Sunday, May 22, 2011

British Journal of Photography online

It is nice to see such a well done website by a magazine publisher, with good content. As paper magazines make the difficult transition to electronic transmission format, there are inevitable conflicts in presentation and subject matter caused by the economic and technical upsets to traditional print. You can find BJP Online here.

Even more upsetting is the apparent severe loss of freedom being experienced by photographers in the UK. Private and public resources are being spent to prevent photographers, amateur and professional, from shooting images in public places. It seems surreal that in London, of all places, it is effectively illegal to take snapshots of Tower Bridge, while dozens of video cameras planted on the sides of buildings, and on posts and parapets, watch those below. One could say the predictions of Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, have become reality in England. Or has BBC simply broadcast MI6 too many times, and frightened an entire country with artistic fiction?  We do admire British television here, but prefer Doc Martin, and Top Gear.

To attempt to address that problem, a group of photographers are protesting, and here is a story about it in the recent issue of the BJP.

Monday, May 16, 2011

R4 with Tobias Feltus

Tobias wasn't too happy breathing ammonia fumes so he concocted his own monobath for our project, here called R4, and has been using it to good effect.

Here, Tobias' mother artist Lani Irwin, well worth seeing her paintings.

Tobias writes more about his R4 work here, at this link, which is essential reading for the project, which is accelerating.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Spectrometer on a Chip - OSA Poster

This is a bit academic, but I thought I would post a link to my poster at the Optical Society of America from the last century on the subject of a Spectrometer on a Chip. This was the very first in vivo spectrometer that was small enough to go inside the human body to measure the intensity and color of light reflection, fluorescence, and absorption.

Here is a link to a pdf of the poster.

A lot of other companies have claimed to have invented the "Spectrometer on a Chip" but we did it long before any of them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


This is odd: I went to log on (after a long while) to my free Polaroid Studio account and read that I have been suspended. "This account has been suspended because it is NOT in Good Standing." Indeed!

It looks like I have a choice to "restore" my album for free, but I am hesitant to do so.

Anybody know what's up with this? I haven't been suspended since high school.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ilford Direct Positive Paper and Pinhole Camera Video

Ilford's Steven Brierley was one of several who very cordially extended their welcome to us at Harman Technology last week to discuss the New55 Project and other areas of interest. Here Steven is showing a good-looking pinhole camera for use with their direct positive papers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tobias Feltus and Bob Crowley have pints at Mr. Thomas's in Manchester England

After a superb visit to the impressive Harman Technology/Ilford film plant nearby, Tobias Feltus and I wandered randomly to a pub named Mr. Thomas's Chop House in Manchester, which by lucky coincidence was the place where photographer Jonathan Oakes (link here) was having a first night showing and gathering of his photographs right there. How handy was that? So we proceeded to ask Mr. Oakes to shoot our picture, seen above, and chatted with him and Sandra Oakes, and his many friends and photographic associates who showed up over the course of the evening.

Most did not know that Ilford was still in Manchester!

Mr. Thomas's Chop House - highly recommended. Wonderful food and ambiance within a stagger of the Midland Hotel.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Impossible Project - Enschede NL

One of the most interesting aspects of the revitalization of instant photography is occurring in Enschede Holland, where The Impossible Project has succeeded in restarting the production of integral instant films.  The team of entrepreneurs, ex-Polaroid managers and scientists, and other experts and suppliers have done an amazing thing in my view, especially after the year-plus we have spent here at New55 to simply find sources for some of the exotic materials for our experiments.  To have actually started production again, and have achieved wide distribution of the films is one that I hope everyone appreciates and supports. We certainly do - by buying the film and using it!  The results, sometimes unexpected, are for those of us who are willing to see what might happen next!

The Impossible Project has an "about" page that gives an especially good glimpse into the workings of their Enschede plant that is worth visiting here at this link.

 The image here was shot with an old SX-70 I bought in the 70s at Jordan Marsh at Shopper's World in Framingham, MA using The Impossible Project film.  What a view of my messy bench, and several derelict cameras being converted for other purposes, such as the 110a on the right, and parts and pieces. The close-SLR focusing of the SX-70 camera use to make this image is still a joy to use.  Click on it for a close-up view of the interesting texture.

added later on: If you've read this far you might be interested to know how impressive the plant is, and Enschede in general.  I'm not impressed easily - free, fast wifi on the clean, on-time train to Schipol, and nice clear and sunny weather over a quite beautiful Dutch countryside are also a big plus!

 Andre Bosman of The Impossible Project modestly but heroically stands next to some 20X24 examples of integral images and told me the story how they got the old plant started again. Like Burt Lancaster in The Train, Andre, then plant general manager, took his orders to dismantle and scrap the enormous production machines in a "measured" fashion, meanwhile, the large three city block long property, which had been slated for in-city condos, was waylaid by the mortgage crisis, and so stands today, with much running equipment!

This tale of industrial rescue genius has even more details and wonderful accounts of important things being reclaimed from scrapyards by other highly motivated ex-pols such as Renee, and should be recorded by some historian.  As a process and manufacturing person, I am especially in awe of the accomplishments to-date.