Monday, March 30, 2015

Wonderland by Kirsty Mitchell

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Museum of Fine Arts Ghent: Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition

Other names of women in the early years op photography are Anna Atkins, Geneviève Elizabeth Disdéri, Lady Clementine Hawarden, Mrs. John Dillwyn Llewelyn and Constance Talbot in Europe and Mary Ann Meade in the United States. (Rosenblum 2007, 52)
Book link...
Rosenblum, N. (2007) A world history of photography

Visit 04/05/2015 4 Apr 2015 Annick Vanderschelden ‘Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879): Pioneer of Photography’ Exhibition Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent. Organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum. London.14.3-14.6.2015 About Cameron’s unsharp albumen photographs. One of the reasons I wanted to visit this exhibition is that I’d like to view the albumen prints. How do they look? So I wanted to see the end result of the wet-plate collodion negative-positive process introduced by Frederick Scott Archer in 1850-51. With this negative-positive process one could achieve a better sharpness compared to William Henry Fox Talbot’s negative-positive process (1841). Talbot’s paper negative versus Archer’s better glass plate negative without paper fibers. Due to Archer’s process one could more or less combine the quality or sharpness of the Daguerreotype (to a certain extent) which was one of a kind image and the ability to make multiple prints which was possible through the Calotype or Talbotype. But of course Julia Margaret Cameron’s images are different. They’re not sharp. On the contrary they’re out-of-focus or the sitter moved during exposure resulting in an unsharp image. Although some of the sitters are almost in focus such as the portrait of Julia Jackson (1867). But most of them are quite unsharp. For a moment I thought her well known portraits of John Frederick Herschel (1867) and Charles Darwin (1868) were sharper compared to most of her work. In that respect I thought about her the sitting of Hershel writing: ‘When I have such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavoured to do its duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man.’ After all she started photographing at the age of 48 as an empty nester and was introduced to photography by that same Hershel, a scientist by the way. Maybe here she just tried to achieve a better photograph technically spoken. But I don’t think so because after all she was the most flamboyant of seven sisters known for their artistic eccentricity and other famous people portraits are totally unsharp. William Klein’s answer to Henry Cartier-Bresson’s kind of romantic photography and rules was an iconoclastic one. Maybe she was an iconoclast or at least rule-breaking in her Victorian England. Probably she broke the photography rules on purpose and maybe it’s good thing a scientist introduced her to photography and thus avoiding the photo school effect as John Szarkowski would put it later on. Picture is manipulated iPhone pic wet-plate collodion cameras such as being used by Julia Margaret Cameron.