Heinrich Tonnies (1825-1903) was born in Germany and trained as a glass painter and cutter. In a career shift, he acquired a fully equipped photography studio of C. Fritsche in Aalborg, Denmark. Under Fritsche’s tutelage, Tonnies learned the craft. He eventually specialized in Cartes de visite photographs, which were small 2.5 x 3.5 inch albumen prints mounted on cards. Inexpensive to produce and pocket-sized, Cartes de visites became hugely popular around the world. For the general public, they traded like baseball cards creating “cardomania” fever. He photographed over 75,000 individual portraits during his career. Most Cartes de visites made by other photographers at the time were quite standard family portraits and vernacular pictures. But Tonnies operated on a higher level.

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February 27, 2013

Florida Park Landscapes

Recent travels took me to the wonderfully weird world that is Florida.

I stumbled into the Jonathan Dickinson State Park, an 11,500 acre park that was once home to Camp Murphy, a top-secret radar training school, of all things. It was deactivated in 1944, but some building structures remain amid the sand pine scrub, rare and endangered species and other wildlife. I spent a couple days there. It was like a sculpture garden – both natural and man-made.

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Turns out Scotland was the birthplace of many great photographers in the early days of the medium. William Carrick (1827-1878) was born in Edinburgh, but moved shortly after with his family to St. Petersburg, Russia. Eventually Carrick opened a commercial studio there, capturing a broad spectrum of Russian life. It was with this Russian ethnographic study that Carrick left his mark on the medium. Some great environmental portraits. More of his work here.

 

We just completed this video profile of designer Tucker Robbins in New York. The project was shot late fall in his apartment, working studio in Long Island City, and his design showroom on Lexington Avenue.

 

The painter David Octavious Hill and engineer Robert Adamson teamed up to form Scotland’s first photographic studio in Edinburgh. They used the Calotype process, an early paper negative, and photographed portraits of locals, luminaries, landscapes, urban scenes. Apparently, Hill handled the composition and (largely available) lighting and Adamson the camera and delicate paper negative exposure and processing. It was a short-lived partnership (1843-1848) that ended with the untimely death of Adamson from consumption in 1848, but one that produced some stunning results given how new the medium was at the time.

More of their work can be found here.

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September 17, 2012

The Oracle Club

“I like the idea that this place is a predictor of the future. You can come here to find out what is the future by looking, talking to people, and seeing what they’re making.” – Jenna Gribbon

The Oracle Club is a members-only workspace for artists and writers in Long Island City founded by artist Jenna Gribbon and writer Julian Tepper (above).
It is an oasis to gather, work and socialize. Artists have a dedicated studio and locker access, while writers use the library, and salon members drop in for meetings.

Photographed September, 2012.

“I feel that making things in this age is romantic. A return to the authentic to capture something we have lost.”

Furniture Designer Richard Wrightman photographed at his studio in 2012. To view the video of Wrightman, please go to my Motion tab on my site.

 

September 14, 2012

The Designers: Misha Nonoo

” I think polished and put together can fun, quirky and even daring.”
- Fashion Designer, Misha Nonoo