Monday’s Inspiration – Ruth Bernhard

Ruth Bernhard ) was a German-born American photographer.

In 1927, after two years at the Berlin Academy of Art, Ruth moved to New York where she began to seriously pursue a career in photography. Eight years later she met Edward Weston in California and was deeply moved by his work. He revealed to her the profound creative potential of photography and its artistic implications. Desiring to work with him, she moved to the West Coast shortly thereafter.

In 1953, she moved to San Francisco and became a colleague of Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White and Wynn Bullock. She has lectured and conducted master classes throughout the United States through her 95th birthday.

Most of Bernhard’s work is studio-based, ranging from simple still life to complex nudes. She worked almost exclusively in black and white, though there are rumours that she had done some colour work as well.

Ruth Bernhard’s work can be found in most major museum collections throughout the world, including the George Eastman House, Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Her photographs have been shown internationally in major exhibitions for over fifty years and widely published. In 1986, Photography West published an acclaimed monograph of her nudes entitled The Eternal Body which received Photography Book of the Year and brought Bernhard widespread acclaim as a photographer of the nude.

Monday’s Inspiration -Jessie

Jessie Tarbox Beals was an American photographer and the first published female photojournalist in the United States. She is best known for her freelance news photographs, particularly of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and portraits of places such as Bohemian Greenwich Village.

She was the first female  staff photographer hired by The Buffalo Inquirer and The Courier in 1902. Although, they rarely hired her again as a staff photographer, her freelance news photographs and her tenacity and self-promotion set her apart in a competitive field through the 1920s. At a time when most women’s roles were confined to the home and most women who ventured into photography maintained homelike portrait studios, Jessie called attention to her willingness to work outdoors and in situations generally thought too rough for a woman. She excelled in photographing such news worthy events as the 1904 world’s fair as well as documentary photography of houses, gardens, Bohemian Greenwich Village, slums, and school children.

What I admire from her is her tenacity and determination to succeed no matter what. Something we can all take from her.

Monday’s Inspiration -Emma Justine Farnsworth

 

Since March is women’s month, I thought that I would share some of my favourite female inspiration throughout this month.

I decided to do because my life has been greatly influenced by great women. Women ahead of their time, women whose faith and belief in people is beyond everything else I’ve known in my lifetime. Generosity, love, selflessness……. There’s just isn’t enough word that I can use. All I can say is that I wish that I have a quater of those qualities that I admire so much.

The first female photographer that I’m starting with is Emma J. Farnsworth. Please continue below to find out more about her and her work.

Emma J. Farnsworth was an American photographer from Albany, New York. Farnsworth had training in the arts.

Farnsworth had a modest art training and received a camera as a gift for Christmas and began to use it the following summer. The earliest known record of her exhibiting photographs is the second Joint Exhibition of 1888, where three of her pictures were seen. Over the next five years, she also was successful in two newspaper competitions. Her work consisted primarily of genre scenes and figure studies.

Early on, Farnsworth took to illustrating books with her sentimental photographs. In 1892, In Arcady appeared, featuring six tipped-in photogravures printed on tissue, picturing classically draped women in the open air, with birds, harps, and children. In 1893, E. P. Dutton and Company issued William Croswell Doane’s Sunshine and Play-Time, which prominently credited Farnsworth on both the cover and title page. Her images, which were paired with Doane’s verses, show children pursuing leisure time activities such as swinging and gardening. Two years later, the same publisher put out Little Lad Jamie, a story by Mary D. Brine, with the very same set of eight photogravures, but no acknowledgment of their maker.

Farnsworth drew the attention of Alfred Stieglitz. In 1893, she once again showed in the Joint Exhibition, organised by the country’s three leading camera clubs in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston and was the only woman to win a medal, prompting Stieglitz to consider her the country’s strongest lady amateur.

In 1897, her work comprised the second in an important series of solo exhibitions presented by the Camera Club of New York, of which Stieglitz was a leading member. And three years later, he included an image by her as a photogravure in the January 1900 issue of Camera Notes, printed in brilliant orange ink.

Farnsworth’s pictures were reproduced most frequently during the 1890s. They appeared in the American Amateur Photographer, Photographic Times and Sun and Shade. They were included in two deluxe portfolios of photogravures, issued on the occasion of Berlin’s annual International Exhibition of Amateur Photography in 1896 and 1897. Two years later, the Camera Club of New York also featured one of her gravures in its portfolio American Pictorial Photography I.

After the 1893 Joint Exhibition, Farnsworth continued to exhibit through the decade. She showed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Hartford Camera Club, Toronto Camera Club, Royal Photographic Society, and in photographic salons in London, Paris, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. In 1900, Francis Benjamin Johnston included her in the important show American Women Photographers, presented at the Paris Exposition. Shortly before this show, Farnsworth wrote to Johnston that she had largely stopped photographing, but was proud of the more than twenty-five medals she had earned, at exhibitions in Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, India, and the United States. Johnston, after returning from Paris, included Farnsworth in the series of articles she wrote on “The Foremost Women Photographers in America,” for Ladies’ Home Journal (August 1901). Her pictures appeared only sporadically after 1900. They were last seen in exhibitions in 1912, at a Kodak competition in New York and at the Sweat Memorial Art Museum in Portland, Maine.

By 1915, Farnsworth turned her attention to helping people in Europe adversely affected by World War I. The New York Times reported that she was chairman of the Women’s Section of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which made Albany its New York State headquarters. She died of cardiac failure, on January 23, 1952.

 

Please find below some of her work.

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Monday’s Inspiration -Charles Clyde

Charles Clyde Ebbets was an American photographer, most famous for his photograph Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper in 1932. He is best know for his work in the 1930s when he published his work in the major newspapers across the nation including the New York Times.

Ebbets started his career during the 1920s in St Petersburg, Florida as a still photographer. He eventually became involved in early motion picture work, both in front of and behind the camera. In 1924, he had a brief stint as an actor, playing the role of an African hunter known as “Wally Renny” in several motion pictures. By the 1930s, Ebbets was a well-known photographer and had work published in major newspapers across the nation, including the New York Times. 

By 1932, he was the appointed photographic director for the Rockefeller Center which was under construction in New York. In September of that year, he would take the photo which would later define his work, Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper this picture represents eleven workmen lunching on a beam, without any safety.The photo was taken on the 69th floor of the RCA Building in the last several months of construction. The second, Resting one has Girder watch these same workmen resting, with the top of the vacuum.

 

Below are his most famous images.

 

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ROCKEFELLER CENTER CONSTRUCTION
Construction workers take a lunch break on a steel beam atop the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center, New York, Sept. 29, 1932. In the background is the Chrysler Building. (AP Photo)

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New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam
29 Sep 1932 — Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

New black and films to get excited about

I’ve promised myself that this year I would improve my film skills whether it is shooting or developing. I’ve been shooting more film but I’m yet to develop any of my own films.

The exciting part of shooting film is trying out various films to see which ones suit me best. To start with I bought a load of Ilford HP5 400 rolls but I’m quite excited about some new that are about to hit the market.

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The first one is the BERGGER Pancro400.  It is a new ISO 400 black and white film that’ll be available as sheet film and as 120 and 35mm rolls. BERGGER Pancro 400 is a two emulsion film, composed with silver bromide and silver iodide. They differ by the size of their grain. These properties allow a wide exposure latitude. This film can be purchased from the BERGGER site.

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The other film being Ferrania P30 a black and white 35mm film. Ferrania P30 ALPHA is an ISO 80 panchromatic black-and-white motion picture film that’s packaged for still photography.

To be released in a limited “ALPHA” edition, Ferrania P30 ALPHA is a recreation of the same film stock that Ferrania popularized around the world over half a century ago. This new version, however, is a recreation made using modern techniques by the company’s scientists.

You can pre-order FERRANIA P30 ALPHA from mid-February 2017 through the company’s online store. It really can’t wait to use these.

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My plans for 2017

2017 has been a difficult year for me. Along with the good we are also blessed with some good days but we’ve all seen good and bad. The bad reminds us to be grateful for the special moments appreciate what we have the good and be tankful for the all the support that we receive from our loved ones.

For this year, I would like to focus more on myself and grow as an artists and creator. So I thought that I would put together my personal New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 something I can come back to and remind myself of what I’ve planned to achieve or better to tick what I’ve achieved off the list.

  1. Put stronger ideas, meaning and emotion into my photographs.
  2. Study the light in more details and to use it to create portraits
  3. Recreate the passage of time into my photographs through movements
  4. Shoot more film
  5. Make my photographs more like paintings.
  6. Shoot more film and have successful results
  7. Learn to develop and print my own film
  8. Learn to worry less on what people think of me
  9. Learn to listen and most importantly follow my instincts
  10. Define the purpose of my photographs.
  11. Define myself and style as a photographer and apply it to everything, not just my personal work.
  12. Set new professional goals.
  13. Shoot more ballerinas.
  14. Shoot more flowers.
  15. Make more videos (at least one every week)
  16. Stop wasting food, wasting money, wasting products.
  17. Live with less.
  18. Believe in myself more
  19. Shoot more for others.
  20. Make a home.
  21. Save money for real vacations, not work vacations.
  22. Create a portfolio site.
  23. Work on my health everyday by eating well and exercise
  24. Find a way to create more romanticism in my work.
  25. Build the life I want to live in, not the one others want for me.
  26. Learn to be more comfortable with myself and sharing my life.

What are your goals for 2017? I love to hear your plans. Please share below

Monday’s Inspiration – Thomas Annan

Thomas Annan was a Scottish photographer known for being the first to record the poor housing conditions of the poor.

Originally from Dairsie in Fife,  Annan moved to Glasgow as an apprentice engraver, and was friendly with a trainee Chemist called, Berwick. They set up business together in 1855 as photographers. Berwick then left to pursue a medical career.

In 1857 the firm moved to premises in Sauchiehall Street, a lot of business at that time came from photographing country Houses and Mansions around Glasgow. Also photographing paintings whilst at the houses. General landscape views were photographed then sold as individual prints bound into albums.

He also took a series of images documenting the new Glasgow Water Work Scheme including a view of Queen Victoria at the Official opening.

In 1868 The City of Glasgow Improvement Trust approached Thomas Annan to take pictures of some of the slum areas prior to demolition. This is claimed to be one of the first times photography was used as documentary evidence. Exposure times in some cases were measured in minutes.

Please take some time to discover more of his work by clicking here

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