The Brownie hits the markets

1900 marks the year Kodak released its Brownie box roll-film camera. The Brownie roll-film camera cost only $1 including a 6-­‐exposure film. Further, film rolls cost just 15 cents. The release of this model caused a major boost in casual photography among the masses. The selling points of the Brownie were its affordability and user-friendliness. Kodak claimed that handling and using a Brownie was so easy that “Any school boy or girl can make good pictures with one of the Eastman Kodak Co.’s Brownie Cameras” (as stated in the poster).

 

Kodak marketed the Brownie actively towards children and it also organised photography competitions for children under the age of 16. Kodak claimed that photography could be educational and help children develop observational skills at an early age.

Cyanotype Workshop – Art Marathon at Vasant Valley School – Day 2

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Museo Camera conducted a workshop on Cyanotypes, at Vasant Valley School for its students as a part of their Art Marathon event on April 12th & 13th, where they invited schools from all over Delhi.

On the second day of the workshop, the students created Cyanotype prints of images that were taken by them on the previous day, which was a fun exercise. They were guided on the kind of images to take keeping in mind what works best with Cyanotype prints.

The second day was a lot more exciting for the students, as they got to see how their own images look in a final Cyanotype print – their very own creation from start to finish.

Watching your first Cyanotype print appear in front of your eyes is almost like magic! Cyanotype is a photographic printing process discovered in 1842, merely three years after the official discovery of photography. It is a print making process in which one creates prints using the combination of chemicals that react to UV light and produce a beautiful ‘Cyan’ or ‘prussion blue’ color.

Workshops on historic or alternative processes is an initiative by India Photo Archive Foundation and Museo Camera. In an age where digital photography has taken over the world and instant gratification has become a norm, it is very rare that we come across photographic practices that enable us to work with utmost patience and ‘create’ something in a physical form. These workshops aim at filling this gap, allowing people to slow down and truly ‘create’ something that has more sentimental value than the images that reside forever only on our screens.

Write to us at museocameraworkshops@gmail.com, if you would like to organize a group worshop.

(All photographs by Tanushree Singh)

 

Cyanotype Workshop – Art Marathon at Vasant Valley School – Day 1

On April 12th and 13th, Camera Museo conducted a workshop on Cyanotypes, at Vasant Valley School for its students as a part of their Art Marathon event which invited students from all over Delhi.

It was a wonderful experience for the students as this was the first time they participated in creating photographic prints. On the first day of the workshop, the students got a hang of how Cyanotype works and created prints using the negatives that were provided to them.

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process discovered in 1842, merely three years after the official discovery of photography. It is a print making process in which one creates prints using the combination of chemicals that react to UV and produce a beautiful ‘Cyan’ or ‘prussion blue’ color.

Workshops on historic or alternative processes is an initiative by India Photo Archive Foundation and Camera Museo. In an age where digital photography has taken over the world and instant gratification has become a norm, it is very rare that we come across photographic practices that enable us to work with utmost patience and ‘create’ something in a physical form. These workshops aim at filling this gap, allowing people to slow down and truly ‘create’ something that has more sentimental value than the images that reside forever only on our screens.

(All photographs by Manu Yadav)

Kodak Competitions From the Year 1902

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There is a plethora of Photography Competitions for amateur photographers today all over the world, but imagine such a photography competition during the 1900s!

In keeping with its belief of encouraging anyone and everyone to pursue photography, Kodak announced photography competitions for amateurs in the year 1902 giving away prizes worth $4000, a considerably large sum for that time period.

Here is an excerpt from one of the ads of the competition:

To show the progress of the Kodaker in the field of photographic art and to demonstrate the technical superiority of pictures made with our instruments and our film, we offer $4000 in prizes for the best amateur work made with Kodak and Brownie cameras.

Kodak in the Making

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With the slogan “you press the button, we do the rest,” George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of a world of consumers in 1888. In so doing, he made a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone. Eastman devoted his life to making photography “as convenient as the pencil”, and with this in mind, Kodak created one of the most noteworthy and strongest marketing campaigns in history, which democratized photography worldwide.

Kodak brought photography to the masses and made photography a popular leisure-time activity through its first commercial transparent roll film and the inexpensive box camera. And Kodak’s advertisements cleverly focused on the ease of taking pictures for the common man. Often, these advertisements were linked with holidays such as Christmas, or vacation time and different seasons – for example Spring, as shown in the ad above.

Here’s some excerpts from the ad:

“To every outdoor hobby, to every delight of nature, to the very spirit of Spring itself, there is an added charm, for those who KODAK.”

“And it’s all so simple now that anybody can make good pictures. Kodak, you know, means photography with the bother left out.”

The Birth of Snapshot Photography – A Peek Into the Beginnings of Kodak

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The name “Kodak” was born in 1888, founded by George Eastman. The KODAK camera was placed on the market, with the slogan, “You press the button – we do the rest,” coined by Eastman himself. This was the birth of snapshot photography, as millions of amateur picture-takers know it today.

In 1889 the first commercial transparent roll film was put on the market. The availability of this flexible film made possible the development of Thomas Edison’s motion picture camera in 1891.

Eastman believed in making photography available to the world, and making it possible for anyone who had the desire to take great pictures. As a result of the “We Do the Rest” advertising campaign, the Kodak camera became wildly popular and Eastman and his Kodak company revolutionized the photography business in the United States and in the world. This was the first step towards the democratization of photography.

The Kodak then sold for $25!

 

 

Neel Dongre Awards for Excellence in Photography 2016-17

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India Photo Archive Foundation

Invites

Proposals & Submissions

For

The 5th Edition of Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography 2016-17

www.indiaphotoarchive.org

 

The India Photo Archive Foundation aims to encourage amateur/professional photographers, and engage a wider discourse on the content, politics and aesthetics of photography.

The Neel Dongre Awards for Excellence in Photography aims to create a visual platform, where photographers can get an opportunity to showcase their work to relevant audience and get notice, receive funds to support their projects, required equipment, and study material to further support their passion. These awards seek to encourage budding artists and documentary photo practitioners from various genres on a national level thus not only creating a platform for aspiring photographers but also using it as a medium to encourage a visual dialogue in the field.

This year’s theme Life as Beauty: The Vanishing Crafts of India’

Kindly visit http://www.indiaphotoarchive.org/-/awards-grants/awards-grants1 for more information on rules and regulations.  

 

Deadline – 30th July 2016

 

Life as Beauty:
The Vanishing Crafts of India

Craftspeople, it is said, are the “artists of the everyday”. We could begin here with the very words “arts” and “crafts”. In the Indian ethos no distinction is made between the two, either in concept or language, for the man who works with his hands creates anew each time he sits at the loom or the potter’s wheel, bringing his skill as a craftsman to improvise as an artist. In this world-view, all craftsmen are indeed artists.

In earlier times the hands of the craftsman determined every expression of our daily lives. They fashioned the clothes and jewellery we wore, the dishes we ate out of, the vessels we used for water; they created our homes and places of worship and all that was in them: in short, they touched each aspect of our lives as individuals and as communities. They worked in diverse materials with diverse tools. Wood, bronze, stone, terra cotta, cloth, palm leaves and bamboo were only a few among them.

For centuries textiles formed the supremely Indian art. Traditionally, the processing of yarn and weaving of textiles was the second largest occupation after agriculture; quite often the two were intertwined. Across the great textile areas in the country thousands of families spun and wove, dyed, painted, printed, embroidered. The craft of textiles, nurtured for thousands of years, encompassed a wide variety of types and usages, from the finest of cottons, silks and wools to cheaper and coarser textures for everyday use, from gossamer garments and delicate shawls to floor coverings and travelling tents.

Terra cotta and textiles are only two of the great Indian crafts. But what was once intrinsic to our living has been overtaken by industrial manufacture, synthetic materials and just plain obsolescence. Skill sets nourished by generations of teaching and absorption are fading away for lack of practice: are we then in an age of vanishing crafts? Perhaps yes and perhaps not quite.

It is difficult to pinpoint “dying” crafts, as some have proven to be cyclical and can spring back to life when revived by changing fashions, lifestyles or renewed interest. Examples are indigo dyeing and mashru weaving.  But not all craft forms are as fortunate. Some might be termed “languishing” crafts: and some phase themselves out through a variety of processes.

For example, some craft objects are no longer functionally relevant, or else are very costly; an example is the metal mirror from Kerala. In other cases, such as phulkari from Punjab, the social circumstances and milieu in which the craft flourished no longer exist.  And there are materials – such as shahtoosh and ivory – which are banned for conservation reasons, wiping out any further production of crafts objects. Market forces, such as limited customer appeal in relation to the cost of production, discourage the weaving of certain types of textiles such as the thick coarse handloom saris of Andhra and Tamil Nadu. And other threatened crafts include bidri, puppet making, and traditional paper toys.

Artistically we may mourn the loss of certain materials, techniques and traditions. But pragmatically we have to remember that all craft must perhaps reshape itself to what is current to retain a dynamic and sustaining power. The biggest challenge is to create an encouraging climate through continuing and guaranteed patronage. Skills flourish when demands exist, and it is precisely in the creation of such demands that the future lies.

(With thanks to Ms Laila Tyabji, Chairman, Dastkaar, for her valuable inputs)


Neel Dongre Awards for Excellence in Photography in media

The Asian Age, 11th June 2016 – Exhibit on visual interpretation of recycling, waste management. 

http://www.asianage.com/delhi/exhibit-visual-interpretation-recycling-waste-management-388

 

The Hans India, 11th of May 2016 – ‘Digging the World of Recycle’

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Hyderabad-Tab/2016-05-11/Digging-the-World-of-Recycle/227305


The Hindu 7th April – ‘Showcasing India’s Dirty Laundry’

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/showcasing-indias-dirty-laundry/article8443677.ece

 

The Wire, 8th April 2016 – Gallery: The Public Secret of the ‘World of Recycle’

http://thewire.in/2016/04/08/gallery-the-public-secret-of-the-world-of-recycle-28179/

 

The Hindu, 13th April 2016 –

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/swarat-ghosh-a-recipient-of-neel-dongre-grant-for-photography-turns-his-lens-on-rag-pickers-in-hyderabad/article8471289.ece

 

Better Photography, 2nd March 2015 – ‘Bajaatey Raho: Neel Dongre Awards/Grants by India Photo Archive Foundation’ –

http://betterphotography.in/events/bajaatey-raho-neel-dongre-awardsgrants-by-india-photo-archive-foundation/37310/

 

The Hindu, 17th March 2015 – ‘Wedding Cheerleaders’ –

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/wedding-cheerleaders/article7001399.ece

 

Deccan Herald, 19th March 2015 – ‘Trumpeters of Joyous Times’ –

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/466478/trumpeters-joyous-times.html

 

The Asian Age, 20th March 2015 – ‘Band Baaja Diaries’ –

http://www.asianage.com/arts/band-baaja-diaries-939

Neel Dongre Award/Grants For Excellence In Photography 2015-16

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India Photo Archive Foundation

Invites

Proposals & Submissions

For

The 4th edition of Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography 2015-16

www.indiaphotoarchive.org

The India Photo Archive Foundation aims to encourage amateur/professional photographers, and engage a wider discourse on the content, politics and aesthetics of photography.

The Neel Dongre Awards for Excellence in Photography aims to create a visual platform, where photographers can get an opportunity to showcase their work to relevant audience and get notice, receive funds to support their projects, required equipment, and study material to further support their passion. These Rewards seek to encourage budding artists and documentary photo practitioners from various genres on a national level thus not only creating a platform for aspiring photographers but also using it as a medium to encourage a visual dialogue in the field.

“I would like to applaud the effort of India Photo Archive Foundation first, for giving the opportunity to six photographers, and then also to create this seminal documentation of a peculiar performance practice which is so much a part of our social and cultural life ironically quietly.” – Parthiv Shah on ‘Bajaatey Raho, a collaborative photographic project under the aegis of Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography (2014).’

For more information on rules and regulations kindly log on to http://www.indiaphotoarchive.org/

Deadline – 31st August 2015

The Hindu, 17th March 2015 – ‘Wedding Cheerleaders’ –

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/wedding-cheerleaders/article7001399.ece

Deccan Herald, 19th March 2015 – ‘Trumpeters of Joyous Times’ –

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/466478/trumpeters-joyous-times.html

The Asian Age, 20th March 2015 – ‘Band Baaja Diaries’ –

http://www.asianage.com/arts/band-baaja-diaries-939

NEEL DONGRE AWARDS/GRANTS FOR EXCELLENCE IN PHOTOGRAPHY INDIA PHOTO ARCHIVE FOUNDATION 2013

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Poster 11March

The Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography

‘Millennium Dreams’

With the coming of the digital age, we have witnessed the rise of a visual culture where photography as a profession and art has evolved giving rise to a plethora of genres, attracting talented minds. However, many of these budding visual artists go unnoticed due to the lack of support in the form of institutes with adequate equipment, funds, scholarships, and relevant platforms to display and publish their work. The Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography is an initiative aimed at bridging this gap.

These Awards/Grants are meant for professional/non-professional photographers who have produced an ongoing/finished body of work in any genre of photography; Social Documentary, Photojournalism, Fine Art etc.

“Millennium Dreams” is a photography exhibition under the aegis of Neel Dongre Awards/Grants for Excellence in Photography by India Photo Archive Foundation. This project aims at providing a visual interpretation of the Millennium city-Gurgaon.

 The Foundation presents a collaborative photographic project by eleven photographers presenting different interpretations of Gurgaon through distinctive artistic, documentary styles; and curated by Aditya Arya, practitioner, a photo historian and archivist.

Artists – Ajay Sood, Arvind Hoon, Aparna Mohindra, Chandan Gomes, Manoj Bharti Gupta, Monica Tiwari, Natisha Mallick, Saumya Khandelwal, Vaibhav Bhardwaj, Vicky Roy, Vinit Gupta.

Preview and inauguration on the 1st of April at 6 p.m at the India International Centre Exhibition continues from the 2nd to 12th of April 2014.

A New Mamiya 645 added to the ‘Museo Camera’ Collection!

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Thank you Pradeep Dasgupta for yet another Mamiya 645.

Mamiya Camera Company, still a strong player in the medium-format professional film and digital camera market, was founded May 10,1940 by businessman Tsunejiro Sugawara and engineer Seichi Mamiya, as Mamiya Koki Seisakusho.

The Mamiya M645 is the first series of 4.5×6 SLRs made by Mamiya. The finder and screens are interchangeable, but there is no magazine back, only preloadable film inserts. All the M645 models share the same accessories (finders, screens, lenses, grips and inserts). The lenses and inserts can also be attached on the later Mamiya 645 models

The original M645 appeared in 1975. It has knob advance and shutter speeds from 8s to 1/500. It supports a mirror lockup and double exposure lever. Flash sync is 1/60 sec.

It is a 6×4.5 images camera. It means that it is slightly inferior to a 6×6 or 6×7, but remains far larger than a 24×36. It gives you the compromise of more images per roll (15 or 16 depending on film spacing).
The film holder can be fully removed from the back, quite conveniently, and can be change for a 220 version if you can still find those films.