Brooklyn-based photographer Joey L has spent years working on an amazing set of portraits titled “Holy Men,” which features religious ascetics from around the world.
Joey traveled to India (for the third time) in March 2011 and spent a month creating more photos of wandering monks in Varanasi, the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and one of the oldest cities in the world. The subjects are men who have renounced all earthly possessions in their pursuit of spiritual liberation.
Whoa… Big news on the camera patent scouting front today: Nikon appears to be tinkering with the idea with creating a special 35mm SLR replacement back that would turn a film camera into a digital camera!
San Francisco resident Ryan Tatar is passionate about two things when he’s not sitting at his desk at a Silicon Valley tech company: surfing and photography… and usually a combination of the two. He has attracted a good deal of attention in both worlds with his lo-fi photographs of surfers, captured with old analog cameras and expired and/or cross-processed films.
In the short video above, Tatar talks about his love for analog photography and introduces us to what he does.
Film photography has been taking a lot of hits in the business world, but while major manufacturers continue to discontinue film production, one small company is doing the exact opposite. Revolog — a small online shop founded by photography school graduates Hanna Pribitzer and Michael Krebs in 2010 — has been finding success by selling handmade specialty film.
And while you may think that specialty film wouldn’t be a very lucrative business to enter right about now, get this: yesterday the duo announced the sale of their 10,000th roll of film.
The Economist has published an article on photographic film’s “transition from the mass market to the artisanal,” writing that the future is bleak for film as we know it:
Consumers and professionals ditched film first. Then health-care services, which used it for X-rays, shifted to digital scans. The final blow came with the film industry’s switch to digital projection. IHS iSuppli [...] estimates filmmakers consumed 2.5m miles [...] of film each year for the distribution of prints at its height. That was just a few years ago. By 2012 this plunged by two-thirds. In 2015 it will be next to nothing.
If you’re at all interested in the history of photography, Henry Fox Talbot is a pioneer that you need to be familiar with. Although French pioneer Louis Daguerre is often credited with being “the father of photography,” Talbot, based in England, had announced his own photographic process in the same year. Daguerre’s daguerreotype process dominated the industry early on, but Talbot’s process — one that involved creating photographic negatives and then printing photos with them — eventually became the standard model used in the 20th century.
I was standing at the top of the stairs in the Suzzallo Library on the University of Washington campus, looking down at my phone when someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I turned to see an older gentleman who gestured towards the hardwood box resting on the handrail of the stairway.
The camera film industry may be struggling, but there are certain segments that are still profitable. One such niche is the one-time-use disposable film camera market, and Ilford Photo wants a piece of the pie. The company, which makes widely used films, papers, and chemicals, announced two new black & white disposable cameras today.
Christopher Bonanos, author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid, has authored a lengthy piece for the Washington Post on what Kodak — and whoever buys its film lines — can learn from the fall of Polaroid. The article offers some interesting facts about, and insights into, the film photography industry:
Yes, Polaroid and Kodak made hundreds of millions of cameras. But that was never their principal business: The hardware existed mostly to sell film. This is what business-school professors call the razor-blade model, pioneered by Gillette: The razor is sold at minimal profit or even given away, and the blades sell for years afterward at a healthy profit margin. Amazon does the same with the Kindle, selling it cheaply to encourage enthusiastic e-book buying.
More than anything else, Polaroid’s desire in the 1990s to keep film sales up and film factories humming was what killed the company. When it should’ve been diving into a variety of digital businesses, Polaroid doubled down on analog-film production, building new production equipment and trying to economize.
The business model Bonanos describes is also known as freebie marketing.
What Kodak could still learn from Polaroid [The Washington Post]
Image credit: razor blade by scottfeldstein
Stephen Dowling of BBC News has an interesting piece that tells the story of the Lomography movement and how it may be instrumental in saving film photography:
In 1991, a group of Austrian art students on a trip to nearby Prague found [...] a curious little camera [...] it produced pictures unlike anything they had seen before. The little camera was the Lomo LC-A – Lomo Kompact Automat, built in Soviet-era Leningrad by Leningrad Optics and Mechanics Association (Lomo) – and very soon a craze was born. It was an analogue Instagram in the days before digital photography.
This Lomo craze may have ended up helping save film photography from an untimely end. In 1992, the students set up Lomographic Society International, exhibiting shots taken on unwanted Lomos they had bought up from all over Eastern Europe. Then, in the mid-90s, having exhausted the supply of left-over Lomos gathering dust in Budapest, Bucharest or East Berlin, they went to the camera’s manufacturers [...] and persuaded them to restart production. The negotiations were helped along by the support of the city’s then deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin.
According to Dowling, there is speculation that Lomography is a potential suitor for Kodak’s film business that is currently for sale.
Did the Lomo camera save film photography? [BBC News]
Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!
Image credit: LOMO LC-A e pensieri by hummyhummy