July 17, 2024

Astrophotographer Captures the Beauty of the Universe Against the Natural Landscapes of Kyrgyzstan

For astrophotographer Soumyadeep Mukherjee, Kyrgyzstan is a gold mine. Last June, he mentored a workshop there, but found the country to be severely underrepresented in the field of astrophotography. Hoping to spread the word about the land's photographic potential, he set out to shoot some marvelous images against the many landscapes of Kyrgyzstan—a country that turned out to be astrophotography's best kept secret.

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July 11, 2024

Oldest Known Photo of a First Lady Is Acquired by the Smithsonian for $456K

An exciting piece of history in American photography has just found its new home. A daguerreotype of Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison, was recently acquired by the Smithsonian after being sold by Sotheby's. It is believed to be the oldest image of a First Lady of the United States. The picture from 1846 features Madison, then in her late 70s, wearing a crocheted shawl with her curls peeking out from under her famous turban.

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July 5, 2024

The History of Camera Obscura and How It Was Used as a Tool To Create Art in Perfect Perspective

Before the invention of the photographic camera, transferring a real-life image onto a sheet of paper or another flat surface was no easy feat. Renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci first described a mechanism that would make drawing in perfect perspective much easier to achieve, something that would later be known as camera obscura. Rather than meticulously measuring out the lengths and angles of a subject or scene, camera obscura offers a shortcut.

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July 1, 2024

Early 20th-Century Portraits Preserve the Heritage of Native Americans

In what he perceived as a race against time, due to the American expansion and the intervention of the federal government, photographer and ethnologist Edward S. Curtis spent more than 30 years documenting Native Americans and their traditions. Curtis referred to Native Americans as a “vanishing race,” and as such, wanted to document the customs and traditions of a wide variety of Native American tribes.

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