Self-portraits. Robert Cornelius did it before it was cool. Strike that -- he even did that before photography was cool.
This daguerreotype photograph was taken by Robert Cornelius around October 1839. While it might not look like it at first, this is actually a self-portrait of Cornelius. And according to the Library of Congress, believed to be the earliest extant American portrait photo.
“Daguerre announced his invention of a photographic method to the French Academy of Sciences in August 1839. That October, a young Philadelphian, Robert Cornelius, working out of doors to take advantage of the light, made this head-and-shoulders self-portrait using a box fitted with a lens from an opera glass. In the portrait, Cornelius stands slightly off-center with hair askew, in the yard behind his family’s lamp and chandelier store, peering uncertainly into the camera. Early daguerreotypy required a long exposure time, ranging from three to fifteen minutes, making the process nearly impractical for portraiture.” — ‘Photographic Material,’ by Carol Johnson. In Gathering History: the Marian S. Carson Collection of Americana, 1999, p. 100 via the Library of Congress
Joseph Petzval was the inventor of the first portrait lens ever created - the Petzval Lens. Consequently, he has gone down in history as one of the central figures of early photography. But his career did not end there. This article explores the later and other work of Joseph Petzval.
The Petzval Lens was the first truly practicable portrait lens ever created and thus was the ultimate gift to early photography. We at Lomography feel that this lens and its inventor deserve some attention so here is the first of a series of articles on Joseph Petzval and the first Petzval Lens.
We all know him as the man behind some of the striking street photographs in the community and the inspirational "A Salute to the Masters" series in the magazine. But did you know that he is also an engineering and electronics teacher and a ham radio operator? In this interview, Davide Tambuchi opens up about his fascination with radio, bikes, Subbuteo, and of course analog photography!
Humans always seek ways to improve an innovation. In the early days of photography, the project was to introduce color to Mr. Daguerre’s fascinating prints. Transferring reality onto wood or paper was one thing; it was another to produce a vibrant equivalent. Hand painting was an answer to this public demand for color before color photography was even invented.
Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.
Aurélien Bénard is a self-taught photographer who has been practicing photography for more than a decade. He specializes in glamour, fashion, beauty, and portrait photography. He recently tested the Petzval Lens and has prepared a series of of beautiful pictures and a video to captivate us all.
As an undergraduate majoring in Fine Arts, budding South Korean photographer Jinveun often spends her time drawing portraits for her projects. Inevitably, it was through this that she had started to seriously consider rendering portraits through the medium of photography.
This article is dedicated to one of the most important masters of photography, Robert Capa. Capa is well known for his photos of war, from the famous image of the Republican Spanish soldier collapsing backwards after being fatally shot to his images taken in Indochina. He was also a co-founder of the famous Magnum Photo Agency, the first cooperative agency for freelance photographers worldwide. For this article, I took advantage of a rare event held in my city, Como, some weeks ago: a military drill for civil protection purposes.