According to them, the man behind the camera was Edward Linley Sambourne, a guy who was also the chief cartoonist for Punch. I wonder how people at that time felt about being photographed? Was it cool and new? Was it an invasion of privacy? Was it considered creepy at all to have a cartoonist lingering around, taking pictures of women?
If you like street photography, you might want to check out my friend Colin’s blog, Reserved At All Times. He captures moments from our hometown, Planet Brandon, that other people’s eyes just skate right over.
They found two posters — one white, one black; one full of an upper-case alphabet, the other, lower-case. What were they? As it turned out, instructions — spacing rules, to be exact. Or, kerning.
[T]hese instructions are by the great graphic designer Jock Kinneir. He’s best known for designing the template and typeface for Britain’s road signage along with Margaret Calvert (the Design museum have written an interesting piece about it if you want to know more). But in 1964 they also designed Rail Alphabet, as part of the Design Research Unit‘s rebranding of British Railways.
So that’s what I think this is, particularly as the posters came as part of an assorted lot from the Malcolm Guest sale. I imagine that, given their battered and used state, they were up on the walls of a design office somewhere in the British Railways system.
Now of course rendered obsolete by the computer. But a rather a fascinating bit of graphic design history nonetheless.
What I’ve also discovered in the course of writing this post is that Rail Alphabet wasn’t just used by British Railways, but also by Gatwick Airport and the NHS too, right up until the mid 1990s. So it’s more than just a typeface, it’s the written identity of the post-war British state.
So, not just a really cool-looking poster (click over to the full post, where they’ve got photos of the full things), but also an important historical artifact. The blog says they will be donated to a museum.
This type of staging has been going on for decades.
John Harrington, president of the White House News Photographers Association, tells me that the Obama Administration has used this technique before and they are not the first.
“I am aware of it happening in previous administrations. I believe Bush 41 did it too,” Harrington said. “The times where I have known of it happening before is when the President is in the Oval Office and you are working in a very tight space.”
Other photographers who work at the White House told Poynter.org that since the Reagan era (and possibly before) it has been the standard operating procedure that during a live presidential address, still cameras are not allowed to photograph the actual event.
Apparently, it’s partly a concern for space, partly because the teleprompter gets in the way, and partly because camera shutters make too much noise (especially when there are dozens of them, and they’re echoing off White House marble).
But there are ways to silence a camera. Check out this cool foam-lined case for an SLR that practically mutes the shutter sound, although at the price of limiting your ability to change settings on the camera itself. It’s called a Jacobsen Blimp:
Tompkins doesn’t hold back what he thinks about this type of re-staging of a photo. Although the initial photo captions are clear that this was a re-enactment, Poynter checked into 50 newspaper front pages from the next morning. More than half don’t make it clear to readers that they’re not seeing the actual speech:
It is time for this kind of re-enactment to end. The White House should value truth and authenticity. The technology clearly exists to document important moments without interrupting them. Photojournalists and their employers should insist on and press for access to document these historic moments.
We’re two episodes in, and future episodes are set to come out once a week until April 4. Some of it’s pretty basic info, but I’m glad that he’s taking the time to build the fundamentals so that everyone’s on the same page when more advanced techniques are taught.
I mean, it just doesn’t matter how great you can focus on the fly if your white balance is off.
So far, it seems to be pretty camera-specific (he’s shooting Canon), but there is plenty that is applicable to any camera, in any situation — just the button presses will be different.
(Oh, and yes, he’s is that Shane Hurlbut — the one who got infamously screamed at by Christian Bale.)
Amy spotted these awesome little photo “hangers” on PhotoJojo, and I think we’re going to buy them. At $10 for a pack of seven — plus shipping — they’re a tad on the pricey side, but that’s just speaking relatively. They’re still less than a night out.
So, I have decided to do the world a favour and combine those two crimes against political incorrectness.
Noting that the full text of Huckleberry Finn was available online, I imported it into a word processing program and did a quick find-and-replace for “nigger / faggot”. The two words are pleasingly similar with their double-g centres and consonant/vowel distribution. The whole process took no time at all. There were only a few hundred replacements needed.