Saturday, May 30, 2009

The New Look

I just had to make a quick shout out to Meegan and say thanks for helping me with a major overhaul to my blog. (You know I couldn't wait long to get it changed up!) I have been wanting to really showcase my photos on this blog and never felt like it did them justice...well, now I know how. Thanks Meegs you're the greatest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

History Lesson in Early Photography

Today's post is a little history on early photography and the first published female photographer. Anna Atkins.

Collection History
Photographs of British Algae is a landmark in the histories both of photography and of publishing: the first photographic work by a woman, and the first book produced entirely by photographic means. Instantly recognizable today as the blueprint process, the cyanotypes lend themselves beautifully to illustrate objects found in the sea.

The New York Public Library's copy of British Algae originally belonged to Sir John Herschel (1792-1871), inventor of the blueprint process, among his many other photographic as well as scientific advances. One of thirteen known copies of the title, Photographs of British Algae was acquired in 1985 at auction directly from Herschel's descendants.

"The difficulty of making accurate drawings of objects as minute as many of the Algae and Confera, has induced me to avail myself of Sir John Herschel's beautiful process of Cyanotype, to obtain impressions of the plants themselves," explained Anna Atkins in October 1843. Mrs. Atkins (1799-1871) was an amateur botanist especially interested in scientific illustration and taxonomy. Her goal in producing Photographs of British Algae was to provide a visual companion to William Harvey's pioneering but unillustrated 1841 publication Manual of British Algae; to that end, Atkins's specimen titles follow Harvey's nomenclature.

Through her father, scientist John George Children (1777-1852) whose Royal Society circle included Herschel and William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), Atkins was aware of the group's experiments with photography. Talbot's "photogenic drawing" technique involved placing a flat object against a light-sensitized sheet of paper (sometimes pressed beneath a sheet of glass to prevent movement and ensure a sharp image) and exposing it to sunlight until the area around the object began to darken. Herschel devised a chemical method to halt the darkening and "fix" Talbot's silver-salt image - the basis for all photography until the digital era.

Hershel experimented with other light-sensitive metal compounds in addition to silver, and in 1842 discovered that colorless, water-soluble iron salts, when exposed to sunlight, form the compound known as Prussian Blue; unexposed areas remain unaffected and the salt rinses away in plain water, leaving a blue 'negative' image. Inexpensive and easy to use, the blueprinting process, or cyanotype, is familiar today as an artists' medium.

Atkins used Talbot's "photogenic drawing" method, arranging her specimens on sheets of glass for easier handling for repeat exposures, and adopted Herschel's blueprinting process, to generate the multiple copies of specimen plates comprising Photographs of British Algae. She also used this same method to produce title pages and contents lists instead of having them conventionally typeset.

Atkins issued the work in parts, distributing them privately between 1843 and 1853. Following the conclusion of British Algae, Atkins explored the cyanotype medium for more personal expression, creating assemblages of flowers and plants in elegant and sometimes whimsical designs. In some of her scientific plates one catches a glimpse of her ability to compose an arrangement in defiance of anything found in nature.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Flowers

I love my yard in the spring. Probably because the flowers all come up and I didn't have to do a thing. You gotta love bulbs. I haven't done anything with my macro lens in soooo long, I decided to dig it out today and capture a few shots before the flowers all die off. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Momma Moose

So a few months ago, we looked out the side door of our house and there was a mother moose in our yard. The kids thought it was awsome. What a treat to see one so close. I immediately grabbed my camera that was laying on my desk and started snapping away. Here are 2 of my favorites. At least I got some good pictures since she busted out 3 sections of our vinyl fence.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Self Portrait

About Me

...Just learning & falling in love with the world.~~~~~ email me at : Click on the comment under any post to leave me a message. I'd love to hear from you. You may also click on any picture to see a larger version. Thanks for looking.


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