Category: Global Art Diaries

Global Art Diaries
How to photograph your artwork ?

How to photograph your artwork ?

Global Art Diaries

Whether you want to make prints of your paintings, share your work online or simply keep a record of a picture before you sell it, it is important to know how to take a professional photograph of a painting, as Scott Burdick explains

In this age of digital cameras, I’m often asked how this changes the process of photographing artwork. The main advantage of a digital camera is that you can review the effect of your shot, the focus, the exposure, and any glare issues immediately while you’re shooting, rather than waiting days for pictures to develop only to find out something went wrong. Combined with the ability to work on your photos afterwards in software such as Photoshop, the ease of storing and backing up your photos, as well as the ease of simply e-mailing the image of your paintings to a magazine or show, all make me very lacking in nostalgia for the days before the digital revolution.

But with that said, the basics are still the same as they were with older film cameras. There are many different ways to shoot a painting, but I’ve attempted to explain the set-up I generally use, which is a method known as “cross polarisation”.

The reason I use this system is because I often paint rather thick oil paintings that can have significant glare issues when photographing.

If you aren’t an impasto painter or you work in a flat medium like watercolour, you might not need such an advanced set-up but hopefully you will pick up some tips along the way.


These two close-up shots of my painting show the importance of using linear polarising filters. The painting at the top is obscured by glare hitting the surface, while the shot below, taken with a filter, is much cleaner and more professional.

How to photograph your artwork

How to photograph your artwork


The camera

Any good camera, digital or traditional, will work with this set-up. I happen to use a Nikon D7000 digital SLR camera with a 50mm lens. The reason I use a 50mm lens to photograph artwork is that it has less glass internally than a compound zoom lens, which means it will give you a sharper image. It is fine to use a zoom lens – just make sure to look at the numbers on the lens to make sure you are zoomed to around 50mm or above. If you us as smaller number, say 35mm, then such a wide-angle will distort your painting outward and you’ll see the straight edges of the frame curve and bulge toward the edges, distorting the finished photo of your painting.

The filter

I use a linear polarising filter over the lens. Do not use a circular polarising filter, even though they are more common these days (because they work better with autofocus). No matter what the camera person at the store tells you, you want to make sure you get a linear polarising filter or it won’t work properly and will leave large portions of your painting full of glare. I find the autofocus usually still works fine, but if not, just manually focus.

The lighting

How to photograph your artwork

I use two 500-watt tungsten (3200K) lights – any tungsten light will work, so don’t think you have to get the particular ones I have. I choose such powerful lights because the larger the painting, the further away the lights have to be to avoid “fall off” (in other words, one side of the painting becoming darker than the other).

If you’re shooting smaller paintings, you can get away with a single light or lower wattage. The polarising filters cut down a significant amount of the light reaching the camera sensor as well, which is another reason to have a good, strong light.

The gels

If you are using a linear polarising filter, these will hang in front of your lights. My lights came with optional frames with clips that make it easy to hang the gels in front of the light, but I’ve seen people rig up the same sort of thing with wire or coat hangers.

The tripod

You will want to always use a tripod with this set-up, since you’ll have to use very slow exposures when shooting with polarising filters.


How to photograph your artwork

1. Position your lights

Make sure the lights are positioned at approximately a 45 degree angle to the painting you’re photographing. I put both lights to one side so I get a slight shadow on the brushstrokes. You can also put the lights on opposite sides at 45 degree angles, which will flatten out the texture and might be good if you have wrinkles in paper, or crackling on an older painting. As a guide, I generally position the lights about four metres away from the painting, when shooting a painting measuring around 75x100cm.

The important thing is making sure the gels are not too close to the lights, which can warp or melt them, and that the polarisation lines etched onto the surface of the gels are both aligned in the same direction.

This is easy to check by simply holding one gel over the other one and rotating them. When they become transparent, they are aligned; when they turn black, they are out of alignment.

Try to shoot at night, or else choose a room in which you can block off all other light sources (e.g. windows), since anything that is not polarised at the 45 degree angle will give you glare.

2. Set your camera

I would suggest using the manual mode for setting your exposure. I generally shoot at about a five-second exposure with a focal length of around f/10, which gives me a little extra focus depth to make up for any error I might make in focusing.

Always use the lowest ISO setting on your camera (usually ISO 100), since this will also give you the sharpest picture possible – the ISO setting traditionally refers to the sensitivity of film and in digital cameras it also refers to the sensitivity of your image sensor; the higher the ISO number, the grainier the image will appear.

Remember to use the tungsten white balance setting on your camera – on most cameras, the symbol for this is a light bulb. My camera also comes with Kelvin setting, which you will want to set at around 3200K.

3. Take your picture

Simply look through your viewfinder and rotate the polarising filter on the front of the camera lens until you see the painting darken slightly and the glare magically vanish!

If you are having difficulty seeing exactly when the glare disappears, move the camera closer to the painting to adjust the lens filter. Once the filter is adjusted properly, you won’t have to change this setting when you move back or shoot additional paintings.

When taking the picture, I use the camera’s timer set at two seconds so I can press the shutter, remove my hand, and then wait for it to start the exposure. This means I don’t have to worry about my hand jostling the camera and creating a blurry image.


Mirrorless Medium Format is Here: Hasselblad Unveils the X1D

Mirrorless Medium Format is Here: Hasselblad Unveils the X1D

Global Art Diaries
JUN 22, 2016



After several tantalizing teasers and one very serious leak yesterday, the Hasselblad X1D, the world’s first compact mirrorless medium format camera, has officially arrived. Behold the promised “game changer.”

At just half the weight of a conventional Medium Format camera, the X1D still manages to pack 50MP of resolution into a camera that can fit in the palm of your hand. Hasselblad CEO Perry Oosting captures the excitement around this groundbreaking camera well when he says:


The X1D marks a pivotal point in Hasselblad’s rich 75-year history. This camera makes medium format photography available to a new generation of Hasselblad users, while pushing the existing limits of photography to new heights



But enough with the hype, let’s get into the specs.

The weather and dust sealed X1D sports a 50MP CMOS medium format sensor that promises 14 stops of dynamic range and an ISO range of 100 to 25600.

As you might have already guessed, the X1D uses a new line of lenses, dubbed XCD, with an integral central shutter. Shutter speeds range from 60 minutes to 1/2000th of a second and the system offers full flash sync all the way to that 1/2000th mark. At launch you have a 45mm f/3.5 and a 90mm f/4.5 lens to choose from, but all 12 H System lenses can be used with an adapter.

The camera also boasts a Nikon-compatible hot shoe, 3-inch 920K-dot touchscreen LCD, a 2.36M-dot XGA electronic viewfinder, integrated Dual SD slots, GPS, Wi-Fi, 1080/30p HD video capability, a USB 3.0 Type-C connector, and a Mini HDMI port.

Here’a a closer look at the Hasselblad X1D from all angles:






Hasselblad is keen on making this the “everyman” medium format camera, opening up the market to a whole new segment of shooters. To that end, they’ve priced the X1D at $8,995 USD by itself, $11,290 in a kit with the 45mm f/3.5 lens, or $13,985 with both the 45mm f/3.5 and the 90mm f/4.5 lens. Separately, the 45mm and 90mm lenses will cost $2,295 and $2,695, respectively; and more lenses will be along “shortly,” including a 30mm around Photokina time.


Demos begin in July with shipments to users begin in August.

To learn more about this groundbreaking camera or find a dealer, head over to the Hasselblad website. The livestream we kept embedding finished about an hour ago, but you can watch a recording of the full presentation for yourself below:



Light L16 is a Point-and-Shoot That Packs 16 Cameras for 52MP Photos

Light L16 is a Point-and-Shoot That Packs 16 Cameras for 52MP Photos

Global Art Diaries
“The L16 is the first multi-aperture computational camera that packs DSLR quality and capability into a device that fits in your pocket,” says Light. “The L16 is smaller, lighter, less expensive, and provides better image quality than any camera in its price class.”Although it looks quite different, the L16 appears to compete directly with the likes of Lytro’s light field cameras: it also lets you shoot first and adjust depth of field later.

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Specs and features of the L16 include 35-150mm optical zoom, exceptional low-light performance, low image noise, precise depth of field control, and a 5-inch touchscreen on the back for editing and sharing your photos.







Here are some sample photos captured with the Light L16:

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Light image exporter

Here a short video that tells the story of the L16:

The L16 will hit store shelves in late September 2016 with a not-so-small price tag of $1,699. You can find out more about the camera (and place a pre-order) over on Light’s website.


Sony Launches Low-Light Shooting A7S II Mirrorless Camera with 4K Internal Recording and 5-Axis Image Stabilization

Sony Launches Low-Light Shooting A7S II Mirrorless Camera with 4K Internal Recording and 5-Axis Image Stabilization

Global Art Diaries
Sony further updated its mirrorless camera lineup this morning by adding the Sony A7S II, which is designed for low-light shooting thanks to its high sensitivity full-frame CMOS sensor.

The Sony A7S II is, of course, the follow-up to the Sony A7S, which was announced in April 2014. Like its predecessor, the Sony A7S II is loaded with a 35mm-sized 12.2-megapixel imaging chip that can shoot an expanded ISO range of 50-409600, with the help of the camera’s BIONZ X image processor.

According to Sony, the BIONZ X processor in the A7S II features an upgraded image processing algorithm that boosts the sensor’s capabilities overall, particularly at the mid-high end of the ISO scale. This is designed to produce more detailed still images and movies with low noise at high ISOs.

For an example of this, check out a sample movie – provided by Sony – shot with the A7S II at the bottom of this story.


The Sony A7S II adds several key features to the mix that should appeal to both photographers and videographers. For one, this new Sony mirrorless camera offers 5-axis image stabilization, which compensates for camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw), which can occur when shooting with a telephoto lens; shift shake (X and Y) axes; and rotational shake (roll), which typically affects video recording.

This 5-axis image stabilization technology has turned up on all of Sony’s next generation A7 mirrorless cameras, including the recently launched A7R II.

The Sony A7S II also adds the ability to record full-frame 4K video internally with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. According to Sony, the A7S II is the world’s first camera to offer this feature. This feature is possible, the company said, because of the XAVC S codec, which can record at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps.

“Because information from all pixels is utilized without line skipping or pixel binning, the camera can maximize the expanded power of the full-frame image sensor and produce 4K movies with higher image clarity and negligible moiré.” Sony said in a press announcement this morning.

“This full pixel readout without pixel binning is also employed when shooting Full HD video (24p/30p), where the camera collects information from approximately five times as many pixels that are required to generate Full HD 1920×1080 and oversamples the information, producing movies of extremely high quality and detail.”


In another first for Sony’s A7 mirrorless camera line, the A7S II can record full 1080p HD at 120 frames per second at 100mbps in the full frame format. This footage can been immeditately reviewed on the camera’s 3-inch, rear tilting screen and edited into 4x/5x slow motion footage in full HD (24p/30p) resolution.

The autofocus system on the Sony A7S II has been upgraded too. It now offers 169 AF points designed for faster, more precise focusing with greater accuracy compared to the previous model. According to Sony, the low noise image produced by the A7S II’s image sensor lets the AF system detect contrast more easily to react speedily even in low-light situations (as low as EV-4). The AF performance is also twice as fast as the previous model during video shooting.

The XGA OLED Tru-Finder in the Sony A7S II has been upgraded to offer “the world’s highest viewfinder magnification” of 0.78x (which is roughly 38.5 degrees in diagonal field of view) and shows clear images across the entire display area. ZEISS T* Coating is designed to reduce reflections on the viewfinder. In contrast to optical viewfinders, the OLED Tru-Finder can be used to show how exposure compensation, white balance and other settings affect the displayed image.

The Sony A7S II mirrorless camera goes on sale in October for $3000, body only. Watch the sample video below to get an idea of this camera’s capabilities.

Canon Unveils a Monster 250-Megapixel Sensor

Canon Unveils a Monster 250-Megapixel Sensor

Global Art Diaries


Canon today announced that it has created a monster of a CMOS sensor with the world’s highest pixel count (for its size). The DSLR-format sensor manages to capture gigantic 250-megapixel photos with each exposure.

It’s an APS-H format sensor that measures 29.2×20.2mm. APS-H is smaller than full frame but larger than APS-C. It’s the format found inside cameras such as the Canon 1D Mark IV and the Canon 1D III.


The 19,580×12,600 pixel images captured with each shot are the highest resolution for a sensor smaller than 35mm.

So how powerful is this sensor? Canon says that in tests it did, the sensor was able to capture the letters on an airplane that was flying about 11 miles away.
Canon’s new sensor can read the words on an airplane from 11 miles away. This image is just an illustration.

Canon's new sensor can read the words on an airplane from 11 miles away. This image is just an illustration.

Canon’s new sensor can read the words on an airplane from 11 miles away. This image is just an illustration.

In addition to still photos, the sensor can also shoot ultra-high-res video at 5 frames per second. The footage has 125 times more resolution than Full HD and 30 times more than 4K video, meaning you can crop very small portions of the frame and still obtain the video quality you need.
A prototype camera with the 250MP sensor and a Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens.

A prototype camera with the 250MP sensor and a Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens.

A prototype camera with the 250MP sensor and a Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens.

No word yet on if or when these sensors might actually appear in cameras, but Canon says it’s thinking about offering this technology for things like crime prevention, measuring tools, industrial equipment, and “the field of visual expression.” Photographers, sit tight and cross your fingers!

P.S. This news comes less than two months after Canon announced a crazy camera with ISO 4,000,000.

Image credits: Sensor size comparison illustration by Moxfyre/Wikimedia Commons, airplane illustration based on photo by Greger Ravik




100 Beautiful Vintage Camera Photographs

Global Art Diaries


100 Beautiful Vintage Camera Photographs
by Josh Johnson18 Jan 201147 Comments
This post is part of a series called Film Photography.
A Simple Guide to Setting Up Your Own Photographic Darkroom
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Lomography
It’s easy to forget that cameras weren’t always defined by megapixels and the quality of their digital sensors. Once upon a time, photographers had to pay for every photo that they took, and they couldn’t see them for hours or even days after the shoot.

Today we’ll pay homage to the countless cameras that have come and gone, paving the way for our beloved modern DSLRs. Below we’ll take a look at modern images of over a hundred beautiful vintage cameras (along with a quick history lesson!)

A Brief History Lesson

Before we dive into the images, it’s worth taking a minute to learn about the origins of the art/science of photography. How did it all begin and what are some terms that you should know as you peruse the images below? Let’s find out.

The idea of pushing light through a hole to create an image dates all the way back to the 6th century and beyond. However, it wasn’t until the invention of photographic plates in the 1700s that photography was really born in the sense that we now know it with the imagery actually being saved in some fashion. These early plates weren’t so different than modern day film, with a silver coating being mixed up with various other ingredients to create a surface that reacted when exposed to light.

Once we made the discoveries above, the rest was history. Photography gradually advanced with significant improvements being made in the areas of exposure control, lenses, focusing techniques, light metering and photographic film; the latter of these was originally developed by George Eastman of Eastman Kodak in the late 1800s.

Eastman manufactured his first camera, the “Kodak”, in 1888. By 1900, Eastman had advanced his simple box camera idea significantly and released a legendary product that would come to define the market of inexpensive personal cameras in a similar fashion to how the Model T defined automobiles. This camera was called the Brownie. The model shown below, a No. 2A Brownie Model C, is my own and was manufactured around 1924 (watch for my tutorial on how to use it!).
If you look closely, you’ll spot a number of Brownies in the images below. These iconic devices evolved and stayed in production until the late 1960s. You can read all about them at The Brownie Camera Page. With that brutally brief history in mind, let’s discuss some terms that you might find interesting while scanning the images below.

Box Camera – A box camera is one of the simplest cameras in existence and consists of little else than a box with a lens and one end that lets light in to expose the film on the other end. Most box cameras are fairly rudimentary and lack anything but very basic controls for focus, shutter speed and aperture. The Brownie shown above is a box camera.

Folding Camera – A folding camera uses a bellows (that weird accordion thing) to accomplish the feat of allowing the user to carry around a rather large camera in a fairly compact manner. When closed, the folding camera is very thin and easy to throw in a bag. It then expands to add focal length when unfolded.
Twin-lens Reflex Camera (TLR) – A TLR, as its name implies, is a camera with two lenses on the front. The lenses share the same focal length and are often connected to focus simultaneously. The reason for the additional lens is simply for the viewfinder system, which brought about several benefits (over single-lens reflex cameras) such as a continuous image on the finder screen, and a less-noticeable shutter lag. For our purposes today, TLRs are important because they make particularly attractive photographic subjects!
Instant Camera – An instant camera is one that has a self-developing mechanism so that your images are ready to view right away. Polaroid was obviously the most popular manufacturer of instant cameras and released the first commercial instant camera in 1948. This model was called the Polaroid Land Camera and can be seen in several variations in the collection below.
100 Photos of Vintage Cameras

Vintage cameras – in vintage colour


Vintage Cameras

Exa Ihagee Dresden

27-05-10 Because I Have Something To Say

Old to someone, new to me

Self portrait, TLR girl

Kodak Brownie Starlet, 1957 – my first camera


I love my hair ornament

Polaroid Land Camera

Argus C3 Match-Matic

Imperial Mark 27

Zeiss Ikon Voigtlander Vitessa 500 AE Electronic

“New” toy

16-05-10 II Beirette

Ferrania Zeta Duplex

My Hassy

Argus Lady Carefree

Hi, Rolleiflex

Zorki 4K

trip 35.1

26-08-10 Just Don’t Make Me Choose



New Toys {Explore}

Canon Demi EE17

#78 – OM1

Klasse (BLACK)

Polaroid Land Camera 1000

Kodak Brownie Target Six-20


08-05-10 You’ve Left Me Shimmering

Smena 8M

14/366 – Nikon FM2n


camera shy

zorki-4 + industrar-61

The Go Getter

by my side

Certo Super Sport Dolly 1937

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye




Voigtlander Vitoret DR

Monday, Monday

Day 6/50: a little girl’s love

crown graphic


reflection from the past

my new toy, thanks to e50e


Six-20 Folding ‘Brownie’ w. ‘Dakon’ Shutter

Vintage bliss……

First Strobist Attempt

Old Cameras

My trusty old friend

thank you

Brownie Hawkeye



kodak signet_0936


“P” mode, ON!



Canon / Bell & Howell Dial 35

indecision {31 of 365}

Braun Super II Rangefinder

autumn story.

kodak signit_0963

Canon AE-1 Program

Canonet QL-19

Camera Junkyard

There’s Nothing Quite Like Film

Praktically Ancient

Controlled Chaos

Olympus Trip 35

Vintage Camera

Olympus 35SP

voigtlander vitessa l773-74

128.365 – Swen

The Next Chapter


three cameras

3/52 – vintage 101010

38/52 : Focus

aus Dresden

Moments missed…


Through the Viewfinder

museum mile

who needs a tardis?


argus c-four

Will You Let Me Take A Picture?


Agfa Karat IV

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex III


Story without words

Daisies (.164/365)

Polaroid Land Camera 250

Show Us Yours!

Before I conclude, I should say that I’m admittedly not familiar with all of the cameras shown above. It’s highly possible that some are fairly modern cameras that just look vintage. If you spot any of these, feel free to point them out in the comments below.

Also, we want to see your vintage cameras! Post an image to Flickr and leave a comment below with the name of the camera model, when you think it was manufactured and whether or not you’ve ever taken any photos with it!


An Interview with Banksy about Dismaland [Exclusive]

Global Art Diaries
The following is an excerpt from our October issue cover story, featuring a Juxtapoz exclusive interview with world-renowned artist Banksy, conducted on the eve of his largest project to date, Dismaland. The October issue will soon be available in our webstore and on newsstands worldwide.

Introduction by Banksy
Dismaland is the latest innovation in family light entertainment by the graffiti artist Banksy. Installed in the centre of an unfashionable British seaside town frequented by low-income families, Banksy describes it as “the perfect art audience.” The location is a former lido comprising four acres of walled seafront compound, which in recent years has come to more closely resemble a neglected prison yard, an atmosphere Banksy has endeavoured to preserve by declaring that none of the installation crew were allowed to bring a broom.

This is an art show for the 99% who would rather not be at an art show. It features a fairytale castle, a boat pond, arcade games and extensive water gardens, all given a distinctly modern twist. But beyond the Mickey-taking is a deadly serious attempt to assemble a show that takes stock of its generation. “It’s scrappy, incoherent and self-obsessed, so maybe we’re halfway there,” says Banksy.

From the October, 2015 issue. Artwork by Jeff Gillette.
This is certainly not a “street art” show—an art form Banksy describes as “just as reassuringly white, middle class and lacking in women as any other art movement.” The roster of artists ranges from Jenny Holzer, winner of the gold medal at the Venice Biennale, to Ed Hall, a pensioner who has spent forty years producing every major trade union banner from his garden shed.

Visitors are taken on an unflinching journey of art “made in the shadow of gathering clouds,” literally in the main gallery, as Dietrich Wegner’s Playhouse towers above the centre of the room. Truly global in scope and scale, you will find art from Israel and Palestine hanging side by side.

Banksy Sketch of Dismaland, Copyright Pest Control Office Ltd.
Does it represent any distinct art movement? Banksy has come up with the term “post modem-ism” and is valiantly trying to make it fit. This is art with high “click potential,” something achieved by containing more than one strand of thought or technique. “It’s flower embroidery, but done with a power drill into car bonnets,” or, “It’s a greenhouse, but all the seedlings are sprouting from ready meals.” This is art that thrives and is shared in the online environment—art that has an “and” or a “but.” The digital world demands more than the humble portrait or landscape, and these artists serve it wholeheartedly.

As ever, Banksy has constructed a show that essentially speaks to his fifteen-year-old self. It shouts “another world is possible” at every turn. And this event actually provides some tools to achieve it. Visit “Guerilla Island,” an activist’s area where you’re able to buy the specialist keys that unlock bus shelter advertising hoardings alongside workshops in how to replace their posters with your own.

One end of the site is dominated by a windmill, Banksy’s attempt to power the entire site using a giant copy of a child’s pinwheel, only to find the results seriously under-powering. “I guess it’s become a monument to how much further we’ve still got to go,” he says. —Banksy 

Banksy Sketch of Dismaland, Copyright Pest Control Office Ltd.
Read the full interview in our October, 2015 issue, coming soon.
Evan Pricco: Tell us about your role here. Has it been an interesting process being a curator? Is it a role that you enjoyed?
Banksy: It turns out curating can be surprisingly creative. For instance, I asked Jenny Holzer for one of her electronic signs, but she didn’t have anything in stock. She said she was happy to supply the text, but I’d have to find some signs. I asked a lighting guy to get a big LED screen and he came back with a system that cost £8000 a week to rent. I couldn’t afford that, so I suggested we record Jenny’s slogans and play them over the Tannoy system. She liked the idea and said she’d never done anything like it in forty years. So now we have a totally original Jenny Holzer that cost fuck all.

Did you do a lot of editing? Were there things you liked at first that got cut out and other things that grew because you liked the direction they were heading?
A lot of the decisions have been made by neglect. I put together a whole list of artists and pieces I wanted, and then, a month later, if I hadn’t done anything about it, I knew it probably wasn’t worth pursuing. When you’re busy, the most important things have a way of asserting themselves. I discovered “not now” is as valid a reaction as anything else.

Paco Pomet Internacional (Left) and Shadi Al Zaqzouq Rock Me All Night Long (Right)
How much does the reaction matter to you? I know it matters to us, the critics and audience, but forget us for a second. Does it matter to you?
I’m at a point with art where I only really care if the piece is more than the sum of its parts. I’m lucky because what I make either succeeds or fails. Some people undoubtedly would tell you that’s why it’s crap art, but that’s the way it is. I feel sorry for Abstract Expressionists—how do they know when to go home?

All I need is to make my point and get something more out of it than what I put in. If something extra has happened between the idea and realizing it, that’s a win. This week I surrounded my Cinderella’s carriage with a ring of paparazzi, and the flash bulbs made the shadows leap around the room, and the pumpkin looked like it was lit by flickering candles, so I’m good. I never saw that coming.

My satisfaction level is independent of your opinion. If I feel a piece has worked, there’s nothing you can say that will take that away. And the flip side is, if I know it’s failed, there’s nothing you can say that would make it OK.

This project, in particular, is so destination-based that you will really rely on audience reaction. You have always been good at controlling your message, but did joining social media teach you anything that you liked? Or disliked?
The last show I did was at the Bristol Museum and a lot of people came. In fact, the queue was the most interesting thing about it. I don’t know if people will show up this time, but I made a few pieces with the audience in mind: the Cinderella sculpture is only complete when surrounded by a gawping crowd snapping photos. The audience is the punchline. Likewise, the killer whale is crap in real life. It’s only good when you pose behind it pulling a face and send a picture to your mate.

What are you hoping visitors take away from Dismaland?
A souvenir programme, three T-shirts and a mug. Each. This project isn’t sponsored or government aided; it’s self-financing.

Dismaland will be open daily from 11am—11pm, August 22—September 27, 2015 in Weston-super-Mare, England. For more information, visit


Juxtapoz // Thursday, 20 Aug 2015

ISIS thugs take a hammer to civilisation: Priceless 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in minutes as militants destroy Mosul museum

Global Art Diaries

Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years.

Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul.

Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over.

Scroll down for video 

Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artifacts at a museum in the northern city of Mosul 

Militant uses a power tool to destroy a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity at the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. The statue dates back to the 9th century B.C.

Militant uses a power tool to destroy a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity at the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. The statue dates back to the 9th century B.C.

One of the items, depicting a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity, dates back to the 9th century B.C.

A man shown in the video said the items were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry.

‘The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him,’ the unidentified man said.

The articles destroyed appeared to come from an antiquities museum in the northern city of Mosul, which was overrun by Islamic State last June, a former employee at the museum told Reuters.

The extremist group has destroyed a number of shrines – including Muslim holy sites – in a bid to eliminate what it views as heresy.

Militants are also believed to have sold ancient artwork on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region.

A man shown in the video said the items were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry

A man shown in the video said the items were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry

The video bore the logo of the ISIS group’s media arm and was posted on a Twitter account used by the group.

Yesterday it was revealed how terrorists had blown up the Mosul Public Library, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames.

Leading members of Mosul society reportedly tried to stop the fanatics destroying the building, but failed.

The director of the library, Ghanim al-Ta’an, said that the extremists used homemade bombs in the attack, which took place on Sunday.

He told Middle Eastern website Geran: ‘ISIS militants bombed the Mosul Public Library. They used improvised explosive devices.’

Presumed destroyed are the Central Library’s collection of Iraqi newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections contributed by around 100 of Mosul’s establishment families.

Large segments of the priceless winged-bull Assyrian protective deity are hurled to the ground as militants smash it to pieces

Large segments of the priceless winged-bull Assyrian protective deity are hurled to the ground as militants smash it to pieces

Isis first invaded the Central Library in January. Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books – including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science – into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

‘These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,’ a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press.

The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation, said the Islamic State group official made his impromptu address as others stuffed books into empty flour bags.

Since the Islamic State group seized a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria, they have sought to purge society of everything that doesn’t conform to their violent interpretation of Islam.

They have already destroyed many archaeological relics, deeming them pagan, and even Islamic sites considered idolatrous. Increasingly books are in the firing line.

Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city's book market in central Baghdad. Iraq is home to a great many culturally significant books and manuscripts

Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city’s book market in central Baghdad. Iraq is home to a great many culturally significant books and manuscripts

Mosul, the biggest city in the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, boasts a relatively educated, diverse population that seeks to preserve its heritage sites and libraries.

In the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, residents near the Central Library hid some of its centuries-old manuscripts in their own homes to prevent their theft or destruction by looters.

But this time, the Islamic State group has made the penalty for such actions death.

A University of Mosul history professor, who spoke on condition he not be named because of his fear of the Islamic State group, said the extremists started wrecking the collections of other public libraries in December.

He reported particularly heavy damage to the archives of a Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library with works dating back to 5000 BC.


Photographer Peter Lik Has Sold Nearly Half a Billion Dollars in Print

Global Art Diaries


Last December, the art world balked when photographer Peter Lik announced the world’s priciest sale of a photograph: a single black-and-white print titled “Phantom” for $6.5 million. Here’s another fact that will drop your jaws: Lik has sold nearly half a billion dollars worth of photographic prints, which means he’s possibly the best-selling fine-art photographer in history.

That’s what the New York Times reported yesterday in a lengthy feature on Lik in its business section. It writes that the photographer has sold over 100,000 photos; last year, it was at an average rate of $1.6 million per week.

It’s a fascinating glimpse into how Lik’s world works and how it runs against the conventions of the traditional world of fine art.

 Mr. Lik says “Phantom” is the most expensive photograph ever sold, at $6.5 million, to an anonymous buyer. Credit Peter Lik
Mr. Lik says “Phantom” is the most expensive photograph ever sold, at $6.5 million, to an anonymous buyer. Credit Peter Lik

"Phantom," which Peter Lik sold in a private sale for $6.5 million.

Lik calls himself “the world’s most famous photographer, most sought-after photographer, [and] most awarded photographer.” The man owns a 100,000-square-foot factory in Vegas dedicated to churning out his prints.

If you’ve been scratching your head about that “Phantom” sale, the Times piece sheds some light on how it came about:

With his eye fixed on a record-setting sale, [Lik] printed a single copy of “Phantom.” Then he alerted a handful of his most ardent collectors, one of whom, he said, agreed to the $6.5 million price. Before the deal was signed, Mr. Lik hired a public relations firm to make sure that the sale, and the record, were noticed […]

It’s hard to know what’s “official” about it. Previous records in photography were set by competing bidders in public auctions for images that were familiar and celebrated. This was a private sale for a newly printed photograph, and scant details were offered. But while the buyer’s hidden identity inevitably arched some eyebrows, anonymity in such deals is not unusual. Joshua Roth, the Los Angeles lawyer who represented the buyer, declined to name his client, though he emphasized that the client exists.

So basically, Lik wanted the record for most expensive photo, so he filled through his Rolodex and made it happen.

If you pay a visit to the list of most expensive photos over on Wikipedia, you’ll find that Lik’s name now shows up 3 times in the top 20. However, those entries are also the only ones that say “Private Sale” — all the other record-breaking sales (perhaps with the exception of one) were done through major auctions (usually Sotheby’s or Christie’s).

The Times piece paints Lik as a savvy entrepreneur who has no background or interest in art other than his own. How Lik feels about Ansel Adams’ work may ruffle many a feather in the photographic world: “Just a nice shot of Yosemite. Right place at the right time.”

The buyers of Lik’s work are also characterized as people with money to spend but very little understanding of fine art and the true value of what they’re purchasing.

Regardless of how you feel about Lik and what he’s doing with his photography, it’s clear that he has figured out a system that works for making serious money with photography — his camera has allowed him to develop a side hobby of buying and selling luxury homes worth tens of millions of dollars.

Peter Lik’s Recipe for Success: Sell Prints. Print Money. [NYTimes]


Source: Petapixel


KNOW Camera Resolution



Although the megapixel race has been going on since digital cameras had been invented, the last few years in particular have seen a huge increase in resolution – we have seen everything from 41 megapixel camera phones to now 50.6 megapixel full-frame DSLR cameras. It seems like we have already reached the theoretical maximum for handling noise at high ISOs with the current generation sensor technology, so the manufacturers are now focusing their efforts in packing more resolution, while keeping sensor sizes the same in order to lure more customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest. In this article, I will try to explain some basic terminology in regards to resolution and hopefully help our readers in understanding camera resolution better.

Pika with Grass Front

Before we get started, let’s first talk about what resolution impacts and then we will address some of the common misconceptions.

1) Camera Resolution: What it Affects

In digital photography, camera resolution is associated with a number of different factors:

  • Print Size – usually the most important factor. Basically, the more resolution, the larger the potential print size. Printing from digital images is accomplished by squeezing a certain number of Pixels Per Inch (PPI). A high quality print with good details usually involves printing at around 300 PPI, so the size of the potential print is calculated by taking image width and height and dividing them by the PPI number. For example, a 12.1 MP resolution image from the Nikon D700 has image dimensions of 4,256 x 2,832. If you wanted to create a high quality print with lots of details at 300 PPI, the print size would be limited to approximately 14.2″ x 9.4″ print (4,256 / 300 = 14.2 and 2,832 / 300 = 9.4). Larger prints would be possible, but they would require you to either drop the PPI to a lower number, or use special third party tools that use complex algorithms to upscale or “up-sample” an image to a higher resolution, which do not always yield good results. In short, higher resolution is usually more desirable for the ability to print larger.
  • Cropping Options – the higher the resolution, the more room there is to potentially crop images. Although many photographers avoid heavy cropping, sometimes it is necessary to focus on the desired subject(s). For example, sports and wildlife photographers often resort to cropping, because they might not be able to get closer to action, but at the same time do not want their final images to contain unnecessary clutter surrounding the main subject(s). As a result, they often employ heavy cropping, which ultimately reduces resolution, which is why they tend to desire as much resolution as possible and practical.
  • Down-sampling – as I have previously explained in my article on the benefits of high resolution sensors, the higher the resolution, the better the options for resizing or “down-sampling” images. As I will explain further down below, modern high resolution cameras have similar performance as their lower resolution counterparts, but their main advantages are the ability to down-sample to lower resolution to decrease the amount of noise and when shooting at low ISOs, the ability to yield larger prints.
  • Display Size – during the past 10+ years, we have seen a significant progress is display technology. Monitors, TVs, projectors, phones, hand-held and other devices have seen big increases in resolution and the increased space on those devices naturally led to the need to show higher resolution images with more details. 4K monitors and TVs (over 8 megapixels) are getting more popular and common, which puts more burden on cameras to yield images with enough details to showcase on such high resolution devices.

Judging from the above, it seems like higher resolution is always better. But that’s certainly not the case, because it is not just about the quantity of pixels, but their quality. Further down below, I will explain what this means in regards to sensor size, pixel size, lens resolving power and technique.

2) Camera Resolution: How Much More is X MP vs Y MP?

When Nikon first introduced its D800 / D800E cameras with 36.3 MP resolution full-frame image sensors, many photographers were still shooting with 12.1 MP full-frame cameras like Nikon D700 and D3 / D3s. Doing simple math, many claimed that the 36.3 MP sensor represented 3 times more resolution (12.1 MP x 3 = 36.3 MP) and some wrongfully assumed that upgrading to a camera like D800 would yield 3 times bigger prints. While the total number of effective pixels indeed is three times larger when comparing 36.3 MP vs 12.1 MP, the difference in linear resolution is actually far smaller. That’s because sensor resolution is calculated by taking the total number of horizontal pixels and multiplying it by the total number of vertical pixels, similar to how you calculate the area of a rectangle. In the case of the D700, which has an image size of 4,256 x 2,832, the sensor resolution equals 12,052,992, which rounds to approximately 12.1 megapixels. If we look at the Nikon D800, its image size is 7,360 x 4,912 and hence the sensor resolution is 36,152,320, roughly 36.15 megapixels (the discrepancy between 36.15 vs 36.3 comes from the fact that some of the pixels, such as optical black and dummy, around the edges of the sensor are used to provide additional data).

Now if we compare the total number of horizontal pixels between the D700 and the D800, it is 4,256 vs 7,360 – an increase of only 73%, not 300% as wrongfully assumed by many. What does this translate to? Basically, if you could print a detailed 14.2″ x 9.4″ print at 300 PPI with the D700, upgrading to the D800 would potentially result in a 24.5″ x 16.4″ print at the same 300 PPI. Hence, moving up from 12 MP to 36 MP would translate to 73% and not 3x / 300% larger prints. Again, it is easy to confuse total area with horizontal width, so it is important to understand the difference here.

In order to yield twice larger prints at the same PPI, you would need to multiply sensor resolution by 4. For example, if you own a D700 and you are wondering what kind of sensor resolution you would need to print 2x larger, you multiply 12.1 MP (sensor resolution) x 4, which translates to a 48.4 MP sensor. So if you were to move up to say the latest Canon 5DS DSLR that has a 50.6 MP sensor, you would get prints a bit larger than 2x in comparison. To understand these differences in resolution, it is best to take a look at the below comparison of different popular sensor resolutions of modern digital cameras from 12.1 MP to 50.6 MP:

Sensor Resolution Comparison

As you can see, despite the fact that sensor resolution numbers increase significantly when going from something like 12.1 MP to 50.6 MP, the actual difference in horizontal width is much less pronounced. But if you were to look at the total area differences, then the differences are indeed significant – you could take 4 prints from the D700, stack them together and still be short when compared to a 50.6 MP image, as shown below:

12.1 MP vs 50.6 MP Resolution

Keep all this in mind when comparing cameras and thinking about differences in resolution.

3) Sensor Size, Pixel Size and Differences in Resolution

As you may already know, sensor resolution is far from being the most important camera feature and a lot of that has to do with the physical size of the camera sensor and its pixels. You might see two cameras with the same resolution, but one might have a sensor that is significantly larger than the other. For example, the Nikon D7100 has a 24.1 MP sensor, while the Nikon D750 has a 24.3 MP sensor – both have similar sensor resolution. However, if you look at the physical sizes of sensors on the two, the Nikon D7100 has a sensor size of 23.5 x 15.6mm, while the sensor on the Nikon D750 measures 35.9 x 24.0mm – 52% larger in linear width or 2.3x larger in total sensor area. What does this mean? Despite the fact that both cameras yield images of similar width (6000 x 4000 on the D7100 vs 6016 x 4016 on the D750), the physical size of each pixel on the D750 sensor is 52% / 1.52x larger in comparison. That’s how the two cameras are able to have similar resolution and hence can potentially make similar size prints (more on this below).

If we divide sensor width by image width, we can calculate the approximate size of each pixel. In the case of the D7100, taking 23.5 and dividing by 6000 yields approximately 3.92 µm, while dividing 35.9 on the Nikon D750 by 6016 yields approximately 5.97 µm pixel size.

So what difference does pixel size make in images? In essence, larger pixels can collect more light than smaller pixels, which translates to better image quality and handling of noise per pixel. However, there are a few caveats you need to keep in mind:

  • Differences are small when there is abundance of light (low ISO levels) – if shooting close to base ISO such as ISO 100-400, there is usually little difference in noise performance between pixels (for up to 2x pixel size differences, but not larger). In the case of D7100 and D750, both yield practically noise-free images from ISO 100 to 400. However, there is a noticeable difference in performance at higher ISOs starting from ISO 800, in D750’s favor. So larger pixels tend to be more suitable for low-light environments where higher ISO levels will often be used.
  • If sensor size is the same but resolution is different, smaller pixels do not necessarily translate to more noise – a sensor with more resolution means you could print larger. Since noise is usually not evaluated on a per-pixel basis, but rather on equivalent print sizes, you would have to print at the same size to evaluate noise from two different resolution sensors. For example, the Nikon D750 has a 24.3 MP sensor, while the newer Nikon D810 has a 36.3 MP sensor. Since the D810 has more resolution, its pixel size is noticeably smaller than on the D750 (4.88 µm vs 5.97 µm), which means that it is expected to see more noise if you zoom in to 100% view. However, if we were to make equivalent size prints from both, we will have to resize images from the D810 to match the print size of the D750 by reducing 36.3 MP to 24.3 MP, which at the same print size would show similar noise. Take a look at the below images from both cameras, with the D810 image resized to 24.3 MP (left: Nikon D750, right: Nikon D810, ISO 1600):Nikon D750 ISO 1600 Nikon D810 ISO 1600As you can see, both images look pretty similar in terms of noise, although the D810 is technically supposed to have more noticeable noise due to having smaller pixels. If I replaced the D750 with the 16 MP Df or D4s, the resulting images would look similar at 16 MP.

Given the above, how would an image from the 38 MP Nokia 808 PureView camera phone compare to an image from the 36.3 MP Nikon D810 full-frame DSLR camera? Well, there is simply no comparison, as we are talking about a small sensor measuring 13.3 x 10.67mm on the phone, versus a 35mm DSLR sensor measuring 35.9 x 24mm – a difference of 270% in sensor width or 6x in total area. So despite the fact that the Nokia 808 has technically more resolution than the D810, its pixel size is a puny 1.4 µm compared to 4.88 µm on the D810, which will make images from the phone camera look like mud when compared to images from the D810. Although the Nokia 808 PureView can potentially make larger prints, the D810 will obviously produce much better quality prints with more detail, because the overall camera system is capable of taking advantage of the full 36.3 MP sensor, whereas the Nokia phone’s real resolution is much worse in comparison. This shows that there is much more to resolution and printing than just pure megapixels. Let’s now jump to Lens Sharpness and Lens Resolving Power.

Orion Constellation

4) Lens Sharpness / Resolving Power

Big megapixel numbers on the sensor are useless, if the lens is too poor to resolve enough detail to provide data for each pixel on the sensor. The same Nokia 808 PureView might have 38 MP resolution, but how much detail can it actually show at pixel level when compared to the 36 MP D810 with a solid full-frame lens attached to it? Not a whole lot. So its real performance in terms of resolution is far less than 38 MP, actually closer to 5 MP in comparison, maybe even less. It makes sense, because you cannot compare a small sensor camera with a tiny lens to a full-frame DSLR and a high-end lens with amazing resolving power. Another problem is diffraction – smaller sensor cameras will be diffraction-limited at much larger apertures, which will also effectively reduce sharpness and effective resolution.

When comparing same size sensor cameras with different resolutions, you have to keep in mind that the camera with more resolution will always put more strain on the lens in terms of resolving power. A lens might do quite well on a 12 MP camera, but fail to resolve enough details on a 24 MP or a 36 MP camera, essentially throwing away the high resolution advantage. In some cases, you might be better off not moving up to a higher resolution camera to deal less with other issues, such as the need for more storage and processing power.

Although manufacturers like Nikon and Canon have been actively releasing lenses specifically designed for higher resolution sensors, you might have to re-evaluate every lens purchased in the past to see which ones will provide adequate resolving power for the high resolution sensor and which ones will need to be replaced. In many cases older lenses will suffer from poor mid-frame and corner performance, which might not be desirable for certain types of photography such as landscapes and architecture.

Brick Lane

5) Technical Skill

You might have the highest resolution camera on the market and the best lens that is able to take a full advantage of the sensor and still end up with poorly-executed images that lack detail to make good quality prints. Aside from being able to take advantage of good light and carefully frame / compose the scene, you also need to have good technical skills to yield tack sharp images. High resolution cameras essentially “amplify” everything greatly, whether it is camera shake caused by poor hand-holding technique, shutter vibrations originating from the camera, poor focusing technique, unstable tripod, slight wind or other various causes of blur in images.

So if you do decide to move up to a much higher resolution sensor, you might need to spend some time learning proper technique to capture images. You might have to re-evaluate your minimum shutter speed for hand-holding, use of tripod, use of live view for critical focus, use of lenses and optimum apertures and more. Because if you don’t, you might be wasting the potential of your camera sensor…

In the next article, we will try to answer the question on how much resolution you truly need, by analyzing existing data and going over other considerations in regards to moving up in camera resolution.