Daily photo projects have become quite popular as of late, and a number of viral time-lapse videos feature people who take one self-portrait a day over many years. However, if you think taking a photo every day requires a crazy amount of dedication, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
For an entire year, from April 11, 1980 through April 11, 1981, legendary performance artist Tehching Hsieh punched a time clock and took a self-portrait every hour (i.e. 24 times a day) on the hour. At the end of the year, he ended up with 8,760 photos and combined them into a time-lapse video showing the passing of a year (and the growth of his hair). Now that’s crazy!
If you’ve ever tried saving a layered file in Photoshop CS5 that’s more than a 1GB in size, you’ve probably experienced pretty sluggish performance. This is because the program always does image compression on the file that shrinks the file size at the expense of your workflow. If you’re rich in hard drive space but short on time, Adobe has released a plugin called that lets you disable image compression, speeding up the saving of large layered files by 20x!
Photoshop is a pretty resource intensive program that can slow down to a crawl when you’re working with large and/or many files. Aside from beefing up your hardware specs to provide the program with more memory or disk space, there’s also a number of Photoshop and operating system preferences you can adjust to make sure the program runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. The Photoshop performance team recently published a helpful guide with 19 adjustments you can make, which range from optimizing cache level to turning off thumbnail display.
There’s some serious artiness going on over at MoMA. Artist Marina Abramović has a new performance called “The Artist is Present” that involves her sitting silently across from museum visitors. The show runs from March 14 to May 31 and, with the exception of a few days, Abramović sits from before the museum opens and continuously through when the museum closes. MoMa also provides a live stream of her performing.
So how does this have anything to do with photography? Photographer Marco Anelli has been creating portraits of the participants for MoMa and uploading them to a MoMA set on Flickr. Below each portrait is also the length of time that person sat in front of Marina. At the time of this writing, there have been 759 fascinating portraits uploaded.
Most people participating sit in front of Abramović for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. One woman sat there for a whopping six and a half hours.
There’s also a good number of people with teary eyes, whether from the stress of sitting and staring, or from being moved emotionally somehow through the performance:
Wikipedia has a description of a previous performance Abramović did with her ex-boyfriend Ulay (who happens to be the man crying above in the upper left hand corner pictured here):
To create this “Death self,” the two performers devised a piece in which they connected their mouths and took in each other’s exhaled breaths until they had used up all of the available oxygen. Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual’s ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it.
For more on this performance, check out Jason Kottke’s coverage in which he documents interesting happenings (including an appearance by Lou Reed).
Last Friday an anonymous poster on the photography board of 4chan sparked a discussion that rippled into the blogosphere after freezing their camera to see whether ISO performance improves at lower temperatures.
They stuck their Sony A350 into the freezer for 15 minutes, and posted the following before and after comparison of noise at ISO 3200:
Regardless of whether or not these results were fabricated, it has long been (though perhaps not widely) known among photographers that digital cameras have better ISO performance (i.e. less noise) at lower temperatures, which is why sensors are often cooled for astro-photography. Other photographers also report improved ISO performance when shooting in very cold environments.
Zodiac Light did an interesting experiment in which a Canon 350D was cooled, and the amount of noise measured. They found that cooling the sensor resulted in a 40% drop in the amount of noise.
Obviously you shouldn’t freeze your nice camera to test this out yourself, but it’s an interesting fact to know, and could be useful if you’re interested in long exposure photography.