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.
He calls himself Khalik Allah – a creator, a limitless, timeless, infinite being. He documents life as it comes and goes, as it hurts, as it glows inside the protagonists of his stories. His photography and videography take us deep into the never-ending nights of Harlem, a place where the darkness might seem to reach its peak. Yet, he is capturing light in its purest form, reminding us that it lies in everyone’s eyes, within everyone’s self.
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.
You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!
Autochrome was one of the first strides toward color photography. The combination of potato starch grains and silver bromide produces a cloudy cast that makes buildings like Villa Bonnier look even more intriguing.
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.
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.
In a previous feature, Wilson Lee of Teeny Life Photography shared portraits he shot with the Petzval Bokeh Control 58mm Art Lens. Proving that he is as talented in travel photography as he is in portraiture, he provides a scenic tour of Kansai with photos taken using the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, and talks about the experience.
When she was first featured on the Magazine in 2011, Mary Robinson's natural talent for photography was already evident. Her images made an impression on the Lomography Community even back then. Her work has evolved in the span of four years, but its quaint beauty remains.