It’s nearly impossible to find a photograph in China taken before 1970 — most images were destroyed or removed to other countries during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
A professor at Bristol University in the UK is running a project in search of these lost images, the BBC reports:
Such photographs are exceptionally rare in China. The turbulent history of the 20th Century meant that many archives were destroyed by war, invasion and revolution. Mao Zedong’s government regarded the past as a “black” time, to be erased in favour of the New China. The Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s finished the job.
“If you were at all savvy,” says (Professor Robert) Bickers, “you realised early on that you had to destroy your own private family records, before the Red Guards came and found evidence of your bourgeois, counter-revolutionary past, when you might have drunk coffee in a café bar, à la mode.”
Want to see how Las Vegas has grown from 1972 through 2010? NASA created this unique time-lapse video using photographs captured by Landsat satellites. From this perspective, it almost looks like humans are a mold spreading across the face of a fruit.
San Diego-based photographer Tim Mantoani has an awesome project and book titled “Behind Photographs” that consists of 20×24-inch Polaroid portraits of famous photographers posing with their most iconic photographs. The film costs $200 per shot, and Mantoani has created over 150 of the portraits already since starting the project five years ago. Read more…
Here’s an interesting video in which acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (the guy who directed The Fog of War) talks about the issue of truth in photography, and how he thinks we’ve forgotten that there’s a connection between photos to the physical world.
Photographs are neither truth nor false. Talking about the truth or falsit of a photograph is nonsense talk [...] All photographs are posed.
He also makes the point that sometimes photographs are posed by excluding things.
After the widespread looting that occurred in the UK recently, a guy named Mrog Deville was inspired to distribute photographic art to the masses. Through his project This Was Found, Deville makes prints of photographs, frames them, and then leaves them in various locations where you normally wouldn’t expect to see art. His hope is that either the works will be left untouched at those locations for the public to view, or that people take them home to treasure privately. Finders can also visit the website to report the print as being claimed.
This short film, found in Contacts, Volume 1, is a fascinating video in which photographer William Klein takes us beyond his iconic images to discuss the stories revealed in his contact sheets.
The picture is taken at 1/125 of a second. What do you know of a photographer’s work? A hundred pictures? Let’s say 125. That comes out to one second. Let’s say, more like 250 photographs? That would be a rather large body of work. And that would come out to two seconds. The life of a photographer — even of a great photographer, as they say — two seconds.
It’s always awesome listening to well-known photographers talk about their work.
There have been a number of devastating tornadoes in the Southeastern United States this past week, with the homes in many communities reduced to rubble. While certain things can be rebuilt or replaced, photographs lost in the storm often cannot be. A new Facebook page has been created after the storms that aims to reunite owners with photographs scattered in the winds, and already boasts close to 50,000 fans and 600+ uploaded photographs. It’s a neat idea, and a great example of how Facebook can be used for good and not just procrastination.
After several Egyptian secret police buildings were raided recently by protestors, Egyptian blogger Hossam (AKA 3arabawy) stayed awake for two days organizing and uploading photographs of members of Egypt’s secret police who have been accused of brutality and torture. The problem was, Hossam was uploading the images to Flickr, and Flickr wasn’t happy about the fact that he didn’t shoot them. Flickr soon vaporized the photographs and emailed him a warning for copyright violation. Read more…
NASA joined The Commons on Flickr today, creating 3 sets with 180 beautiful historic photographs from various points in the agency’s rich history. If you love looking at launch photographs, one of the three sets is dedicated to those.
If you’ve got boxes of old prints and family photos you’d like to salvage from those awful sticky photo album pages, SnapHaven will scan them for free. For a limited time, the photo storage and backup service is offering free unlimited scans for customers with an active membership — though you’ll have to pay to ship your own prints.
SnapHaven is still the only dedicated photo backup and storage site. They also offer services for making prints, photo books, and other photo gift accessories.
SnapHaven originally launched last December, but has just re-launched with new membership options. Previously, the company had plans based on upload limits, but membership is now available at a yearly flat rate, starting at $49.99. Now, rather than paying more for more space, annual memberships are straightforward and include unlimited photo backup, protected by the company’s 99 year lifetime guarantee. SnapHaven also assures that even if the yearly membership is not renewed, customers can still have full access to the photos for viewing, printing, sharing, and downloading.