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  1. Why Do You Make Photographs? Okay, you’re a competent photographer, but why do you make the photos you do? What is it, beyond the need to document important people, milestones and events in your life that drives you to photograph the world around you? Accurate color reproduction and maximum detail are important considerations for the purposes of photo documentation, but passion for your craft must be driven by more than technical concerns. Personally I’m much more interested in experience, and that experience is based up...
  2. Photographing Nature In The Urban Environment Here’s a photo I made that explores the notion of nature in the urban environment. It’s a somewhat post modern scene featuring a small section of the Shell Building on the corner of Flinders and Spring Streets in Melbourne, Australia. I think it’s beautiful, though the notion of trees coming out of rock is pretty surreal. While that concept works in Angkor Wat, Cambodia my preference, in my own neck of the woods, is for grass. And that’s particularly true in the city. Melbourne has beautiful ...
  3. Photography - Identity And Representation I've only ever photographed myself on a couple of occasions. Nonetheless it's a good process to go through for a photographer. Making self portraits allows us to explore our identity and how we can use photography to present ourselves to the world. This particular photo was made just outside the lift in a boutique hotel in Beijing, China. It's just a bit of fun in the early stages of familiarizing myself with my then new Leica M9 camera. Just look at what I did to my nose to ensur...
  4. Neuschwanstein Castle by Schmidt By: Jacob Hawthorne Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery Perched on a hill high above the historic Bavarian village of Hohenschwangau, the Neuschwanstein Castle is widely regarded as the ‘Fairytale Castle’ due to its grandiose, majestic appearance and deep-rooted history in German lore. This medieval castle was commissioned and constructed by King Ludgwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century, also known as the ‘Fairytale King’. King Ludwig II was known to be a rather large admirer and supporte...
  5. "A Slight Freshness on the Neck": Prints Depicting the Execution of Louis XVI (ca. 1793) It was an execution that defined an era. On January 21, 1793, four days after he had been convicted of high treason and crimes against the state by 693 of the 721 deputies of the National Convention, King Louis XVI was guillotined. The gruesome event took place on the Place de la Révolution (formerly the Place Louis XV, soon to be the Place de la Concorde) and came to represent, both in France and abroad, the changing nature of the French Revolution. Of course, the way artists at the time d...
  6. Adriaen Coenen's Fish Book (1580) Selected double-page spreads from Adriaen Coenen's Visboek (Fish Book), an epic 800+ page tome on all things fish and fish-related. Coenen began work on this unique book in 1577, at the age of 63, and in three years gathered an unprecedented amount of information on the sea and its coasts, coastal waters, fishing grounds and marine animals. The information was largely gathered in the course of Coenen's daily work in the Dutch sea-side village of Scheveningen as a fisherman and fish au...
  7. Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron (ca. 1353) The art of keeping ourselves entertained while quarantined dates back many centuries. In 1349, following a bubonic plague epidemic that killed more than half the population of his native Florence, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) wrote The Decameron — a bingeworthy collection of tales told by seven women and three men who've fled the city and confined themselves in an empty villa in the countryside. With time on their hands, they decide that, every evening, each of them will tell a story to...
  8. John Gould's Mammals of Australia (1845–63) In 1838, the English ornithologist John Gould set sail for Australia with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Gould. The previous year John had examined the bird specimens Charles Darwin brought back from the second voyage of the Beagle, bringing his deep knowledge and patient attention to bear on the unfamiliar bodies of mockingbirds and finches from South America and the Galápagos. His discovery that what Darwin had believed to be blackbirds and “gross-bills” were in fact finches would turn out ...
  9. The Prophecy of the Popes (15th Century) Selection of details from a 15th-century manuscript titled Vaticinia de Pontificibus depicting gloriously surreal portraits of various Popes in the midst of the prophecies relating to them. According to Wikipedia: The mystical series of prophecies, known from their incipit as the Genus nequam prophecies ("the origin of evil"), are derived from the Byzantine Leo Oracles, a series of twelfth-century Byzantine prophecies that foretell a saviour-emperor destined to restore unity to the ...
  10. Plates from Robert Thornton's Temple of Flora (1807) "The Temple of Flora" is the third and final part of Robert John Thornton's New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Linnaeus, considered by many to be the greatest of all flower books. It consists of a series of sumptuous depictions of flowers notable for their epic and unusual settings. Interwoven amongst the images are various descriptions, histories and poetic odes regarding the flowers featured. The first plates were engraved by Thomas Medland in May 1798 from pai...
  11. 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō as Potted Landscapes (1848) Connecting Edo (now known as Tokyo) to Kyoto, the Tōkaidō road was the most important of the "Five Routes" in Edo-period Japan. This coastal road and its fifty-three stations has been the subject of both art and literature, perhaps most famously depicted by the Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige in his The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created in the 1830s. This book from the mid-19th century, Tokaido Gojusan-eki Hachiyama Edyu, presents a seri...
  12. Photographs of Sea Stars (1917) These strangely alluring images are from a report by Ludwig Heinrich Philipp Döderlein (1855–1936), a German zoologist who specialized in sea stars, sea urchins, and crinoids. Although Döderlein is best known for his study of marine life in Japan, where he was one of the very first European naturalists to work, from 1879 to 1881, these starfish are actually from the waters around Indonesia, collected during the Siboga Expedition, 1899–1900. Taken upon a surface of black, the images seem to re...
  13. Illustrations from a Victorian book on Magic (1897) Selected images from a massive late 19th century tome entitled simply Magic, subtitled Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, including Trick Photography, compiled and edited by Albert A. Hopkins. The book takes a thorough tour through the popular magic tricks and illusions of the day, including along the way many delightfully surreal diagrams and illustrations, the top pick of which we've included here - often especially great when seen out of context. Towards the end are some partic...
  14. How to Create a Lithogram on Paper Printing processes are numerous, but all contain certain features that transform them from print to art. Lithograms, or more commonly lithographs are unique in their art form because of the way in which they are created. Print artists may use any number of printing techniques to create one or more prints, from woodblock cuts to linoleum cuts to etched metal plate prints. However, all of those techniques are very different from the lithograph process, as you will see. Lithograph/gram Process...
  15. John Margolies’ Photographs of Roadside America The culture of the American road has been much celebrated — and much criticized. Lawrence Ferlinghetti saw the rise of the automobile and the construction of the interstate system (which began in the 1950s) as a new form of punishment inflicted on the populace. Driving in their cars, “strung-out citizens” were now plagued by legionnaires false windmills and demented roosters… on freeways fifty lanes wide on a concrete continent ...
  16. Early Photographs of Juneteenth Celebrations Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Civil War then raging prevented it being enacted in much of the American South until months or even years later. Emancipation Day, or Juneteenth, is a celebration to mark the eventual country-wide realization of the decree — on June 19, 1865, when around 250,000 enslaved people were finally declared free in Texas — the last state in the US to be reached by the Union Army, commanded by General Gordon Granger,...

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