Artist Manually Restores 155-Year-Old Photo Of ‘Unidentified’ Young Black Woman

We may read about it in books, but history feels like a distant world, and it’s only when figures are enlivened with detail that they become real.

Adam “A.B.” Cannon, an artist who’s been revitalizing historical photos for almost a decade, envisions people of the past as if they were in the same room as their modern-day observer. And while there are now all kinds of amazing tools that promise to do the job quickly, that personal touch is often lost in the process. Cannon’s restorations are done 100% manually, faithfully preserving details to tell a story.

His latest work is an interpretation of a black-and-white tintype of a young Black woman in a striped dress, dated back to the late 1860s. The subject, who is photographed with her hair in an updo, is accessorized in a black scarf pinned with a brooch, along with drop earrings and rings on her right hand. The woman’s identity is unknown.

Cannon brought her image back to life by accentuating her facial features and colorizing the tintype, imagining the woman’s dress to be green and white. Her restored gaze and curly hair make her feel less like a stranger. Her eyes tell a story, and you’d wish you could hear more about it.

Previous restorations shared by Cannon include a 160-year-old portrait of an elderly couple, a tintype of Confederate soldier John Pelham who died in a cavalry engagement, and photos of Union soldiers.

Source: DesignTAXI

Nikon Exiting The DSLR Market To Focus On Mirrorless Models

Japanese camera maker Nikon will withdraw from the single-lens reflex camera business and shift toward digital offerings amid intensifying competition from smartphone cameras, Nikkei has learned.

Nikon’s SLR cameras have been widely used by professional photographers for more than 60 years and have come to be seen as synonymous with the Japanese company.

It now plans to focus resources on mirrorless cameras, which have become mainstream products on the back of more advanced digital technologies.

Nikon’s cameras have been losing out to smartphones, which increasingly feature powerful cameras. Nikon aims to beat them by offering products with more unique features.

Since June 2020, when Nikon launched its flagship D6 SLR, no new SLR models have been released. The company has already stopped development of compact digital cameras.

From now on, Nikon intends to focus on digital mirrorless cameras, but production and distribution of existing SLR models will continue.

Nikon is the second largest SLR maker after Canon. An SLR camera uses a mirror to reflect an image the photographer sees through the viewfinder.

Nikon dates from 1917 and adopted the company name in 1946. It released its first SLR in 1959, and has long been held in high esteem by professional photographers and journalists. It made its name offering top quality alternatives to German makes such as Leica that once dominated the market.

By the late 1990s, Nikon had made the switch to digital SLRs. Last year, it sold more than 400,000 SLRs, competing head to head with global leader Canon. SLRs are also produced by Ricoh under the brand Pentax.

Mirrorless cameras have a different viewing system and use image sensors that convert light into electrical signals. Like SLRs, they can accept interchangeable lenses that offer much more range than the fixed focal lengths used in most smartphone cameras. A feature of Nikon cameras has been the F-mount introduced in 1959. It has always allowed photographers to use a wide range of old lenses on recent SLRs.

Shipments of mirrorless cameras overtook SLRs for the first time in 2020 with 2.93 million and 2.37 million units shipped respectively, according to Japan’s Camera & Imaging Products Association.

There has been an overall decline, however. The combined market peaked at 11.67 million cameras in 2017, but had fallen to 5.34 million by 2021.

The dramatic falloff has forced Nikon to focus on the segment that still has potential to grow. In 2021, the market for mirrorless cameras expanded 31% to 324.5 billion yen, even as that for SLR cameras dropped 6% to 91.2 billion yen.

Mirrorless cameras have powerful capabilities. Artificial intelligence provides facial and pupil recognition. They can also identify animals, vehicles and objects. 

The Nikon Z9, released last year, can shoot 120 images per second — more than ten times faster that most SLRs without the wear and tear of a moving mirror. This makes them ideal for sports and wildlife photography. Mirrorless cameras are lighter, smaller and virtually silent. 

Mirrorless cameras have also been coming down in price to below 100,000 yen ($730), which is less than comparable SLRs.

With enhanced viewfinders and less lag, the quicker image processing helps photographers in fast-moving situations. 

Mirrorless cameras already account for half the revenue from Nikon’s imaging products business, compared with about 30% for SLRs. In the year ending in March, sales of imaging products totaled 178.2 billion yen, or 33% of total group revenues.

Rival Canon also plans to follow Nikon and stop producing flagship SLR models within a few years. 

Source: Nikkei Asia

TikTok Trend Is Convincing People To Scratch Their Camera Lenses With Rocks

Some photographers on TikTok are trying an unconventional technique for unusual results: taking a rock to the front of their lenses, scratching the glass, and destroying them in the process.

Photographer Illumitati posted a video of her using a rock to mortally wound her Canon 50mm f/1.8 in response to a viral video made by Andres Videography where he appeared to do the same to his lens.

However, Andres didn’t actually scratch his lens; eagle-eyed viewers will notice that he was actually scratching a lens filter placed on his Sony 85mm.

But in Illumitati’s case, she actually takes a rock to the front element of her 50mm. Speaking to PetaPixel she explains what happened.

“I saw another person do it with a filter, and my intrusive thoughts told me to try it on the lens for real,” she says.

“This came up on my ‘for your page’ and as a photographer, I’d never cringed harder in my life,” Illumitati says in her TikTok video.

“But then I was so curious to see what a photo from that camera would look like I actually destroyed one of my lenses,” she continues. “Then I set it down and got ready to take a couple of portraits and to my surprise, it actually gave it this glow. I don’t recommend doing this to your lenses but hey, it’s kind of cool.”

When asked by PetaPixel, the portrait and fashion photographer seemed to have no regrets over the video.

“I really did scratch it, and the photos were actually not bad at all. The lens is really not great in the first place so I don’t think I’d use it,” she says.

It’s not the first time TikTok photographers have shown off unusual techniques. Last month PetaPixel featured a photographer who uses ripped pantyhose for a soft-focus effect, and a wedding photographer who asked couples to act like they’re drunk while shooting pictures.

Source: PetaPixel

Apple Shows Off Surreal Photo Collages That Were Shot And Edited On iPhone

Apple’s long-running Shot on iPhone campaign has now entered a dreamlike realm, where all imaginations are attainable with the right mindset… or app.

The Cupertino giant has commissioned Melbourne graphic designer Gaia Barnatan, who goes by the alias Liquid Pink, to transform eight photos—shot on an iPhone, of course—into four surreal compositions. 

Here, ordinary objects like a burnt matchstick and a strawberry aren’t so predictable anymore when juxtaposed against stunning skies.

According to 9to5Mac, the artist created these photo fusions on the Bazaart app, which enables easy double-exposure shots like these ones, thanks to its magic background eraser and capacity for 100 photo layers (or five video layers).

Your camera roll doesn’t always have to be filled with food photos and screenshots.

Source: DesignTAXI

Retro Tech: Polaroids

Way before cell phone cameras, we took selfies with Polaroids. Marques Brownlee explores how the first Polaroid camera, the Polaroid SX-70, turned us all into amateur photographers and paved the way for our social media-obsessed culture. Fellow YouTube creator and model Karlie Kloss teams up with Marques to make photo filters the retro way — with bleach. And Peter Mckinnon stops by to play “Dope or Nope.”