A Museum For Photography–Let Me In

If I were to ask you who was Joseph Nicephore Niepce was you’d more than likely, like me say “Who”. Yet as photographers we should know his name and sing his praises. Why? Because good old Joseph was the man who first invented photography. Maybe not as we know it today,  but what Niepce did was to lay down the foundations for modern photography. Using a technique called heliography Niepce created a photographic process by making a print from a photengraved printing plate in 1825.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce

And so on to today and modern photography. How things have changed. Digital is the new medium. Modern cameras can be extremely complicated but ridiculously small compared to the early days of photography. Come with me on a short journey through the Museum of Photography in Chalon-sur- Saone, the birthplace of Joseph Nicephore Niepce. I should say at this point that most of the exhibits, descriptions were in French only, the museum was extremely hot and not very well-lit. I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod, either.

The journey through the museum starts with early examples of cameras and equipment. As you would expect, all of these exhibits are in glass cases, meaning that the reflections from lights around the room and even myself are shown in the glass. I did manage to get around most of these problems by reducing the highlights and using the dehaze slider and making it positive in Lightroom. Not too heavy, just enough to take out some of the glare and reflections

Old Camera

It’s just a wooden box but look at the brass work, it’s a thing of beauty and precision mechanical engineering.

An Early Camera

Of course, early photography used chemicals, some of them quite nasty, and lots of them to get the final results.

Developing Fluid

I loved this door, small windows,  with lots of examples of early photographs. Of course nowadays with modern software we can simulate some of those early style of photographs.

Window

Moving through the museum, did I mention it was really hot, we come to a more modern era. We’ve moved a way from single plates to rolls of film as this advert for Agfa film shows

Advertising Material

Equipment has moved on as well, cameras are much smaller and developing film is not as messy. Chemicals are still involved, though.

Glass Cases

Now we are starting to move into the Kodak zone, as I call it. In 1962 the Eastman Kodak Company established a production plant in Chalon-sur-Saone. At it’s peak the factory employed about 2500 employees mainly specialising in the manufacture of photo-sensitive surfaces used for consumer photos, cinefilm for the cinema and products used in medical radio.

But then in 2004, with the accelerated arrival of digital products, particularly in consumer photography, Eastman Kodak announced major cuts to the group and workforce. Then began a period of intense layoffs cutting the workforce and by 2006 there are only about 100 employees on the site. This was later cut to about thirty and by 2010 there is no one working for Kodak.

Kodak Colorama

You know I’m really impressed with the photograph above, or should I say my camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 and the 12-40mm Olympus PRO lens. This is hand-held at 1/15 second in a darkish sort of room. The in-body stabilisation has kicked in to give me a reasonably sharp  focused photograph.

Small Panoramas

One of the Kodak Coloramas projected onto the wall. I really liked being in this room, looking at all of the photographs and the good bit. I had the place to myself.

San Francisco Colorama

Last photograph and you can see another projected photograph of the Taj Mahal in the background.

Kodak Gallery

I spent hours in the museum, looking at the exhibits and taking loads of photographs. Best of all it was free entry, if only it wasn’t so hot. But you can’t have it all so I’m grateful that I was able to visit the museum.

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Come With Me To Arles, France

I’m in France, well to be more accurate, I was. I’m home now but I did take a lot of photographs whilst I was away.

Arles is situated on the River Rhone at the point where the river starts to become a vast natural delta. As such it was an obvious site for a Roman city. Founded in the 2nd Century BC, Arles became the effective capital of Gaul, until it’s fall to the invading barbarians in 471 AD.

In modern times Arles is associated with the tragic life of Vincent van Gogh and therein lies a problem. Most of the photographs have people in them, because so many tourists want to visit this classic Provence destination.

So let’s get on with the photographs. If you want to see any of them larger just click on the photograph. By the wonders of modern technology you’ll immediately be whisked to my Flickr profile to see the larger version. I am considering a theme change to get larger photographs shown.

I suppose it’s only fitting to start with a photograph of an artist painting down by the river. But here’s the thing, he wasn’t painting a scene of the river. No, he was knocking up a quick painting of a typical Provence house with lavender and a few trees outside it. Dress to impress and hope you can sell to the passing tourist trade.

Street Artist

Arles has lots of narrow streets, which is great. For one it keeps you in shade, temperatures were starting to rise to about 28oC (82oF), not too hot, but little did we know that it was going to get a lot hotter during the week. Secondly you get to photograph lots of light and shade.

Shuttered Street

It’s Sunday morning and the town is quiet as we wander around. I’ve had a good breakfast but I’m starting to get tempted by all those pastries that are on display.

Quiche, Anyone

Or perhaps a meal or coffee in a pavement cafe, they’re everywhere. Turn into a narrow street and you’ll find a few tables and chairs outside a cafe.

Street Cafe

Like I said, “they’re everywhere”……….

Street Scene

…….and just around the corner, there’s another one. Spot the pink umbrella in both photographs.

Brasserie L'Aficion

What about those Romans? Did they leave anything behind. Well yes and no. Probably the biggest structure is the amphitheatre. Nowadays it’s used for events, including bull fighting.

Roman Amphitheatre

More cafe’s but this one is especial. Remember I mentioned van Gogh. His first painting featured the cafe shown below on a starry night.

Le Cafe La Nuit

So let’s finish our journey in the centre of the city, at the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall). On the ground floor I found this wonderfully cool area. By the looks of it the area feature in wedding ceremonies because there are lots of confetti on the floor. Dis you know that weddings in France are celebrated by civil partnership first. You can’t have a religious wedding until you have done the civil, which is the official ceremony, first.

Hotel de Ville

And so to the Place de Republique. The Hotel de Ville is to the left of the photograph and the Church of Saint Trophime to the right. The church was built upon the site of the 5th century basilica of Arles

Place de Republique

I hope you enjoyed your journey with me around Arles? Coming later in the week “Sous le Pont d’Avignon”

All Is Quiet And I Am Half Asleep

All is quiet in the Hardisty household. Our summer visitors have gone and No 1 son is currently sitting in Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, awaiting a flight to take up residence again in the mysterious orient. For him it’s a new adventure, as he has said goodbye to Hong Kong.

But for me, I’m sitting here, half asleep, it was a very early run to the airport this morning, trying to think about this weeks challenge.

So anyway, let’s get on with the textures. Starting with this one taken on a promenade. There are so many individual tiles here, I gave up trying to count them.

Promenade

As you can guess from the photograph below, I’m not in the UK. Look at the wooden balcony and the cobblestones. It’s the colours as well, they make the photograph look rich.

Museum

And so to some bronze statues I found in a park. I like bronze, not only to photograph, but the feel, Unlike marble or stone you can really feel the textures and once bronze gets weathered, you get some amazing colours.

The Three of Us

Now this was an interesting photograph I took in Lisbon. It was an old ruined house, near the docks. All painted with the stone showing through and just as an added extra, a tatty pigeon sitting on the window frame.

Ruins

Another bronze statue, look at the colours here. It’s caused by tarnishing of copper, one of the metals used when making bronze.

Statue

Texture, textures, textures and more textures, there are lots of them evident in the next photograph.

The Square

In the photograph below I was tempted to capture just the pattern, but to be honest, I thought the pattern on it’s own would look lost. You have to see the overall picture to really appreciate the pattern.

Photography has an amazing ability to capture the fine detail of surface textures. But far too often these intricate patterns are loved by the photographer for their own sake. The richness of texture fascinates the eye and the photographer falls easy prey to such quickly caught complexities. The designs mean nothing in themselves and are merely pictorially attractive abstractions. A central problem in contemporary photography is to bring about a wider significance in purely textural imagery. – Arthur Tress

Patterns

 

Well that’s it for this week and I hope you liked the selection of photographs. As usual, here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge.

Textures – Emovere
ashstylegourmet’s Blog WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE- TEXTURES
Beach Reflections, Tofino, BC – Jane Lurie Photography
Texture in Photo Essay – On a mission
Weekly Photo Challenge- Texture – Dragonfly’s Dance
Texture – kriztyne
18-200 mm View Smooth
Writings from the Meadow Texture – weekly photo challenge
Weekly Photo Challenges – Sea Shells on Sea Shore – Celina2609’s Blog
Shi Yali Photography Tenacious Roots Textures

I Want To Paint My Door…

I’m back. Just had a really good break cruising to The Canaries, Madeira, Portugal and Spain. Oh! And an unexpected stop at Brest in France. More on that later.

Whilst I was away I shot 1793 photographs, a mixture of architecture, flora and fauna, landscapes, people and anything else that caught my eye. C’mon I’m was in tourist mode and over two weeks that’s not too bad a total. Of course being in tourist modes means that you get a lot of tourists in your photographs so I’ll probably reject a good two-thirds of them. I never get rid of them though, you never know when they might come in handy for some weird WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Right then, some photographs. Wandering around the old town in Madeira I found a whole street where every door was painted with some beautiful artwork, some sort of so-so and some downright weird stuff. I can’t show you them all but here’s a selection.

I’ll let the photographs do the talking from this point……there’s not much I can really say about them that can’t be seen in the photographs.

Bird of Paradise

Ship

Lady and Dog

Musical Instruments

Weird

I don’t think many tourists would find these. You have to go off the beaten track to even end up in the street. I sort of found it by accident but I’m glad I did.

Well that’s it. It’s good to be back, but this short trip has kindled my yearning for far away places again, so I might just have to take another trip later in the year.

As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Photography- The Evanescent Beauty of Winter’s Touch – Sumyanna Writes
Evanescent – Jodie Pages Vivid with colour
The Land Slide Photography The Free Throw
Mr H
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Fly Fly
Evanescent – Thoughts of SheryL
Beyond the Brush Photography The Shopper
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies Wordless Wednesday
Simply Photos Shrouded in Mist
Madame Zenista That blue above and flowers below…

I Have The Wanderlust – Do You?

I was born and raised in a big industrial city, near the shipyards on the River Clyde. Yet, by the time I reached 16 I had visited, thanks to a great educational program part funded by the City of Glasgow, some exotic an exciting places. The Azores.Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Corsica and Malta. This is where I developed my love of photography and travel, how I wish I still had those early photographs but anything I took then would have been left with my Mum for safekeeping. Anyway at 18 I got a job that allowed me to travel and live in different parts of the world. I met my future wife in Cyprus, now we live in North Wales and we’re still travelling.

OH God, take care of my loved ones.. provide me basic equipments, take me wherever i want to, make the season pleasant.. want to shoot more and more.. want to be a wanderlust always… can U? – Lakshman Iyer

So I was thinking this morning what photographs to show from my travels and I realised that my travel photography is totally different from what I do here in North Wales. Travel is about recording locations, more family orientated, you know, the touristy photographs that we all take when we are on holiday. No mountains, rivers, wildlife, sweeping landscapes, amazing sunsets, well very few of these……and look what I’ve got.

img004

Yep! That’s me, way back then…this has to be around 1967/68. I look so young. Elaine found these in a collection of stuff that we brought back when my father passed several years ago.

It’s me again…

img005

Look at that belt. Pure leather. I can remember where and when I bought that. Morocco. I bargained and bargained with this nice little guy for ages and we couldn’t agree a price. It was only when I got back on the bus to go back to the port that he finally cracked and I got the belt.

So that’s it for this week. I’m going to be on vacation for the next three weeks, doing a bit of travelling. Actually I’ve come full circle. I’m on a cruise visiting some of the places I did way back then.

Mike

I nearly forgot, here’s what others are saying about this weeks challenge

Eye For A Pic Weekly Photo Challenge – Wanderlust – Former Yugoslavia
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost – Nes Felicio Photography
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Wander Wonder
WY Pictures Photography Blog Paris 2017- Paris Winter Along The River Seine
Art-gasm – therealqueenofstuff
Yvette’s photography Wanderlust
Beyond the Brush Photography
Mind Over Camera Wandering
picturesimperfectblog Go, take a hike!
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Wanderlust!

Push The Boat Out

I’m still struggling with the new schedule for the Weekly Photo Challenge. It just does not fit with my weekly schedule and so this week I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you.

I don’t know which is the more predominant colour here, that bright orange or the even brighter green of the benches in the shelter. What do you think? Green or Orange?

Beach Shelter

Now this is definitely green. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Tai O stilted village on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. you will see these little tourist boats running around. Personally I preferred to walk around the village, mainly because there are far better photo opportunities.

Tourists

Still in Hong Kong, if you get the chance visit the bird market, it’s right next to the flower market so you can kill two birds (excuse the pun) with one stone. Anyway, these are green birds with a little bit of red.. I’m very good at identifying birds as regular readers well know.

The Birds

Looks like I’m on a Hong Kong roll this week. This you definitely have to do. Catch the Star Ferry across the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It’s a quick trip across Victoria Harbour, lasting about 15 minutes. Push the boat out (not another pun?) and pay extra for the Upper Deck. HK$ 2.50 or about UK£ 0.25p, US$ 0.30c.

Celestial Star

My last one today. I’ve been playing around with compositing photos. The model is a stock photograph courtesy of Marcus Ranum

The Sword

Well that’s it for this week. As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site Photo Challenge- Green
New Shoots – Beyond the Window Box
A Texan’s View of Upstate New York Oh So Green
嘗試 Try – Lived in UK, Living in Taiwan
Welcome! It IS easy being Green! Photo gallery
It IS easy being green- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge…..GREEN
simply.cindy Gallery of Green
“Snotgreen Sea” – Beach Books Blog
through the luminary lens Spring has Sprung

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

I’m off to Berlin, Monday. For my American readers that’s Berlin, Europe not one of the many Berlins that happen to be in the USA. Just for added interest I’m now starting with a cold. I can feel the early stages coming on. Just what I really want. Which brings me to my state of mind. At the moment I’m not exactly in the mood to consider going out at night to photograph magnificent structures like the Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate

No, maybe I’ll just stick to Street Photography this trip.

After intensively exploring many genres over the last 30 plus years I have, in recent years, focused on Street Photography as an outlet for my photographic energies. Street Photography is somewhat of a misnomer as it can be practiced anywhere people are photographed in the environment in which they are found. For some, myself included, being a photographer is as much a state of mind. – Michael Dubiner

But there again, when there are other magnificent monuments in the city, it would be too good an opportunity to miss. Look at the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten which I photographed just before sunset. That setting sun really highlights the gold lettering

Soviet War Memorial

And what about the area around the Europa Centre, with the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was destroyed in 1943, and new modern church right beside it.

Europa Centre

Right, that’s it for this week. I’ve just found out that my ultra-modern hotel does not offer free Wi-Fi. Would you believe it in this day and age? So it looks like I might be dark until the end of this week. Roaming costs in Europe are still horribly expensive, especially for data.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Mainline_Matter Matchless State Of Mind
Inspired And When The Fog Lifted…
Carto’s Logbook State Of Mind — Boy & Girl
Julia’s Odyssey State of Mind – WPC
STREET-PHOTOGRAPHY – COLLAGE state-of-mind
Lonely Travelog State of Mind
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist WPC – State of Mind
Maria Jansson Photography State Of Mind
Laidig’s Broadway Waste of Mind-
Half a photograph Cheery