is on ElloFacebookInstagram, and Youtube

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Yosemite on Fire

Yosemite on Fire wallpaper

My first trip to Yosemite, and there was a wildfire in the national park. The sun set through the smoke, illuminating Half Dome with this fiery orange glow.

Adobe Lightroom CC.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

Photo Settings: 185mm, f/2, 1/250 second, ISO 160.

Mac users: download Macdrops the official InterfaceLIFT app for Mac OS X.

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Photoessay: Scattered

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I think of this set of images is a reflection of one’s rather scattered – but oddly consistent – state of mind when you see and grab an image on the way to doing something else. Being a full time photographer, I’m used to focusing 100% of my energy on shooting alone – to the exclusion of everything else. Since going pro in 2012, this is actually the first time in years I’ve actually been capturing a good proportion of my off duty images when photography wasn’t the primary objective of my day or trip. You can’t really turn your photographic eye off, but it feels as though you’re a lot more scattered and rushing to get the shot – even though the total number of photograph opportunities is of course much lower. Conversely, being in the zone really distorts your perception of time, often in both directions – moments stretch out but whole events and sequences land up passing in the blink of an eye. In essence, that’s what I feel like I’m left with here after curation: scattered glimpses of lives that are moving in different frames of reference to your own, momentarily intersecting for just long enough for you to know that you’re not going the same way. MT

Shot with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 100mm and X1D-50c and 90mm and post processed with the Monochrome Masterclass workflow.

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here

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More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.

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Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop videos, and the individual Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Filed under: hasselblad, On Photography Source: http://ift.tt/20qMcfK

The 2017 PhotoBook Awards Shortlist

Aperture and Paris Photo are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 PhotoBook Awards.

The shortlist selection was made by Gregory Halpern, whose ZZYZX won the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook of the Year Award in 2016; Lesley A. Martin, Creative Director, Aperture Foundation and Publisher, The PhotoBook Review; Kathy Ryan, longtime director of photography at the New York Times Magazine; Joel Smith, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York; and Christoph Wiesner, artistic director of Paris Photo.

Established in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography, with three major categories: First PhotoBook, Photography Catalogue of the Year, and PhotoBook of the Year.

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Mathieu Asselin, Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation (Verlag Kettler) 2017

rex copy

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Zackary Canepari, REX (Contrasto Books) 2016

blind_spot copy

blind_spot copy

Teju Cole, Blind Spot (Penguin Random House) 2017

deep_springs

deep_springs

Sam Contis, Deep Springs (MACK) London, 2017

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Debi Cornwall, Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay (Radius Books) 2017

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Albert Elm, What Sort of Life Is This (The Ice Plant) 2017

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Mary Frey, Reading Raymond Carver (Peperoni Books) 2017

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Jenia Fridlyand, Entrance to Our Valley (Self-published) 2017

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Darren Harvey-Regan, The Erratics (RVB Books) 2017

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Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen, Eyes as Big as Plates (Forlaget Press) 2017

creation

creation

Dawn Kim, Creation.IMG (Self-published) 2016

hidden_mother

hidden_mother

Laura Larson, Hidden Mother (Saint Lucy Books) 2017

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white_night copy

Feng Li, White Night (Jiazazhi Press) 2017

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company_of_black copy

Cecil McDonald Jr., In the Company of Black (Candor Arts) 2017

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out_blue copy

Virginie Rebetez, Out of the Blue (Meta/Books) 2016

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Claudius Schulze, State of Nature (Hartmann Books) 2017

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Nadya Sheremetova, ed.; with Alexey Bogolepov, Margo Ovcharenko, Irina Ivannikova, Anastasia Tsayder, Igor Samolet, Yury Gudkov, Olya Ivanova, Irina Zadorozhnaia, Anastasia Tailakova, and Irina Yulieva; Amplitude No.1 (FotoDepartment) 2017

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Senta Simond, Rayon Vert (Self-published) 2017

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Alnis Stakle, Melancholic Road (Self-published) 2017

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Mayumi Suzuki, The Restoration Will (Self-published) 2017

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Brassaï: Graffiti, Le Langage du Mur,Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska (Éditions Xavier Barral) 2016

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CLAP! 10×10 Contemporary Latin American Photobooks: 2000–2016, Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman, and Matthew Carson (10×10 Photobooks) 2017

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Diary of a Leap Year, Rabith Mroué (Kunsthalle Mainz and Kapth Books) 2017

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Hans Eijkelboom: Photo Concepts 1970, Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, Wim van Sinderen, Gerrit Willems and Dieter Roelstraete (Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH) 2016

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New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century, Mattie Boom, Hans Rooseboom (Rijiksmuseum/Nai) 2017

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Anne Golaz, Corbeau (MACK) 2017

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Jim Goldberg, The Last Son (SUPER LABO) 2016

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Nicholas Muellner, In Most Tides an Island (SPBH Editions) 2017

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Mark Neville, Fancy Pictures (Steidl) 2016

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Alison Rossiter, Expired Paper (Radius Books and Yossi Milo Gallery) 2017

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Paul Schiek, ed., Mike Mandel, Susan Meiselas, Bill Burke, and Lee Friedlander, Subscription Series No. 5 (TBW Books) 2017

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Dayanita Singh, Museum Bhavan (Steidl) 2017

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Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril, La Grieta (The Crack) (Astiberri Ediciones) 2016

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Erik van der Weijde, This Is Not My Book (Spector Books) 2017

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Henk Wildschut, Ville de Calais (Self-published) 2017

First PhotoBook

Mathieu Asselin
Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation 
Publisher: Verlag Kettler, Dortmund, Germany, 2017
Designed by Ricardo Báez

Zackary Canepari
REX
Publisher: Contrasto Books, Italy, 2016
Designed by Teun van der Heijden

Teju Cole
Blind Spot
Publisher: Penguin Random House, New York, 2017
Designed by Alex Merto

Sam Contis
Deep Springs
Publisher: MACK, London, 2017
Designed by Sam Contis and Lewis Chaplin

Debi Cornwall
Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay
Publisher: Radius Books, Santa Fe, NM, 2017
Designed by David Chickey

Albert Elm
What Sort of Life Is This
Publisher: The Ice Plant, Los Angeles, 2017
Designed by Albert Elm

Mary Frey
Reading Raymond Carver
Publisher: Peperoni Books, Berlin, 2017
Designed by Hannes Wanderer

Jenia Fridlyand 
Entrance to Our Valley
Self-published, New York, 2017
Designed by Jenia Fridlyand

Darren Harvey-Regan
The Erratics
Publisher: RVB Books, Paris, 2017
Designed by Zoé Aubry & Vincent Sauvaire

Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen
Eyes as Big as Plates
Publisher: Forlaget Press, Oslo, 2017
Designed by Greger Ulf Nilson

Dawn Kim
Creation.IMG
Publisher: Self-published, Brooklyn, 2016
Designed by Dawn Kim

Laura Larson
Hidden Mother
Publisher: Saint Lucy Books, Baltimore, 2017
Designed by Guenet Abraham

Feng Li
White Night
Publisher: Jiazazhi Press, Ningbo, China, 2017
Designed by Cheng Yinhe

Cecil McDonald Jr. 
In the Company of Black
Publisher: Candor Arts, Chicago, 2017
Designed by Matt Austin

Virginie Rebetez
Out of the Blue
Publisher: Meta/Books, Amsterdam, 2016
Designed by Chi-long Trieu

Claudius Schulze
State of Nature 
Publisher: Hartmann Books, Stuttgart, Germany, 2017
Designed by SIB

Nadya Sheremetova, ed. 
With Alexey Bogolepov, Margo Ovcharenko, Irina Ivannikova, Anastasia Tsayder, Igor Samolet, Yury Gudkov, Olya Ivanova, Irina Zadorozhnaia, Anastasia Tailakova, and Irina Yulieva. 
Amplitude No.1
Publisher: FotoDepartment, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2017
Designed by Anton Lepashov

Senta Simond
Rayon Vert
Self-published, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2017
Designed by Florence Meunier

Alnis Stakle
Melancholic Road
Self-published, Riga, Latvia, 2017
Designed by Alnis Stakle

Mayumi Suzuki
The Restoration Will
Self-published, Tokyo, Japan, 2017
Designed by Yumi Goto and Jan Rosseel

Photography Catalogue of the Year

Brassaï: Graffiti, Le Langage du Mur
Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska
Éditions Xavier Barral
Paris, 2016
Designed by Xavier Barral and Coline Aguettaz

CLAP! 10×10 Contemporary Latin American Photobooks: 2000–2016
Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman, and Matthew Carson
Publisher: 
10×10 Photobooks, New York, 2017
Designed by Ricardo Báez

Diary of a Leap Year
Rabith Mroué
Publisher: 
Kunsthalle Mainz and Kapth Books, Beirut, Lebanon, 2017
Designed by Studio Safar

Hans Eijkelboom: Photo Concepts 1970
Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, Wim van Sinderen, Gerrit Willems and Dieter Roelstraete
Publisher:
Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, 2016
Designed by Jaap van Triest, Amsterdam

New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century
Mattie Boom, Hans Rooseboom
Publisher: 
Rijiksmuseum/Nai, Amsterdam, 2017
Designed by Irma Boom Office (Irma Boom/Tariq Heijboer)

PhotoBook of the Year

Anne Golaz
Corbeau
Publisher: MACK, London, 2017
Designed by Anne Golaz and Lewis Chaplin

Jim Goldberg
The Last Son
Publisher: SUPER LABO
Kamakura, Japan, 2016
Designed by Jim Goldberg

Nicholas Muellner
In Most Tides an Island
Publisher: SPBH Editions, London, 2017
Designed by Andrew Sloat

Mark Neville
Fancy Pictures
Publisher: Steidl, Göttingen, Germany, 2016
Designed by Duncan Whyte

Alison Rossiter
Expired Paper
Publisher: Radius Books and Yossi Milo Gallery, Sante Fe, NM, 2017
Designed by David Chickey

Paul Schiek, ed.
Mike Mandel, Susan Meiselas, Bill Burke, and Lee Friedlander
Subscription Series No. 5
Publisher: TBW Books, Oakland, CA, 2017
Designed by Paul Schiek and Lester Rosso

Dayanita Singh
Museum Bhavan
Publisher: Steidl, Göttingen, Germany, 2017
Designed by Dayanita Singh and Gerhard Steidl

Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril
La Grieta (The Crack)
Publisher: Astiberri Ediciones, Bilbao, Spain, 2016

Erik van der Weijde
This Is Not My Book
Publisher: Spector Books, Leipzig, Germany, 2017
Designed by Fabian Bremer and Pascal Storz

Henk Wildschut
Ville de Calais
Self-published, Amsterdam, 2017
Designed by Robin Uleman

 

 

 

 

The post The 2017 PhotoBook Awards Shortlist appeared first on Aperture Foundation NY.

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Creative: Digital Photograph (Super Dynamite Update)

For those of you who have been reading my site for any length of time you will know about “Super Dynamite,” my soon to be twelve-year-old nephew.(More of him here and here.) I haven’t posted about him in a long while as he’s at the age when my photography isn’t high on his list of priorities and he’s too smart for me to trick him into anything.(God I miss those days.)

But early this morning I was able to trap the elusive beast. Just for a moment. Chalk it up to his being blinded by a screen, whatever, I’ll take it. But there is more to this photograph than just the subject. This is a digital photograph I actually like.

Yesterday I had a meeting with two friends, both photographers. One was carrying a Pentax ME Super and the other an ancient Contax SLR of some sort that must have weighed eight pounds. Both of these people know me as more of a Leica film guy because our history goes back many years. But yesterday I brought my Fuji, and for the first time in my adult life I didn’t feel like my “real” camera was at home. The XT2 probably isn’t perfect, but it’s damn close to perfect for me and my current set of needs. Light, small, relatively fast. A solid viewfinder, sensible layout and menus that even I can understand.(I’ve only looked at maybe 5% of the menus.) I also like the lens selection which feels very similar to my old days of using the f/2 Leica lenses which are mimicked nicely by my f/2 Fujicrons. And I have a fast 85mm for portraits.

Beyond the hardware there is the look of the file. My post production method is as painfully basic as you could possible imagine. Import, apply one star if I like, apply preset, export. THIS IS ALL I WILL EVER DO. I hate post and will never sit and tweak my files beyond this little sequence. My heart just isn’t there. But I have to say, this is enough. The color out of the camera is superb. I’m sure there are a hundred million thousand reviews out there that will give you all the tech juice about this camera but I’m not concerned about that stuff. It just f^%$%$# works.

A few folks have said “Oh, I have to have full frame.” I used to think that way too. Okay. I get it. But most of the time I don’t. I’m guessing I can do a 24×36 easily with this camera and probably a 30×40 if I wanted to. What the Hell else could I possible want, and frankly my fav print size is 16×20 which would be cake with this baby. And the reality is I make more 4×6’s than anything else, and by a long shot, and I surely don’t need to archive massive files.

I guess my only issue is that I only have one body, and the few times I’ve been in real shooting situations I’ve felt like I was missing things due to not having the second machine ready to go. But oh well. Life is a neverending, intensely cruel suckfest and then I get a disease and walk into the swift current of death. Or something like that. But, in the meantime I’ll be snapping away. Happily once again.

Source: http://shifter.media

We Review Lomography’s Daguerreotype Achromat 64mm f/2.9 Art Lens, and It’s a Weird One

“Who the hell actually buys this thing?”

That’s what I’m asking myself as I struggle through my first day shooting Lomography’s Achromat lens. I silently curse the spirit of Charles Chevalier for this new copy of his nearly two-hundred-year-old invention, ignoring that his genius was responsible for helping invent photography as we know it.

I roll my eyes as I fish through my pockets for an aperture that works. I grit my teeth as I cycle through shutter speeds until the exposure looks acceptable. Later, while editing, I will fall to my knees and weep as I realize that a potentially incredible portrait was ruined by my poor focusing, not helped by the cumbersome functionality of the lens.

Now I know why we imagine what it’d be like to take technology back in time, and not bring old stuff the other direction. Sure, send me back to Waterloo with a tank. That seems much safer than fighting through Normandy with a flintlock.

But my resentment of the lens didn’t last forever, and eventually I figured it out. Getting there, well, that took some effort. But before we get too deep, what the hell is this strange, brass relic made for modern digital cameras?

Lomography’s Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is a 64mm f/2.9 lens with two elements in one group and comes in Canon EF, Nikon F and Pentax K lens mounts without electronic contacts. It comes in three finishes: brass, black, and damage-resistant chrome. For this review, I used the brass version on a Canon 6D.

The original Achromat lens was created in 1839 (when flintlocks were still in use, by the way), and was designed to work with the Daguerreotype camera that had been created earlier that year. More than 175 years later, Lomography announced their Kickstarter Campaign to reproduce Chevalier’s lens for use on modern film and digital cameras.

Whether it’s with plastic toy and instant cameras, quirky repackaged film, or reclaimed Russian glass, Lomography has built its reputation around intuition and style rather than technical prowess. With the Achromat, they’ve struck a balance; a lens that requires extra work and knowledge of fundamental processes, but also creates out-of-time results that can remind us why we photograph in the first place.

There’s nothing normal about the Achromat, and it’s truly the weirdest piece of glass I’ve ever used. It’s amazing and frustrating, requiring both patience and impetuosity, the precision of a German and the romanticism of a Frenchman. It makes every type of photography more difficult, but is capable of delivering stunning and truly unique results if we just learn how to use it.

It also makes a statement before we even get it out of the box. There’s something to be said for well-designed packaging and Lomography nails it here. The cover features a gorgeous portrait with gold lettering embossed across a sturdy box. Inside this luxuriant box is a lens case and two booklets, one is small and instructional and the other highlights the lens’ optical possibilities. Once we get to the lens, it’s no surprise that so much thought was put into its packaging.





In the hand the lens feels rather excellent. Pulling it from the packaging it seemed like I was handling an artifact stolen from the archives of a museum. It’s well made, sturdy, and I imagine less sensitive to the vagaries of the modern world than Chevalier’s was. The lens cap has an engraving of a man on a horse, which seems like a reference to Eadweard Muybridge’s motion picture from 1878. All in all, it looks very much like an antique, one that’d be equally suited to sitting behind glass as it might be mounted on a camera.

But spend more than two seconds looking at it, and you’re sure to notice some strange details, such as the small slotted opening near the front of the lens, and the complete lack of an aperture ring. Though you may not know it at first, these peculiarities point to the lens’ most notable and unique feature.

The Achromat uses the Waterhouse aperture system, by which the photographer inserts small metal plates with different apertures in front of the glass element. The plates have an aperture range from f/16 to f/2.9. Lomography also offers two additional sets of plates with different shapes and sizes. These give unique and artistic effects to out-of-focus areas of the image.

In use, the lens is an interesting mix of methodical and spontaneous. The real novelty of the Achromat is the simple ability to use a 19th century lens design on a digital camera, and on digital cameras is where this lens works best. Even on my DSLR, things aren’t simple. The Waterhouse system naturally precludes electronic communication of aperture settings between lens and camera. So when the lens is attached to my 6D, the camera reads f/00 regardless of whether aperture plates are inserted or not. And since the aperture rings are inserted in front of the glass, brightness becomes a real issue at minimum apertures. At f/8 there’s noticeable darkness in the viewfinder, and by f/16 it’s downright difficult to focus in poor lighting. This means that metering will need to be done off camera or exposures tweaked in live view, where I can just play around with shutter speeds until I see something I like on my screen.

Focusing is a complex issue with the Achromat, both because a chief component of its marketing is geared toward the dreamy, soft focus images it produces, and because it’s simply a difficult lens to focus. The first difficulty comes by the way the aperture system works, and second from just how painfully slowly the focus ring spins.

Were I shooting it on a film body, achieving correct exposure and accurate focus would demand a level of care that would be strange from a  Lomography product, a brand whose credo seems to be less thinking and more feeling.

Image quality is interesting as well, which is unsurprising given the lens’ design brief and history. Lomography’s soft-focus marketing is spot on. The lens produces really dreamy, ethereal images, especially when shot wide open. Bokeh has that unique swirl we’ve all seen in Russian glass, and gets even more interesting when using the creative plates that can turn bokeh into stars and reduce the clarity of images to that found in watercolor paintings. Every lens is different, and like meeting a new person, the more time we spend with it the more layers of personality we uncover. Just when I was getting the hang of the lens, I shot into the sun and produced an unexpected light ring surrounding the subject. It likely has more tricks up its sleeve that only time will reveal. Some may even be pleasant.



















But taking a photo with the Achromat is undeniably a process. It’s a string of decisions that begins with choosing the aperture plates, slowly focusing the image, shuffling through shutter speeds, and reviewing the live view on screen to make sure our settings are correct. Film shooters are accustomed to a longer process, but it admittedly feels more frustrating when we’re holding a DSLR whose purpose is expediency.

Often I found that I skipped or messed up one of the many steps. That weeping over a lost opportunity I mentioned earlier? I was only able to shoot that subject for a few minutes, and I really felt like I’d nailed a gorgeous shot with it. Even while shooting I thought “Oh, these are really good.” Later that evening, I had to admit that the focus was way off, even for the softest lens in the world. I’ve included it in the photo samples here, where it will always remain a mental reminder to double and triple check my images before wrapping a shoot.

Lomography claims that the Achromat is capable of razor sharp images, but I haven’t seen too much evidence to back that up. The best results I achieved for sharpness came when the camera was on a tripod in the studio.

It’s in this environment that the steps of using the Achromat don’t just feel easier to perform, they feel natural. By posing the subject, adjusting the light, choosing the plate, putting it in the lens and straining to find focus, I felt a connection to the essence of photography. Photographers were performing these steps in the beginning; they have done it since, and we continue to do it today. When we take a photo that makes us stop and smile, we’re touching the absolute base motivation anyone has ever had for taking a picture since 1839. By doing that with the Achromat, we’re getting a closer approximation to what photography was like for the OGs like Chavalier.

When I wondered who would buy this lens during my first day of shooting, I was out of touch with that motivation. To get back to it, I had to struggle with the Achromat. I had to roll my eyes about aperture plates, the slow focusing, and the goofy focal length. It wasn’t until revisiting the images, specifically the portraits, that I appreciated all those steps, and even some of my missteps. I was far from being enthused about these photos when I was taking them, but looking at them now has me feeling almost wistful.

Expectation at times feeds frustration, but hard work and patience are the tools of success. The flintlock knew that, and so does the Achromat. For those who are willing to work for it, this lens will reward shooters with a unique experience and unique images every time.

Want to try the Lomo Achromat?

Buy it from B&H Photo

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The fourth edition of Photofairs Shangai

photofairs

[dropcap type="1"]T[/dropcap]his year’s edition has seen Shangai as the capital of art with it’s Photofairs, which has made the strongest sales ever and has been highly praised by all 50 galleries from 16 countries of the world. The fair is the leading platform for art photography collectors and the latest artworks, accompanied by Porsche, the fair’s Presenting Partner.
The curator Christopher Phillips said “The fourth edition of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai demonstrated a new stage of maturity. The mix of Asian galleries and those from other parts of the world struck a perfect balance. The special curated exhibitions showed that Asian artists and collectors have reached a remarkably high level of sophistication. And certainly, everyone at the fair noticed the presence of leading American and European collectors and museums curators, who all seemed to be planning major acquisitions of Chinese photography.

The prime public programming of the fair was also noted by those who were present. Highlights of the fair included Spotlight, which is the first international platform of work by the Chinese artist Ren Hang, Insights, a museum-quality exhibition of unique pieces tracing the history of colour in photography, and a special presentation of the works by four of China’s leading art collectors in the Collectors’ Exhibition, powered by De Beers.
Simon Baker, from the Tate Modern of London, says that it has been an eye-opening experience for him and a surprising fair, adding that he has been introduced to impressive new work by Chinese galleries and made exciting discoveries among both established and emerging artists.
The next editions of the Photofairs will be held in San Francisco from the 23rd to the 25th February 2018 for the second time, and again it will be held in Shangai for the fifth edition from the 21st to the 23rd September 2018.

The post The fourth edition of Photofairs Shangai appeared first on Positive Magazine.

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Human Hotel: a travel community of creative hosts

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]uman Hotel is a travel community founded by the artists, curators and visionaires of the social design studio Wooloo and artistic community Wooloo.org, the first online community for professional artists. They are currently based in an old chocolate factory in Copenhagen, Denmark.
They started experimenting in 2007, when in NYC they started Life Exchange, where participants left a Chelsea townhouse with each others clothes and life. In 2008 they organized a festival that brought together artists, creative projects and architects in Berlin. An interesting project of the festival was Fictive Days, where people lived as their favourite fictional character for two weeks.
In 2010, commissioned to create a work for Manifesta 8 biennal, they matched five artists with five blind locals to live and work together. In a completely dark place.
And from 2012 they started the project of Human Hotel, firstly in Copenhagen and then in many other European cities and in the USA.
For example, you could stay in Copenhagen with Cecilia, a visual artist who works with 2-d digital animation and in the field of Artists Books. She teaches workshops for children at the National Gallery of Art in Copenhagen.

She rents her house just near Copenhagen’s lakes and the interiors are perfect for people who love pastel colours.
And while you are booking for Cecilia’s guest room, Human Hotel gives tips for artsy activities to do in the city you are staying. In Copenhagen it’s possible to visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and go to Rineke Dijkstra photography exhibition.
Rineke is a true master of modern portraiture that studies identity, vulnerability and dignity. Her photographs show a sense of humanity, empathy and intimacy without sentimentality or indiscretion. She captures people, who are going through a moment of transition or vulnerability. This year she won The Hasselblad Award. Her exhibition started in September and will end on the 30th December 2017.

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