Nearby Café Home > Art & Photography > Photocritic International

World o’ Gizmos 2014 (1)

Make no mistake about it: The people involved in inventing, developing, and marketing these devices and apps consider no single area of your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual existence sacrosanct. There is no corner of your conscious or unconscious life that they do not feel free to invade and colonize. They want to own you as a digital consumer, waking and sleeping, 24/7/365, leap years included, cradle to grave. Coming soon: subcutaneous digital implants. You read it here first. […]

After the Kodak Century (1)

In September 2013, just months before I wrote this, Kodak emerged from bankruptcy, much diminished as a consequence of having sold off most of its patents, downsized and reconfigured now as a new-tech company concentrating on developing commercial and consumer digital printers and inks for the publishing, packaging, and advertising sectors. An enterprise that for almost a hundred years ruled as the undisputed alpha dog of its industry has fallen abruptly back into the pack. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (16)

Richard Whelan’s account of Capa’s D-Day films qualifies as neither competent research nor responsible historianship. It constitutes the desperate Hail Mary pass of the terminally compromised and corrupted hireling. A perfect illustration of the dilemma of the bespoke, in-house curator and historian in the employ of the subject, or his or her estate, or some other entity with a vested interest in the outcome of the research. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (15)

The physical evidence proves inarguably that the persistent sprocket-hole intrusion in Capa’s exposures did not result from the mythical one-time “emulsion melt” in LIFE’s London darkroom, but instead represents a persistent minor malfunction in one of Capa’s two Contaxes. It is visible to the naked eye in dozens of Capa’s rolls of 35mm film from January 1944 onward. The fact that some rolls don’t show this suggests that they were made with his second Contax, which didn’t have this problem. It also indicates that no one at LIFE noticed or cared about this enough to advise Capa to get his camera checked and realigned. […]

Ends and Odds Yet Again

Knowing too much about photography infects everything from watching tall, handsome Keith Carradine play E. J. Bellocq in Louis Malle’s 1978 film “Pretty Baby” (while remembering that Bellocq was a hydrocephalic dwarf) to reading John Berger’s typically eloquent paean to Pentti Sammallahti’s mystical relationship to the dogs in his photographs (while knowing that this Finnish photographer uses sardine oil to attract them into his camera’s field of vision and hold them there). […]