Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. -- Walker Evans

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog still in hiatus

I regret that this blog is still at a standstill, due to chronic illness. Hopefully I can make some progress and have the stamina to spare for some posts sometime soon - daily life around the house currently takes all my energy.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ilford Imaging to be reborn.


Chugai Photo Chemical Co Ltd of Tokyo, Japan and CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Australia, have been successful in their bid for the ILFORD Trade Marks and Associated Assets.
Ilford is a world-famous brand and is one of the great pioneers of the photographic industry, with a proud 135-year history.

The acquisition will see leading products such as Ilford Gallerie Prestige and Ilford Omnijet range continue, with existing ICC profiles, on a world-wide basis.

A new company, Ilford Imaging Europe GMBH has been established as a joint venture and will be responsible for all product development, production, logistics, sales and marketing activities. Clement Kennedy and Arnoud Mekenkamp have been appointed as joint managing directors.

The Ilford brand is now in safe hands. Together, both partners have a combined history of 146 years in the photo industry. They are committed to implementing long-term strategies for growth, with respect for the history and traditions of the Ilford brand. Ilford has for 135 years represented outstanding quality; this will continue.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Replacing Ilford Gold Fibre Silk

Ilford Imaging of Switzerland are insolvent and have closed their inkjet paper factory.

They are a separate company from Ilford UK, who make traditional film and darkroom supplies. That company is owned by Harman, who also produce Harman inkjet paper.

Ilford Gold Fibre Silk was the staple paper for many of us. Its surface and warm hue were beautiful; furthermore, it was one of the cheapest fibre-based inkjet papers.

There are still stocks available, so now is the time to ensure you buy as much as you'll need.

All will not be lost, however, as there are other papers that are very similar. Canson Baryta Photographique is the most cited replacement paper for Gold Fibre Silk. 

The two papers are so close in hue that one reviewer said that the Ilford is slightly warmer, while another said that the Canson is slightly warmer. (The Rangefinders Online review, which said that the Canson was the warmer of the two, also has internal contradictions, so that article may not so reliable.)

Ernst Dinkla is a print studio owner from The Netherlands who has compared the Canson and Ilford. He thinks the differences are so negligible that they may be more a question of the individual batch, than the make. 

Another person who uses both, said in a forum that the difference was possibly only perceptual; Ernst said elsewhere that it may be hard to tell them apart on a blind test. 

Ernst's Lab measurements are below, quoted from Luminous Landscape Forum discussions (see below for the links).

Measured: Canson Baryta Photographique Lab 98.0, 0.1, 0.0 and the Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Lab 97.8, 0.0, -0.8.

That 0.2 difference on the b is less than people see as a difference with two samples next to one another.

The sample of Gold Fibre Silk that I measured before it got the prestigious name had a Lab 98.2, 0.0, 0.5 measurement. The differences are production batch differences in my opinion. The spectral plots are identical.

... The Bonjet Atelier Fibre, Canson Baryta Photographique, Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Silk, MediaJet PhotoArt White Baryta and the Innova IFA69 FP Baryta Satin have identical spectral plots and the same 310 gsm weight. So it does not surprise me that the ICC profiles can be exchanged for them. 

(He later added, regarding an earlier comment that the Innova paper had been removed from their catalogue: 'Innova IFA69 is still in production and available. There is a report that Innova now also makes the IFA69 in US sheet sizes.')

At B&H, the Canson currently works out cheaper than the Ilford in NZ (though metric sizes are mostly unavailable at B&H).

Fotospeed claim that their Platinum Baryta is a direct replacement for Gold Fibre Silk, but no one seems to have tested that claim yet.

PS: I have just received some Canson Baryta Photographique and, in a quick side by side comparison, could not tell the two papers apart. Canson's packaging is more robust than Ilford's and the paper is in a plastic bag inside the box, which my last boxes of Ilford lacked.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Chema Madoz

From EV+1The work of Spanish photographer Chema Madoz is astounding. Every image reveals an inventive mind that thrives on visual incongruities and puns. His images instil a sense of wonder in the viewer; one is repeatedly left with the thought: how ever did he think of that? [Read more...]

© Chema Madoz

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light

This documentary on Richard Avedon is excellent (though I couldn't get the last few minutes to play).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vanessa Winship: Black Sea: Between Chronical and Fiction

Like all of her work, Winship's Black Sea: Between Chronical and Fiction is poetic and poignant. It stands alongside the work of any of the great documentary-style photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Josef Koudelka.

© Vanessa Winship
© Vanessa Winship
Cartier-Bresson was more likely to use the words 'surrealist' and 'anarchist' to describe himself than 'documentary photographer'. Walker Evans preferred to call his work 'documentry-style'. Winship alludes to this premise by entitling this essay Between Fact and Fiction. Her work has too much art in it to be called purely documentary.

Imagined States and Desires: A Balkan Journey is an equally brilliant essay; her entire website is essential viewing for anyone interested the travel-documentary and portrait genres. Winship is represented by the VU agency, which was founded by by Martine Franck.

From VU - Vanessa Winship bio
© Vanessa Winship
Born in the United Kingdom, Vanessa Winship lives in London. After studying cinema and photography at Westminster University (Polytechnic of Central London), Vanessa shares her time between photography and teaching. She then fully devotes herself to photography and lives for about 10 years in the Balkans and Turkey. She joins Agence VU in 2005,and the Gallery VU in 2009.
© Vanessa Winship

Laureate of numerous prizes, including the World Press Photo (Amsterdam) twice, the National Portrait Gallery Prize (London), PhotoEspana Descubrimientos (Madrid).

Exhibited her works in numerous museums and festivals such as the Rencontres d'Arles, the Kunstall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam or the Horst Gallery and Photographers Gallery in London.

Prize-winner of the HCB Award 2011 for her project "Out there: an American Odyssey."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light

Anyone who has held off buying a comprehensive book on Bill Brandt will very likely be interested in a new volume being published to accompany an exhibition at MoMA: Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light. 208 pages in length, the new book is being published in the USA by MoMA and in England by Thames and Hudson.

New York Times: A Camera Ravenous for Emotional Depth The pre-eminent British photographer of the 20th century, Bill Brandt, took pictures whose balance of art and humanity is frequently called strange, mysterious and irresistible. The best induce us to pore over them, exploring their psychology as much as their form, their implied narratives as much as their brooding blacks or parsimonious whites, their connections to the history of art as much as their documentary realism. Brandt himself wrote in 1948 that he admired photography’s power to make people see the world anew, to experience it with “a sense of wonder.” [Read more...

The Boston Globe Review: Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light The 20th century ended more than a decade ago, time enough to erase any doubts about whether Brandt was its foremost British photographer. He demonstrated mastery of social documentary, portraiture, landscape, nudes. His best work in any of those fields would have made him a major photographer. [Read more...]

Time Lightbox: Let There Be Dark: Bill Brandt’s Shadow and Light Henri Matisse, who knew something about color, had a wary regard for one in particular. “Black,” he once said,“is a force.” At “Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light,” the voluptuous retrospective organized by curator Sarah Hermanson Meister at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, you find out just how powerful a force it can be. In Brandt’s inky photographs, the sky can be a tar pit. Lovers in an illicit room can take on the gray scale and density of anthracite. Darkness has more than an aesthetic appeal for Brandt. For him, its charms are metaphysical. It stabilizes a haphazard world and pays due respect to its mysteries.... [Read more...]

The Book Depository (MoMA) NZ $50.32 incl freight
The Book Depository (Thames & Hudson) $63.67 incl freight
Fishpond (Thames & Hudson) NZ $59.57 incl freight
Amazon (MoMA) US $31.50 excl freight