Kevin Briggs Photography

Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Kevin Briggs

This restorative production is astonishing.

From the Museum of Modern Art's website:

This documentary travelogue of New York City was made by a team of cameramen with the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern, who were sent around the world to make pictures of well-known places. (They also filmed at Niagara Falls and in Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice, although New York 1911 is the only selection in the Museum’s collection.)

Opening and closing with shots of the Statue of Liberty, the film also includes New York Harbor; Battery Park and the John Ericsson statue; the elevated railways at Bowery and Worth Streets; Broadway sights like Grace Church and Mark Cross; the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue; and Madison Avenue.

Produced only three years before the outbreak of World War I, the everyday life of the city recorded here—street traffic, people going about their business—has a casual, almost pastoral quality that differs from the modernist perspective of later city-symphony films like Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler’s Manhatta (1921).

Take note of the surprising and remarkably timeless expression of boredom exhibited by a young girl filmed as she was chauffeured along Broadway in the front seat of a convertible limousine.

Be sure to view in full screen mode.

A Reiteration of Texture

Kevin Briggs
  Emergence

Emergence

As a landscape photographer, I have often been asked about what exactly motivates me as an artist.

Stated as succinctly as possible, the principal goal of my fine art photography is to capture texture. This is not by any means the soul motivating factor for my work. Nevertheless, and as I have noted in previous blog posts, as I approach any respective vista, there is an innate hunger that always takes over, one that lies deep within an aesthetic and creative well. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it represents nothing less than a passion which desires to seize that which is before my eyes and convey it as texturally accurate as possible.

That is, I am continuously and anxiously engaged in the wonderful effort of trying to capture the tangible qualities of feel, touch, surface, consistency, and quality of subject matter.

As I noted in a previous post:

Texture is often a seriously neglected component within much of landscape photography. It may rightly be said that my greatest aspiration as an artist is that my photographs will enable the viewers to reflect upon their own experiences with various surface and constituent qualities of disparate terra firma and therefore be able to bring those abundant memories to bear as they feel with their eyes the textures presented in each of my works.

  Black and White No. 20

Black and White No. 20

This is true of both my landscape as well as my abstract photography: 

Whether one is speaking of thick and sinewy clouds within the firmament, the jagged angles of a particular mountain side, the bark on a fallen tree within a lush stream, or combinations of various fibrous-like hues forming a harmony of color (as with my color abstract photography), I want the viewer to be able to truly feel the subject of the photograph itself. 

  Sunlight Through Birch Trees

Sunlight Through Birch Trees

As an artist who is naturally attracted to a wide variety of textures, it is my foremost objective to seek to make such textures as visceral as possible within each of my fine art photographs.

Danger in the World of the Arts

Kevin Briggs
 "Hylas and the Nymphs," John William Waterhouse, 1896

"Hylas and the Nymphs," John William Waterhouse, 1896

Was it censorship or simply the means utilized to spark a controversy?

Whatever the catalyst of this specific incident, there is no denying that censorship is on the rise in the West. There has been an increasing tendency to ban speech, concepts, ideas, artistic representations, etc., with which some may disagree. 

As Sohrab Ahmari’s “The New Philistines” highlights (among many other books and editorials), all such efforts represent a most dangerous path.

Hasselblad's New H6D-400C MS

Kevin Briggs
Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 3.34.07 AM.png

As readers of this blog know, I shoot with a Hasselblad medium format digital camera. As regular readers of my blog also know, I generally do not spend time focusing upon product announcements and/or reviews.

But the new Hasselblad H6D-400C MS is something special.

How so? Because Hasselblad has just declared it will very soon be releasing a camera capable of 400MP photos.

That’s right, 400-megapixel captures.

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The heart of the H6D-400C MS is a 100MP CMOS sensor which measures 53.4×40.0mm. The H6D-400C MS also maintains 15-stop dynamic range and an ISO range of 64-12800.

The H6D-400C MS is a medium format camera which captures individual 100-megapixel shots or which can take advantage of “multi-shot” technology (hence the MS in the title) which captures a series of almost identical photos with the camera’s remarkable sensor “shifted” by precisely 1 pixel in each subsequent shot. The individual captures are then combined to generate a single ultra-resolution image with much more detail (copiously so) than any of the individual shots.

Photographers such as myself who have always dreamed of such ultra-resolution images (think of an 8K Ultra HDTV) now have a camera body to match our dreams. True, specific landscape-photography arenas would be somewhat limited for the multi-shot captures — for technical reasons I will not explore in this blog post — but for those landscape shots which would apply, my eyes water at the prospects.

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Hasselblad has a wonderful example of the incredible detail of which this camera is capable. You can see it for yourself here.

The camera itself — body only, without lenses — is a little under $50,000. It will be available towards the end of March of this year.

A guy like me can always dream… Can’t I?
 

Kevin Briggs

It has long been my desire to photograph what is portrayed here in this stunning video. Alaska has no such magnificent starling productions, so naturally travel will be required. Nevertheless, such a marvelous photographic excursion will happen.

Beauty and the Brain: The Emerging Field of Neuroaesthetics

Kevin Briggs
 Hayoung Hwang

Hayoung Hwang

As this fascinating article illustrates, "neuroaesthetics" represents a ground-breaking area of neuroscience research. This research may help us comprehend the innate methodologies by which our brains interact with and respond to art.

I believe we are hardwired to appreciate and respond to beauty. I have always maintained this viewpoint. With every passing year, my confirmation of this perspective grows stronger.