Category Archives: Art

The Last Roll of Kodachrome

KodachromeI got myself some nice Canon T4i but I can’t figure out where to put that film in, of which I still have a few rolls and which I don’t want to let go to waste.

I think I like Nikon better because on the old 6006, I still have, there was not problem with that – I just opened the back – and there is the space where the film fit in. I got the back of my new T4i open but there is still no place for that roll of film, only all that electronic stuff, chips and wires and such – hmmm.

But, jokes aside, I know there is no more film produces any more – at least not in form of a mass production – and that I would have a hard time to find a lab these days that could still develop film. This roll on the right is probably about 15 years old and expired so solidly that there would be hardly anything on it any more, even if there was a process to develop it with.

But I got to think about that when I ran into a video of photographer Steve McCurry, securing the last role of Kodachrome produced in 2009 and going on a world tour to shoot that last roll ever to leave the factory.

Reminded me of the beginning of my photography career back in Germany. Obviously, with the German arrogance, I did not use Kodachrome – the colors were just too American to satisfy a German eye – we used Agfachrome which displayed a softer gradient of colors and saturation. Back then I always shot slide film and I don’t really remember what my reason was to suddenly get into film for color prints when I got a much better camera – the Nikon 6006 – after coming to the US of A. It might have been because there was an affordable service to give me, with the prints, a scan of the images I could download from the lab’s web site. Another reason probably was, that I was not a purist any more and did break down and took memory photos – back in my early days that would never had happened – the shutter was pressed only when art came out.

This very selective pressing of the shutter was paramount for Steve McCurry when he shot the very last role of Kodachrome. Here is his report…

This documentary got me very interested in Mr. McCurry and I found this interview with him.

You can see the gallery of the 31 images from the last role of Kodachrome on Vanity Fair.

PS: Reminded me that, during my early days of photography (with Agfachrome), I considered it a good outcome when I got one good shot from a role of film.

Seeing the Future

When I was in my late teens, starting to read science-fiction, I was sure that by now we would regularly traveling to other planets and had settlements on the moon, and the flying car was a given.

But many of these things are still only subject of science-fiction, but something totally unimagined has materialized – a network that did make the world’s knowledge accessible from the palm of my hand. I knew there would be talking robots but that I would be able to access all data with just a query – I just hadn’t thought of.

Found this interesting video of visual thoughts of how the future might look like…

But with that last experience, what’s really going to happen, will be something totally different altogether.

Google in the 60s

My first encounters with computers were through the medium of punch cards and line-printers.

Thus, finding the Google60 art project made me a bit nostalgic. The project tries to show how you would interact with the all-pervasive Google through the mediums of the 60s.

Click on the image to experience it yourself…

Google60-inout

Google 60 Art Project

Slow-mo, 3D – all the good stuff

Sometimes we might not realize that we are standing at the cusp of a new world.

Looking back it is easy to see that something new and exciting had been happening at a specific time, but while you are in the middle of it, it might not be so obvious.

Watching the slow motion video, Louie Schwartzberg presented at his TED talk, drove it home that this is similar to the wonder people experienced when they watched the first ‘movies’ around the previous turn of the centuries (the one from the 1800s to the 1900s), especially when the subject was either so far away that the chance of experiencing it oneself was minimal or total creative fiction like a trip to the moon.

Movies really allow you to experience a different reality, either far away in term of location of far away in terms of speed of time as in this example…

If you want to see more from Mr. Schwartzberg, you can check out his Youtube channel and dig out your 3D glasses because he has some really good 3d videos to show.

Yet Another Picture Collection

Thanks, Beverly, for sending these pictures my way. I enjoyed them and want to pass them on here…

Real Photos, Real Early

Right after I had discovered – many years ago – that taking photos was not only for American tourists in Hawaiian shirts visiting Germany but could actually be an art form, I ran into a book that introduced me to tabletop photography.

One tray of slides remains from this era, and now I can share those after I managed to digitize them. It was actually time to do so as one of the boxes with those slides must have been exposed to some humidity (or the slides had not been properly developed) as there were spots on them like fungus.

Without further ado, here is my 70s take on tabletop photography:

Open the Album – click on three dots top right and select ‘Slide Show’…

A little story on the “Warp Drive” – this slide was added much later than all the others and is a picture of the device I built which earned me my masters in physics. It’s a drift chamber as used by my alma mater’s experiment at CERN – the place where the internet was really invented, and no, it was not Al Gore, who did that.

One of the more interesting things about the setup in the photo is that little brass cylinder in front of the shiny surface. It is actually a source for radioactive radiation that I used to test and adjust the chamber. Once I wanted to interrupt the beam of radiation for a quick demonstration and put my finger between the probe and the detector – the assistant responsible for me nearly took my head off for doing that.

Synergy of Photo and Music

Since the day I understood that taking photos is not something only American tourists in Germany do, but that it can, in fact, be an artistic expression, I have been able to appreciate a good photo.

I learned from the works of great photographers like Henri Catier-Bresson and studied whatever I could from resources like the Time Life Photography book series. During those old days, in order to have total control, you needed to spend time in the dark room – so I have this under my belt as well.

The latest photographer whom I added to my list of people to learn from, is Trey Ratcliff. He is a master of High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) photography. But one of the first thing he did for me was keeping me from finally buying a DSLR camera. Just when I was about ready I read his posts about mirror-less exchangeable lens cameras, and ┬ánow I don’t know if I should wait a bit until the field of those cameras gets a bit bigger. But I have to admit, right now the brand-new Rebel t4i is a bit tempting.

So, yes, his photos impressed me, but today they climbed another step on my appreciation- ladder when I watched them in form of a slide show with music by Hans Zimmer – somebody I never heard of before but who is apparently one of the big guys in the music business having done things like the sound track of the Lion King.

Here is that slide show, I would recommend switching to HD and watching it full screen…

The synergy is breath-taking: the music wins tremendously by the visuals and the imagery adds much to the sound-scape. It’s a hand-and-glove situation.

The Idea of Freedom is definitely not new

I always equated Charlie Chaplin with comedy, but when I look back, the most memorable scene I remember, is a bitter-sweet scene from City Lights. In fact, beside some shorter clips on TV I did not actually see much of his work.

But after seeing his speech in The Great Dictator I have to change that. I was surprised that this movie is actually not available on Netflix.

Violins and hot chicks

I reported about the violinist Vanessa Mae in the past and just have to revisit the subject now that another Youtube sensation has crossed my 32 inch monitor (yes, I am using a HD TV as my day to day monitor instead of investing in some reading glasses).

If you haven’t clicked through to the other link yet, here is what I mean when I say Vanessa Mae…

And then we have the bubbly Lindsey Stirling who combines violin play with a very unique type of dancing. I am just blown away how you can hop around so wildly and then play the violin without missing a beat…

She seems to be a real member of the new youtuber crowd, offering something really worth spending your time on and maintaining a light and fluffy communication with the fans. I like it when an artist understands that this friendly contact is way better than being aloof.

Amazing Photography

For your enjoyment, another slideshow of most amazing photography…