Bjørg-Elise Tuppen Shares Her Serene Moments with the Moon

All images by Bjørg-Elise Tuppen. Used with Creative Commons permission.

The Arctic remains one of the most mesmerizing locations for landscape photographers: its frozen landscapes are among the most mysterious, intriguing, and moody subjects to capture. If it’s one of your dream destinations to photograph, you will definitely be inspired by the serene landscape photography of Harstad-based photographer, artist, and graphic designer Bjørg-Elise Tuppen in the Arctic region of Northern Norway.

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This Unusual Lens was Used at the Nevada Test Site in the 1950s

Could this 1000mm Cyclotar lens have been used to document bomb experiments?

Today’s awesome vintage find on ebay is something for collectors with a taste for rarity and curiosity for military history. You definitely don’t see a 1000mm 40-inch f/8 Cyclotar lens spring up from the depths of ebay everyday! What exactly is this curious-looking item? Well, there’s not much info out there other than what ebay seller brcamera has provided. This rare Cyclotar lens was made by Alan Gordon Enterprises for the US government in the 1950s. It was used at the Nevada Test Site for documenting testing activities (we’re definitely itching to know what kind) from the 1950s to the 1970s. It was especially constructed around a 40-inch Bausch + Lomb f/8 Telestigmat lens and was equipped on a Crown Graphic 4×5.

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Gallery Review: Stephen Shore Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art

Stephen Shore’s Retrospective at the MoMA is worth exploring for every photographer

A tangerine sunset casts a Texaco station in an eerie light in a middle-of-nowhere highway. Flashbulbs on a Rollei 35mm capture a grotesquely delicious image of an omelet, white toast, and a stark white glass of milk in what could be any diner in the United States. For the past five decades, Stephen Shore has captured an unflinching and unapologetic perspective of America. His work justified the mundane and changed the way the world saw photography. After his work hit the mainstream, the world suddenly saw that photographs of parking lots and the average citizen were not a waste of film, and they followed suite.

Stephen Shore was born in New York City in 1947, and began his life as a photographer very early, receiving his first Darkroom kit from an uncle at age 6. By 1958, he was given the book American Photographs by Walker Evans, and his life was forever changed. By the age of 14, Edward Steichen had purchased a handful of Shore’s prints, launching his prolific career. From 1965 – 1967, he joined Andy Warhol’s inner circle and spent the majority of his time documenting the unique group of artists. At age 24, Shore exhibited his first solo body of work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which just so happened to be the first solo exhibition of a living American photographer in history. The rest of Shore’s career was just as prolific as his beginnings, and he went on to create many masterful bodies of work.  

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A Musing and History of the Pentax 67 SLR

All images and text by Zeb Andrews over at Blue Moon Camera. Used with permission.

Where to start with the Pentax 6×7? How about if we start with the fact that I love this camera; so this way you know exactly where I am coming from as you read this. I have been using this camera for over a decade now, and though I now carry other cameras with me more frequently, my Pentax has a special place in my camera lineup that no other camera can compete with.

The Pentax 6×7 is not that dissimilar to most 35mm SLR cameras –  if you gave those cameras steroids and pumped them up to twice their original size. The Pentax 6×7 is a pretty straight-forward camera. Exposure is done entirely manually, it uses its own line of bayonet mount lenses, can accept alternative prisms (including a meter prism and a waist level viewfinder) and is able to use either 120 or 220 film, creating either 10 or 21 6x7cm exposures per roll. The camera is a beastly tank, but such a good beastly tank. At the time of its introduction, it did exactly what a pro photographer needed it to: make 6x7cm medium format images while viewing through the camera’s main lens… and it did it well and surprisingly ergonomically for its size and weight.

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The Old NPC ProBack Let You Shoot Polaroid Peel-Apart Films with a Nikon SLR

The NPC ProBack was a pretty nifty idea, if not a waste of film

Once in awhile, you come across a photography contraption whose purpose or use eludes you. Some of the ones that occasionally still pop up on eBay and photography forums is the NPC Polaroid ProBack, a camera back that was designed to take Polaroid peel-apart instant films for checking exposure, lighting, and composition on the spot. Back in the days, Polaroid films had a different purpose in photography than what most of us today use (and love) them for. They were very helpful for photographers who needed precise exposures for demanding projects. For those who wanted or needed to do this without an actual Polaroid camera (or wanted to get a preview of their camera setup), there was the bulky and unwieldy Speed Magny for those used Nikon F cameras. The cool factor of this was that the back essentially turned the 35 mm Nikon F camera into an instant or large format camera.

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Albert Watson Relates the Story of His Iconic Image of Steve Jobs

“That’s maybe the best picture ever taken of me” is what Steve Jobs told Albert Watson.

Photographer Albert Watson has photographed many celebrities and important people; but his image of Steve Jobs is one that really, truly stands out to lots of folks. Albert shot it with large format film and Steve was questioning why. With all honesty, Albert said that he didn’t believe that digital was there yet–and amazingly Steve agreed! But this was pretty difficult for Albert as Steve Jobs apparently hated photographers.

Of course, you can immediately see what kind of difficulty this must’ve been.

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Speed Magny Backs Turn Nikon F Cameras into Instant or Large Format Cameras

Screenshot image from the Speed Magny 45 video by Doug Bardwell

From the 1960s to the 1980s, photographers who wanted to check their lighting or churn out images for very quick reportage had a secret weapon: the Speed Magny. This interesting contraption allowed them to produce Polaroid prints with their Nikon F cameras. While the entire setup looks rather bulky and awkward, it was still marketed as the “Instant” Nikon.

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Ronald Herard: 9/11 Through the Eyes of a Photo Lab Technician

This photographer walks in, drops off his pictures and stands off to the side. I asked him “Are you okay?” He says he was standing there with the camera in hand and all of a sudden him and the firemen hear these sounds. THUNK! THUNK! He didn’t know what it was. When he turned around, he found out it was people hitting the ground and jumping out of the World Trade Center. He says to me “I couldn’t lift my camera.” He was covered in ash, and tears were coming down his eyes. They were flesh colored where the tears were streaming down and cutting through the ashes. That photographer cleaned himself up in the bathroom and he went back out there.

During 9/11, Ronald Herard was one of the people running the Time Life Photo Lab in NYC. He got into the art form through graphic design only to shuffle around while working in studios, retail stores, and then photo labs. Today, he’s both a member of Kamoinge and a camera salesperson at Foto Care in NYC; but on 9/11 he was a photo lab tech working the counter–and so he’s seen the work of so many photographers who shot during that day. We sat down in a pizzeria around the Flatiron neighborhood (as us New Yorkers do) where I mostly listened to Ron relate the experience of how he got into photography and how those experiences lead to him being in the lab. On September 11th 2001, photographers of all types poured in as the Time Life Photo Lab made themselves open 24/7 for a period of time.

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David Forrest: Documenting How 9/11 Affected The Brooklyn Waterfront

All images by ​​David Forrest. Used with permission.

If you were to think about all the things that happened during 9/11, you’d surely consider that there were probably photographers who wanted to get closer to the tragedy to document it but simply couldn’t–and that was the situation for David Forrest. When the planes crashed into the towers, police prevented people from getting into Manhattan from the other boroughs. But the towers are so large that they’re easily visible from every borough no matter where you are pretty much. So when the smoke and embers came over the city, it travelled quite far and was very visible. And while a lot was happening in Manhattan, the ash traveled to the other boroughs.

David’s story is one that is unlike many others–because while many stories concentrate on what happened in Manhattan, not many people talk about how Brooklyn was affected.

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Michel Leroy: A Photojournalist’s Perspective of 9/11 While Not on Assignment

All images shot during 9/11 by Michel Leroy. Used with permission. Contact Sheets created by the Phoblographer with permission.

When you look at the modern portfolio of Photographer Michel Leroy, you wouldn’t at all believe that 9/11 was a time that touched him personally. But not only was photography bred into Michel since high school, but so was journalism. On September 11th 2001, the World Trade Center fell here in NYC as the world and many New Yorkers looked on in horror. For this year’s remembrance, we wanted to interview a number of photographers who were around and on the scene during that time. Many of them have never looked back at their archives, and with Michel the experience was one that he felt really changed him. But as many photojournalists will tell you, the camera can be a shield of some sort from your own emotions.

Before you go on, I want to warn everyone that this post contains images that may shock or cause a stir amongst some readers. I personally saw the second plane hit the towers, and both putting this story together and looking through Michel’s images certainly was difficult to do.

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The Leica H: A Little Leica Camera That Never Got Made

All images “Photo (c) Lars Netopil Classic Cameras, Wetzlar“ Used with permission.

The story of the Leica H is a rather unfortunate one that in many ways, makes me question how it would have affected the camera manufacturing industry. Imagine being so committed to a creation of yours: treating it almost like a special part of you only to know that while the idea is pretty fantastic, it just won’t make it into the world because of problems that are completely out of your control. You’d be destroyed–and that’s exactly how Adam Wagner felt when he learned that Leica would essentially be crushing his dreams. Many photographers and resellers can speak with great detail about the history of the R series, the M series and even the company’s other cameras like their film point and shoots. But as I discovered in over two years of research, not much is really known about the Leica H.

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Sebastião Salgado and the Silent Drama of Photography

Many of the most iconic photographers have lived colorful and interesting lives, filled with events and encounters that have shaped their brilliant works. Such is what we can discern from the works of Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist known for his dramatic black and white photographs that explore man’s relationship with nature and with each other. If you’re discovering Sebastião Salgado’s works for the first time, prepare to be amazed and inspired. His timeless photographs remain relevant and captivating even for today’s budding photographers, so you’ll definitely enjoy this video primer on his life and work by Aidan Moneyhon. Here, you’ll hear Aidan briefly cover some important details about Salgado’s life, and get a glimpse of the imagery that earned him worldwide recognition.

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The Stories Behind Some of the Greatest Photos Ever Taken

We have all seen great photos over the course of our lives, be that images you have taken, or that you have come across that inspired you. But few images have ever reached the level of greatness to where they were ingrained into the psyche of the modern world as a whole. These are images that aren’t just worth a thousand words, they are so much more than that. Many of them have changed the world and many others are copied and paid homage to. Continue reading…

The Gripping Story of Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother”

Screenshot taken from the video

Many years after Dorothea Lange took her iconic “Migrant Mother” photograph in 1936, the portrait of a troubled mother with her bashful children remains one of the most important images of The Great Depression. Anyone who doesn’t know yet can’t help but wonder about the story behind her worried expression and distracted gaze. Where was this photographed? Who was she? Was she looking after the children by herself? Why did she look so distraught?

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This is How the Polaroid Was First Explained When It Was a New Concept

Years ago, the idea of how a Polaroid worked needed to be explained to the general public simply because the public’s understanding how photography worked was so much different from everything else. To that end, Polaroid needed to put out an ad to the public to explain how their image taking process worked. You see, for many years people believed that you needed to shoot a photo, bring it into the darkroom and then get your negative or positive print back.

But the Polaroid promised to deliver an end to the darkroom so to speak.

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Irving Penn: The Creation of an Iconic Photographer

Irving Penn paved the way for modern photography by seamlessly crossing borders between high fashion and fine art. During the course of his career, Penn produced images that would grace the covers of Vogue while simultaneously appearing on the walls of galleries. As one of the most influential photographers of his time, he earned respect among the elite and established members of both the fashion and art worlds.

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Photography History: The Creation and History of the Platinum Print

“The beginnings of the serious use of platinum printing dates back to the late 19th century when photographers who saw themselves as primarily artists were very anxious to differentiate themselves from…lowly amateurs,” says Philippe Garner, the International Head of Photographs at Christie’s, in a recent video about Platinum printing. Indeed, this process is absolutely beautiful and over time it became more selective and high end.

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The Polaroid Land Camera is Now 70 Years Old

For many of us, the news of the Polaroid Land Camera turning 70 years old this year will be one that brings back some nostalgia. But others don’t necessarily know what the Polaroid Land Camera was. You need, the Land Camera was designed to shoot an instant photo and worked with a rangefinder focusing system to do just that. Most of them have an old-timey vintage feel with a proper bellows, aperture, shutter, etc.

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Today’s Instagram Daredevils Can Trace Their Roots to the Early 20th Century

history urban exploration

All images by the Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication.

These Library of Congress images from the early 20th Century would feel right at home under Instagram’s urban exploration hashtag.

Climbing the rooftops of tall buildings for “Likes” is not a new concept in the least. Some of today’s IG daredevils can find their photographic ancestors in and around the U.S. during the 1920’s. In a recent blog post in the Library of Congress’ Double Take, a series of images from the Harris & Ewing collection and the National Photo Collection features acrobat J. Reynolds (it’s not known if the subject’s real name was John, Johnnie, or Jammie), and his aerial stunts in and around Washington D.C. in the early 20th Century. These images share an interesting resemblance to many images you might find by searching for urban exploration or #rooftop on Instagram today.

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49 Years Ago, Eddie Adams Captured a Pulitzer Winning Photo of the Vietnam War

On February 1st 1968 (49 years ago), Photographer Eddie Adams photographed a moment that would go down as one of the most iconic Pulitzer Winning photos made in history. During the Vietnam War, Mr. Adams photographed a number of horrific moments but the one particularly in question is of the Saigon Execution by General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan. Unfortunately, the image would haunt Mr. Adams to the point where he wishes he hadn’t shot it.

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