Workshop Wednesdays Vol.40
Workshop Wednesdays vol. 40
Welcome back to Workshop Wednesdays! Our weekly blog that aims to inspire, entertain and educate about all things photography! It is no secret that I’m a little bit obsessed with photography …Photographs themselves never cease to amaze me. A real life moment frozen in time, on light sensitive material, that can then be printed and kept forever! Does it not blow your mind too?! Not long before the “lock down”, I was looking through old photographs with Dad, of him as a child in rural Australia back in 1948. Dad also had a collection of photos of his parents and even their parents! They were a bit fuzzy and faded, but an image of an actual moment that happened in history – our family. And here we are, holding this real moment of real people in our hands. It is just the most special thing ever. So, before I start carrying on too much, here we go: some of my favourite articles and photographs from around the world – a celebration of my favourite art form. I hope you enjoy this as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it!…
Photo For Thought
“The pattern is sickeningly familiar. A new and deadly strain of flu emerges in Asia, then spreads across the world and comes to the United States. A pandemic is declared.
In 2020 the world was shaken by COVID-19, which began infecting people in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 and spread to exert its deadly touch in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.
In 1957 the new virus was first reported in Singapore, in February of that year, and then worked its way to Hong Kong. In June the disease had made its way to America.
In its Sept. 2, 1957 issue, LIFE reported on the race to develop a vaccine against this flu before the arrival of fall, which would make people more prone to respiratory illnesses: “For the first time in its history the U.S. has had full warning that it faces a major new epidemic.”
LIFE in that issue declared that “the government has launched the fastest medical mobilization ever attempted against an epidemic disease,” and the race for the cure began that April 1957, when forward-looking researchers from Walter Reed first began to work on developing a vaccine. The first of the photos here, which accompanied the Sept. 2 story, documented the fascinating process by which the vaccine was created, with the isolated virus being injected into an egg. After the virus multiplied inside the shell, the embryonic fluid was drawn out, the virus was killed, and the treated fluid was used as the vaccine.
The first batches of the vaccine were released while the weather was still warm, in late August and early September. The vaccine was produced quickly, but not enough to cover the entire population, and nor was it 100 percent effective. Unlike today with COVID-19, there was no mass quarantine or sheltering in place. As kids headed back to school, the number of flu patients began to multiply. In the Nov. 18 issue of LIFE, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney predicted that “the epidemic will get worse in the next six weeks, and then decrease.”
Burney was correct, to a point. While this flu seemed to abate after Thanksgiving, it proved resurgent, and cases spiked again in early 1958. By the end, according to CDC statistics, the pandemic was tied to 110,000 deaths in the United States, and 1.1 million around the world.”
In The News
“The first “photographic paper” was made of asphalt.
More precisely, asphalt varnish was applied on the copper or the glass plate.”
Photograph above: The artist’s van. Marcus Sparling, full-length portrait, seated on Roger Fenton’s photographic van. 1855
“My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder”
“Born a photographer, Abbas was an Iranian transplanted to Paris. He dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In a career that spanned six decades, he covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. He also documented life in Mexico over several years, and pursued a lifelong interest in religion and its intersection with society.
From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after seventeen years of voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a private journal.
During his years of exile Abbas traveled constantly. Between 1983 and 1986 he journeyed through Mexico, attempting to photograph a country as a novelist might write about it. The resulting exhibition and book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask, helped define his photographic aesthetic.”
“Few stars of the 1950s were so compelling, so singular, that they came to define the era in which they lived and in which they created their most enduring work. Marilyn Monroe was one of those stars.
From her earliest days as an actress until late in her career when she had, against her will, been cast in the public eye as Hollywood’s ultimate Sex Goddess, Marilyn posed for LIFE magazine’s photographers. Here, LIFE.com presents a gallery of pictures—none of which ran in the magazine—by LIFE’s Ed Clark, a Tennessean with a profound talent for capturing the essence of people, both famous and obscure. His pictures of Marilyn offer a rare glimpse into the early days of an eventual pop-culture icon’s career, when a young actress was blissfully unaware of what the coming years would bring and was, it seems, just happy to be in “the industry” and getting noticed.”
Story of the week
Our feature photos this week (of Craig at the top and Amelia directly above) were captured in 2010 when I worked at Venture Studios in Edinburgh (I honestly can’t believe this was 10 years ago!). It was the most amazing opportunity and all new photographers had to complete a Venture-specific training course. Having more time that usual over the last few weeks, I have delved back into the archives (a dangerous rabbit hole!) and it has been such a fun journey to relive that time, as well as the portraits and weddings from the last nearly 8 years of HP. I believe we are all continually developing skills and finding niches – mine now seems to be with babies and animals together, this is my absolute favourite! We always try new things and every photo shoot feels completely different – capturing personalities, relationship dynamics and stories. But looking back has reminded me that it’s important to take time out and experiment with lighting, with backdrops, with styling and editing. The options are literally endless and inspiration is everywhere. There are amazing online communities of professionals that share their work and their wisdom and it’s important to surround yourself (even if it’s virtually) with people that push you outside of your comfort zone. That open your mind up to the world of possibility and creativity. It’s very easy as a business owner or sole trader to get caught up in your own bubble and not to look outside of your box let alone ‘THE’ box. This unexpected quiet time has reminded me just why I love photography so so much and has gifted me the time to reconnect with these communities and explore the wonderful world of photography that is advancing every day. I don’t think there will ever be a time when I know everything there is to know about photography. It is a constant learning curve and this is why it still excites me to my core. I am making a promise to myself that even when we are out of “lock down” and it’s crazy busy again, I will be sure to dedicate time every week to a personal project, try something new in the studio and stay connected with the photography community. Who’s with me?!!
Best Wishes From HP!
Thank you for getting this far! We hope you have enjoyed the articles above and the incredible photographs spanning 3 different centuries. Our main sources are: The Guardian, Life Magazine and Magnum Photographers. If you want to get lost down a few rabbit holes while you are spending more time at home – I highly recommend all three. And for the best online tutorials visit: Creative Live. See you soon beautiful people!
Hannah, Olivia, Angela, Nic and Charlie
The Hannah Photography Team