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Bill Dobbins

NADAR: A Renaissance Man of Photography

Photographers nowadays tend to specialize. Most just do photography, some also direct films or commercials.  But that was not the case with Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (6 April 1820 – 20 March 1910), known by the pseudonym Nadar.  Nadar is considered...

WE USED TO DO IT WITH POLAROIDS

By Bill Dobbins http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com Noways it is comparatively easy to judge exposure and lighting balance shooting in the studio.  You just look at the image display and histogram on the back of the camera or your...

MATTHEW ROLSTON: Photographer Royale

By Bill Dobbins http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com Back in the 1980s, there were three celebrity photographers in Los Angeles who were colleagues, collaborators and friends: Herb Ritts, Greg Gorman and Matthew Rolston.  “Although we were technically competitors,” Rolston explains,...

FAMOUS BEAUTIES – An Old Tradition Continues

By Bill Dobbins http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com In his 1962 book THE IMAGE: Or, What Happened To The American Dream, historian Daniel Boorstin wrote about how “pseudo events” have taken the place of real events (and this was before the invention of...

JACOB RIIS: Lighting Up The Slums With Flash Photography

By Bill Dobbins www.billdobbinsphotography.com The 19th century was a period of mass immigration to the United States.  There were no immigration laws as we have today, only medical exams to screen out diseases like tuberculosis.  (See young Vito...

THE GUN CAMERA: Giving New Meaning To The Term “Shooting Photos”

By Bill Dobbins http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com Photography and airplanes came together in WWI when aerial cameras were used to shoot photographs for intelligence and surveillance of battlefield and enemy positions.  A few years later the British Royal Flying Corps started...

SHANE BALKOWITSCH: The Wetplate Tradition Continues

By Bill Dobbins www.billdobbinsphotography.com Wetplate photo by Shane Balkowitsch The wet plate colloidal process was the first really successful widespread technology in photography.  The daguerreotype was introduced in 1839.  Making a daguerreotype involved a complex technological process that resulted in a...

THOSE DARING YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES: WWI And The Birth Of Aerial...

By Bill Dobbins www.billdobbinsphotography.com We have long taken for granted seeing photos taken from the air of such things as cities, buildings, roads and landscapes.  Not only that, but with the recent introduction of drones  average...

THE RELEVANCE OF THE VIEW CAMERA IN THE DIGITAL AGE

By Bill Dobbins http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com A view camera in 1858. It used wet plate technology with very slow emulsions. But the design of the camera itself has hardly changed since. | Public Domain Just as cars have gone...

PICTURING THE RAILROAD

By Bill Dobbins www.billdobbinsphotography.com Some steam locomotives were huge, almost living beasts. They were complicated, hard to build and maintain, but in the 19th century they conquered the American continent. | Public Domain Imagine this: for all...