Peter Gowland’s 4×5 TLR camera for glamour photography
Toronto. My thanks to George Dunbar for getting my attention on this series of cameras (only about 600 made – too small for McKeown’s 2001-2002 camera guide).
The late Peter Gowland was a famous Hollywood photographer. His studio was well known for its glamour work that led to numerous cover shots and Playboy magazine centre-folds. Peter was known for making his own studio gear. His 4×5 and 8×10 TLR cameras were used to shoot many studio and outdoor shots.
The cameras began in the late 1950s – even Karsh used one. Perhaps the most famous TLR, or twin lens reflex was the Rolleiflex. TLRs have two lenses with their focussing linked together. By using a faster lens fully open for the viewfinder, the camera design ensured the smaller aperture taking lens was always in sharp focus. The design removed a major user complaint against other popular cameras with their tiny squinty viewfinders and rangefinders.
Gowland’s covershots included photos used for camera magazine, The November 1989 issue of American Photographer had an article on the cameras titled “Parallax, Anyone?“. While Peter and his wife Alice have been dead for a few years now, their website carries on covering exhibitions, famous photographs, and of course, the Gowlandflex cameras.
A colourized photo by Hiromichi Matsuda taken fifteen minutes and five miles away on August 9th, 1945
Toronto. I had just turned 8 at the time. The second world war in Europe was over that May and we had celebrated V-E day. In early August, we saw a newspaper photo of the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A few days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and days later the war was over with V-J day and we had entered the atomic age.
Few understood the horrendous risks brought to humanity or the devastation such “dirty” bombs could cause. A few years later the so called hydrogen or “clean” bomb was invented. Dirty bombs used fission to break down uranium 232 atoms letting loose heat, energy, and radiation. Clean bombs used fusion to smash special hydrogen atom isotopes together releasing far more heat, energy, and less(?) deadly radiation. It was years later when I had grown up and read about the effects of radiation and the impact of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that I understood just how devastating radiation is to humanity.
My thanks to Russ Forfar for spotting this article by Noelle Talmon (Nicky Benson?) on www.ranker.com showing a colourized version of photographer Hiromichi Matsuda’s famous photograph taken just minutes after the second American atomic bomb was dropped on a Japanese city.
is there a Minolta in your future?
Toronto. Member Gary Perry sent me an email last Monday reminding me that his fall show was this Sunday.
Gary writes, “Please be advised of our next camera show is coming up on Sunday September 23rd, 2018. It will be held again at the Edward Village Hotel (185 Yorkland Bl.). The show will run from 9:30am – 2:30pm. Admission is $7.00 ($5 for Students).
I did an earlier post back on July 20th with the poster and more details. And Clint did an announcement both at our executive meeting and Toronto meeting this month. Come on out and add a bit to your collection or swap some items!
Jack Gilbert by brother Al
Toronto. My thanks to long time PHSC member Laura Jones, of Baldwin Street Gallery fame for this announcement. Jack Gilbert’s father had a famous portrait studio here in the city, now operated by his older brother, Al Gilbert. Jack is well known in the city as a lawyer and a photographer. He recently joined the PHSC.
On October 19th of 2018 at 7:00 pm the Arts and Letters club downtown on Elm Street is hosting a seminar taught by Jack. It’s an informal (Ad Lib) event about photographs before and after they have been photoshopped. Feel free to bring your own before and after images to share.
As you will recall (or not) Adobe Photoshop is the earliest and best known of many apps that can correct and change an image after it was taken. Remember that the Friday evening events are held in the 3rd floor studio and are very informal and participatory.
an example of the Instagram account @insta_repeat image showing the similarity of shots (courtesy of Globe and Mail)
Toronto. To Instagram or not, that is the question to paraphrase the Bard’s words in Hamlet. In Wednesday’s Globe columnist Dave McGinn raises a timely question: Is Instagram ruining travel photography?
McGinn discusses the pros and cons of social media in its impact on travel photography. He notes that the proliferation of smart phones and the popularity of social media has pushed amateur photographers to take photographs that generate the most “likes”. To do this tends to mean the most popular kind of shot at any given location is snapped endlessly by amateurs, restricting the creativity of them and professionals.
He found an Instagram account that groups all like taken photos so you can draw your own conclusions.
Rock On exhibition at Brigitta’s in the Beach
Toronto. Long time PHSC member and professional photographer Harold Staats dropped me an email on Monday to say his photographs of well known Rock Stars will be on exhibition at Brigitta’s in Toronto at 1899 Queen St. East, M4L 1H3 (in the Beach) from September 27th through October 30th, 2018
The opening reception will be held Thursday, September 27th from 7 to 10 pm.
For his biography, Harold wrote, “I first got interested in photographing musicians from a Czechoslovakian friend, Henry, that I used to work with, who was a very talented jazz photographer. I helped him out occasionally with setting up his equipment. I went to his home once and he showed me his hallway filled with beautiful black and white photographs that he had taken of famous jazz performers, Louis Armstong and Ella Fitzgerald among others. Although I’ve been interested in photography and taking photographs from a young age his work inspired me. So for more than 40 years I’ve been photographing rock, blues and jazz musicians. Continue reading
de Silva boy c1961 by Gordon Parks
Toronto. Last week’s Globe and Mail carried a column by Rachel Wine on the exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC). The exhibition is the photo essay Gordon Parks did in 1961 for LIFE magazine called The Flávio Story. It tells of the de Silva family in a hillside favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For 20 cents US, you could buy a copy of the June 16, 1961 issue of LIFE magazine about 57 years ago and read the story. The RIC exhibition runs from September 12th through to December 9th of this year. The RIC is downtown at 33 Gould St. Take a look.
our first twitter posting
Toronto. I had an email Sunday from Sonja and John, our PHSC graphics duo. John writes, “The THA (Toronto Historical Association), of which we happen to have bought a membership, has a Twitter account. They offered to post our tweets. To that end I have made up a graphic that is common to the layouts for Twitter. It’s been forwarded to them.
“The graphic is attached. The website and Facebook can also use the image if they wish.
In the middle of summer, Clint brought in a communications consultant who explained that we must expand beyond our website, emails, and Facebook to attract younger people interested in photography and its history so I was delighted to see us take advantage of twitter in this fashion. See you Wednesday!
Latest Apple iPhone can adjust depth of field look – Phil Schiller.
Toronto. When photographic processes were announced in January, 1839, they were slow, monochromatic, and demanding of both the photographer and the equipment. Over the years we saw the processes “simplified” and incorporated (or as Kodak famously said, “you press the button, we do the rest”), sped up, changed to full colour, and become ubiquitous. In the first half of the last century, the amateur fraternity expanded as cameras, films, and processing became off the shelf items. Professionals focussed on industrial, portrait, news, and marketing disciplines where proper lighting and/or immediacy demands had to be met.
When digital arrived, it was either expensive and crude high end technology for the news photographers fighting tight deadlines with little need for high quality or resolution, or cheaper technology and speed for the well-heeled amateur. By this century the prices had fallen and the quality risen to the point where a thousand dollars or less would buy anyone decent resolution and speed compared to film. Continue reading