Reading List – daguerreotype, the art of focus

 Aperture ƒ/5.6  Camera NIKON D40  Captured 21 August, 2011  Copyright © Khürt L. Williams  Focal length 50mm  ISO 400  Shutter speed 1/320s 

daguerreotype

… the daguerreotype put an end to the portrait making business as it was known to the world. Skilled painters, who previously were the only means of creating a likeness of one’s self, were suddenly squeezed by the faster and cheaper process. Not only was the daguerreotype literally faster and easier to create than a painting, the operator didn’t need to have any particular talent other than being able to follow directions and do some mathematical computations to mix chemicals. They didn’t need to spend years cultivating their art and style and studying methods. And they surely didn’t need the underlying “spark” or “raw talent” that is often associated with painters or sculptors. By the 1860’s, much of the portrait painting industry was gone and those that did still have their paintings commissioned often did not sit for their painting sessions, but instead sent their painter a daguerreotype to work from.Lisa Robinson

OMG! I see some parallels to modern digital photography and smartphones. In case you don’t know it, the daguerreotype is “a photograph taken by an early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor.”

Learning Baggage

… the next time you look up from that proposal on the new infrastructure schematics and see that the sun is shining, go for a walk, notice where you are, and give your mind a chance to go into diffuse-mode and process what you’ve been focusing on all morning. And give yourself a hug for doing it.Farnam Street

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