Category Archives: the online photographer

Kodak files for chapter 11


Kodak filed chapter 11 today. Writing has been on the wall for a while, but still a shock and sad to see it, particularly for those in the US.

It’s been all around the web today, but as usual Mike Johnston puts it very well on The Online Photographer.

– Rory


(c) Andreas Gursky

Read more on the worlds 2nd best photo website here.

– Rory



Steve McCurry: A Retrospective (by Leica)

There isn’t much I can say to add to the content of this video. So make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy (thanks to TOP for the tip)

– Rory

HCB on photography

This is a lovely short film, well slideshow really. Henry Cartier Bresson talks about photography and his photographs, in a short film made by Cornell Capa in 1973. Boil the kettle, take a break, get comfy, and enjoy.

I came across this via TOP – isn’t the internet great!

– Rory

** Edit July 6th.  Looks like this video got pulled. Hope ya caught it before it came down. It can be purchased on DVD here

Mike Johnston’s recipe for “The Glow”

I’ve long been a fan of Mike Johnston’s writing at The Online Photographer, and previously on Black & White Photography magazine, where I first began reading him. I have also been aware that he wrote for the Luminous Landscape website, but wasn’t aware of that site when he was writing for it.

Anyway, the Luminous Landscape is an excellent website / resource, and well worth a trawl through for interesting old article on photography and cameras. I was trawling recently, and came across a wonderful old article (yes 2002 is becoming pretty old now!) that Mike wrote on b+w printing and achieving “the glow” – ie that ethereal quality that master printers seemed to be able to achieve easily, but hobbyists struggled to get anywhere near. “That rich, soft, pearly look that some master prints have. As if a soft light were coming from deep within the paper.”, to quote the article.

Mike goes on to give a recipe of sorts that could be used to try to achieve the same quality. And this struck a cord, because it described things I have struggled with in the darkroom.

Most photographers I know (myself included) who still photograph with b+w film will talk about it’s latitude (ie the degree to which the film can be underexposed and overexposed and still achieve useable results, or details in the negative).

We will also talk about times that we have ‘pushed’ our film, say to photograph concerts at night in low light. To do this you expose the film at a higher ISO rating than what the film is rated for – say use 1600 ISO on a 400 ISO rated film, and then develop accordingly. This effectively is underexposing the film. You will get acceptable results. And grain the size of golfballs.

What Mike advocates resolutely in his recipe for “the Glow”, is to never push film**. You need to pull, as he advises in step 7 of the recipe –

“… Don’t develop too much. Say, 10% or 20% less than the manufacturer recommends for outdoor scenes, no more than the manufacturer recommends for flat indoor scenes. Giving generous exposure and not developing too much is called “pulling,” and it was common in the days before reliable light meters… and before the pernicious disease of “pushing” became an epidemic spread by hobby magazines and photojournalists. I’ll give you a hint that will set you well on the way to being a better printer: never push. …”

I don’t want to quote any more without permission, but if you are still using b+w film and printing in the dark, or even scanning for digital prints, read the article here. It’s a quick, entertaining read. It’s not full of science and figures, but is a great stepped description to how you might, with practise, achieve a print that glows!

The Luminous Landscape

The Online Photographer

– Rory

** I suspect this is good advise when you are shooting digitally too. Digital doesn’t have nearly as much exposure latitude as traditional b+w film, and you have to be very careful not to over expose to much, to avoid clipped highlights – ie very bright parts of the image with absolutely no detail in them. But underexposure in digital,  particularly in the shadows, will induce noise if you try to bring out the detail in those shadow areas. And noise ain’t pretty – even grain the size of golf balls is preferable!

The Forgotten Ones … RIP Milton Rogovin


Milton Rogovin (c) Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Via my favourite photo blog, The Online Photographer, I learnt today that the great socialist photographer, Milton Rogovin, has died. He was 101.

Rogovin took up photography after being persecuted during the McCarthy era. Says the New York Times,

Mr. Rogovin was an optometrist whose business was decimated and his children shunned after he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1958. An article published that year in The New York Times reported that friendly witnesses described him as “the chief Communist in the area.” He turned to photography because his “voice was essentially silenced,” as he once said. What followed was more than 40 years of powerfully straightforward pictures of others without voices: the poor and working class of Buffalo’s East Side and Lower West Side, Appalachia, Mexico, Chile and other countries.

A wonderful photographer, his last book was The Forgotten Ones, published in 2003.

A short film worth watching is available on youtube.

– Rory

Great Photographers on the Internet, Part II

(Pete Turner)

Mike Johnston has been at it again, with his latest critique of great photographers on the internet. Click here for more

– Rory