Medical Photography Gory But Never Boring

On the first day of the class that Michael Hormuth teaches on medical photography, he doesn`t hold anything back.

“I pull out some of my goriest stuff,“ says Hormuth, who is a staff photographer at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke`s Medical Center. “I let them see slides of surgical procedures, lab work, you name it. I tell them right out, if they want to be in medical photography they`re going to have to get used to that kind of thing. It`s not fun when you have to shoot a child-abuse case, but you`ve just got to do the job and think about it later.“

But, he says, if you have a strong stomach, medical photography has its advantages over other forms of photography. Because a hospital`s photographer can be called upon to take pictures of anything from an operation, to before and after pictures of a patient, to public relations photographs at a hospital fundraiser, the work is never routine.

“You`re called upon to do all sorts of things,“ says Hormuth, whose photographs are used for records, scholarly journals and lectures given to medical students.

Photography studio draws novices, pros

Black-and-white photos arranged on one wall of a photographic studio in the Flat Iron Building depict a young woman posed against a stark desert landscape.

The subject of these photos is also the artist who took them: Sarah Beckstrom, 30, who spent part of her 20s conceiving and taking photos as she backpacked through Europe and took part in a residency program in photographic art in California.

Although she has been staying closer to home lately, her travels, particularly those taken in her mind and imagination, are hardly through. And one of those journeys involves Vital Projects, a studio she started three years ago to help people learn photography and undertake their own projects.

Beckstrom said she had noticed the need in Chicago for an independently run, creative studio where people interested in photography could pursue their interest without having to commit to enrolling in a college or university.

“It’s geared toward the adult learner, to people who want to explore something new without worrying about a grade,” she said.

Vital Projects classes and workshops are designed for people with all ranges of knowledge.

Photography gets vote of confidence

The century-long crusade for photography as art seems finally drawing to a close, with the widest acceptance of the medium in sight.

The two biggest exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago for the first half of this year, for example, are devoted to the centenary of Ansel Adams (Feb. 21-June 2) and the legacy of the Institute of Design (March 2-May 12). These shows are the museum’s major attractions.

Visitors to Chicago museums and galleries in the last decade may not see in that anything out of the ordinary. But if you go back further into Chicago history, the landscape regarding photography was so different that it’s hard to imagine any museum or gallery basing hopes for attendance on photo exhibitions.

The first commercial space to exhibit photographs was the Katherine Kuh Gallery, which opened in 1935 on North Michigan Avenue. Kuh showed several of the photographers who will figure in the upcoming museum exhibitions, including Adams and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. However, photography was to her but one aspect of modern art; she presented it in conjunction with paintings by Wassily Kandinsky,

Computer-automated, time-lapse embryo photography may increase success of in-vitro fertilization

Using computer-automated, time‐lapse photography of embryos in the laboratory during in-vitro fertilization may improve embryo selection, potentially increasing the chances of pregnancy among women undergoing the procedure, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and five other fertility centers. Results of the study were presented this week at the 30th annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) meeting in Munich, Germany.

The researchers at Penn and their collaborators used the Early Embryo Viability Assessment imaging device (or Eeva, developed and manufactured by Auxogyn, Inc.), which records images of developing embryos during the first three days of laboratory culture, to evaluate embryos transferred into the uterine cavity of 177 patients. The testing process involved fitting the devices into a standard incubator and using dark field imaging to capture high resolution, single-plane pictures of embryos housed in a petri dish, at five-minute intervals. The images were then fed into a software program that uses several measures to assess the embryo’s developmental potential — rating them high, medium, or low for their capacity to reach the blastocyst stage by the fifth or sixth day of culture. Embryos normally implant at the

A camera to step away from iPhone photography

Nikon’s new entry-level D3300 camera takes a lousy selfie, doesn’t fit in your back pocket on the dance floor and can’t reserve a table for two at Chez Josephine.

This $649.95 DSLR, obviously, is neither cellphone nor point-and-shoot but a digital version of the single-lens-reflex camera long used by professionals and serious amateur shooters. Although they’re distinctly bigger, and heavier, than a point-and-shoot, DSLRs have several advantages:

The shooter sees, through the lens, exactly what will appear in a photograph. A DSLR sees the reflection, as in “reflex,” through a mirror and prism. A point-and-shoot, which uses a viewfinder through the camera’s body, can only approximate the actual image.

It takes a better picture. Stop counting megapixels: It’s not the number of megapixels, but their size. A better indicator of picture quality is the size of a camera’s sensor, where the lens projects the image. A point-and-shoot’s sensor area is maybe a quarter the size of a pro-style DSLR’s sensor, which explains the greater clarity of DSLR photos.

This camera, 24.2 for megapixel counters, also uses Nikon’s newer Expeed 4 image processor.

The D3300 comes with an AF-S DX Nikkor

How to start a photography collection

When Jen Bekman opened her New York art gallery almost nine years ago, with the mission of supporting emerging artists and collectors, she “felt the weight of art history of my shoulders,” she said, because she didn’t know enough. So she gravitated toward photography.

“Everyone has a fluency in photographic images because we’re so immersed in them all the time,” said Bekman, who has since founded the international photography competition “Hey, Hot Shot!” and the online gallery 20×, which sells limited-edition art and photography starting at $20.

For the novice collector, or aficionados at any level, photography presents a more accessible, relatable and affordable entry point to the art world than many other mediums. Making it even easier, a growing online marketplace of great work caters to a wide range of interests and budgets, whether you prefer 19th century American Indian photogravures, or the contemporary landscapes of Peter Lik.And, in a moment when salon walls star in both traditional and modern homes, photography can be a delicious counterpoint: small images can instantly modernize an existing grouping of artwork, while overscale images look chic and gallery-cool hanging solo on an expanse of

Glass slide models unknown

Exquisitely hand-colored glass slides in the archives of the Highland Park Historical Society capture the images of equally exquisitely costumed and coiffed women.

Who are they? That is unknown.

One theory is that the models are opera singers who performed and flourished on Ravinia’s stage during the “Golden Age of Opera,” 1912-1931.

No numbers or other marks provide clues to the models’ identities or the photographer. But props and backdrops in these images appear frequently in local Brand Studios photography, providing evidence of location and photographer.

Additionally, the sole male image of this photographic series is of a man and a cello. Perhaps a musician from an orchestra performing at Ravinia? No.

A closer examination reveals the model grips the bow awkwardly, a hold no cello player would demonstrate. Even closer examination clearly identifies the model as Highland Park artist and photographer Orson B. Brand, a proprietor of Brand Studios.

Brand experimented with photography and other media throughout his lifetime, including a body of ferrotype self photography in the mid- to late-19th century, also part of the society’s archives and research collections.

This later glass slide may be a continuation of these

Alicia’s Photography and Flirty Martini

Alicia Johnson, 47, of Naperville owns Alicia’s Photography and Flirty Martini boudoir photography studios.

When did you open your business?

We started our business in 1995 from our home studio and then opened a Naperville studio in 2010.

What sets you apart from similar businesses?

Our aim is to capture your true personality and style while documenting the most important moments in life. We use natural light, natural settings and modern production techniques to make works of art that will be cherished for generations. High school senior, family and boudoir photography sessions can be personalized with hair and makeup services.

What qualifications or characteristics do you have to operate this type of business?

I have 18 years as a professional photographing families, newborns, children and high school seniors. I have seen the progression of photography into its digital age and work hard to keep current with changes always happening in photography. Keeping current and staying true to my branding is very important along with providing the best customer service available.

Why did you decide to open your business in Naperville?

My husband and I have lived in Naperville for 22 years and

Bill Rauhauser: 20th Century Photography in Detroit’ offers a portrait of the artist’s work

These days, when you read about photography in Detroit, too often it’s about “ruin porn” — images that seem to revel in the lost glory of abandoned and decaying buildings. You’ll find none of that in “Bill Rauhauser: 20th Century Photography in Detroit.”

This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and by digital edition via email. Click here to learn about joining Printers Row.

Rauhauser’s work — primarily street photography, primarily centered in Detroit (though it does stray into Chicago) — distills an earlier era, when the city was known as “the Arsenal of Democracy.” Rauhauser’s work was included in “The Family of Man,” a 1955 photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art that toured the world for eight years, showcasing photography that emphasized common human bonds that cut across cultural boundaries. Nearly six decades later, Rauhauser’s work still resonates: Earlier this year, at 95, he mounted an exhibit at Chicago’s Carl Hammer Gallery.

Fashion, photography at MOMA

Well into the 1980s, fashion and fashion photography were fixated on just one thing: beauty, or at least the illusion of it created through the artifice of cloth and lens.

Since 1990, however, the trend has been to narrative, lifestyle and youthful pop culture. Hence all the fashion ads of cafe girls reclining partially nude on motorcycles or waifs looking like they’d just been released from a night in jail.

This new development is celebrated in a new exhibition that just opened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art–in its temporary Queens quarters.

“Fashioning Fiction in Photography Since 1990” features some 95 arresting photos by such hot contemporary lensmen and lenswomen as Nan Goldin, Cedric Buchet, Tina Barney, Steven Meisel and Cindy Sherman, among others.

The museum quite rightly claims these images transcend beauty and fashion, extending into societal, psychological and cultural issues.

The show will be on view until June 28.

How camera stores can stay in business

Quick! Where do you go to hang out with other photographers – to meet up, learn from, share stories and tips, and be inspired?

I’m not talking the online world here.

There are things you will never learn from an online environment – the insider stuff that someone will share with you because they like you, or because they know nothing is written down or being recorded. You can expect to get a few golden nuggets from in-person meetings if you know who to talk to and what to ask.

When you’re meeting someone in person unlike chatting with them in a public online forum, you have the benefit of private conversational inertia. Sometimes they fill dead air in a conversation with things that you hadn’t thought of before.

Can you think of a place in your city where that happens? Where you can go at the drop of the hat, chat up other photogs, maybe see some recent work, grab a few burgers, surf wifi before heading out to a picturesque place with others on a photo walk?

I can’t think of a place like that in Chicago –

Important Dates In Photography

Centuries before photography was invented, scientists and artists found they could prick a pinhole in a window shade and an image from the world beyond the shade could be magically projected onto a wall. This was the camera obscura, the world`s first camera. The big question was how to make the image stick. The answer, of course, was photography. A few milestones of the medium are described below:

1826: Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce makes a heliograph, or sun drawing, the world`s oldest surviving photograph. He photographed the courtyard of his workshop using a boxlike camera obscura, a pewter plate coated with varnish for “film“ and iodine crystals for developer. He shared his findings with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, his partner after 1829.

1839: Daguerre announces the daguerreotype, a photographic process for fixing one-of-a-kind positive images on a metal plate. William Henry Fox Talbot, hearing of Daguerre`s invention, announces the first positive-negative process a few weeks later. The year becomes the birthdate of photography.

1852: Maxime Du Camp publishes the first photographic travel album of his expedition to Egypt. Actual prints were mounted in the limited-edition publication.

1855: Roger Fenton photographs Crimean War scenes,

Phillips salutes Weston’s photography

A master of every subject–nudes, powerful portraits, the New York skyline, the California seacoast, erotic studies of vegetables–Edward Weston was perhaps the greatest photographer of the 20th Century. As its major summer offering, Washington’s Phillips Collection has chosen “Edward Weston: Photography and Modernism”–a richly comprehensive exhibition of his work that opens Saturday and provides ample justification for the above claim

Warhol in L.A.

“Andy Warhol Retrospective,” one of the biggest exhibitions of the Pop artist’s work and the first-ever major Warhol show in Los Angeles, opened this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Up through Aug. 18, it has 200 paintings, drawings and sculptures. Favorites such as “Campbell Soup Cans,” “Marilyn,” “Jackie,” “Mao,” “Elvis.” “Electric Chair,” “Car Crash” and “Most Wanted Men” are on view.

The Wonder 3D’ set as First China-New Zealand Co-Production

British director Peter Hewitt (“Sliding Doors,” “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”) has begun pre-production on “The Wonder” a teen fantasy-adventure that is the first joint feature-film venture between China and New Zealand.

Willow Shields and Karl Urban are in discussions to star.

The US$20 million-budgeted 3D picture will begin principal photography in September in Auckland, New Zealand and Lijiang, China.

Paul Lin’s Beijing-based media investment and production company, Show and Share Entertainment, is producing along with New Zealand producers Richard Fletcher and Allan Xia. The U.K. producing partners are Robert & Ashley Sidaway and Iain Brown.

Hyde Park International is handling worldwide sales, excluding China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Based on an original screenplay by the Sidaways, “The Wonder’s” script consultant is Feng Li, who wrote “House of the Flying Daggers” and “Hero.”

“It’s a techno-fantasy story about troubled young people causing a major natural disaster by hurting nature and then having to put it right in a race against time!” said Robert Sidaway. “It’s been developed to entertain audiences in both the East and West, and is a truly creative collaboration with our Chinese partners.”

Key crew include

The Godfather’ Cinematographer Gordon Willis Dies at 82

Influential cinematographer Gordon Willis, whose photography for “The Godfather” series and Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” helped define the look of 1970s cinema, has died, according to his close associate Doug Hart’s Facebook page. He was 82.

Willis was known as the Prince of Darkness for his artful use of shadows, and he was the director of photography on seminal 1970s films including “Klute,” “The Paper Chase,” “The Parallax View” and “All the President’s Men.”

He received an honorary Academy award in 2009 at the first Governor’s Awards ceremony.

Among the other Woody Allen films he shot were “Interiors,” “Stardust Memories,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Zelig,” for which he was Oscar-nommed. His other Oscar nomination was for “The Godfather III.”

Regarding his work on “The Godfather,” Variety wrote in 1997, “Among “The Godfather’s” many astonishments, the photography by Gordon Willis — a rich play with light and shadow — confirmed Willis’ genius but was especially striking as an extension of Francis Ford Coppola’s creative intelligence. ”

His black and white photography for “Manhattan” made it one of cinema’s most visually arresting films. Roger

Debts to photography

The theme of the three-person landscape exhibition at the Carrie Secrist Gallery would seem to be the utopia found in untrammeled nature, but because the representation of the theme is in two of the cases indebted to photography, there is a more compelling reason to visit.

Brad Durham, April Gornik and Brian Ritchard all provide unpeopled natural landscapes. Gornik’s drawings and single painting are the more romantic but also the purest, without an apparent reliance on (or reference to) photography.

Durham’s landscapes take the form of monochrome backdrops that look like photographic solarizations. Most often they are the foils for birds rendered more fully in the round and in color.

Ritchard goes further, painting facsimiles of Polaroid photographs into larger landscapes. The presence of the counterfeit Polaroids bears witness to the hand of man, pointing up how all representation, no matter how realistic, is a construct, a game, a fiction.

Why photography has so large a role in these 21st Century paintings is difficult to say, but that photography is present in a different way from project-and-trace photorealist painting of the 1970s probably bodes well for the future.


At 300

From to photography, Korea ferry founder has diverse interests

SEOUL (Reuters) – The head of the South Korean family that operated the ferry which sank last week is a billionaire once jailed for fraud, a photographer who has held an exhibition at the Louvre under a pseudonym and the co-founder of a church which owns the website

At other times in his chequered past, Yoo Byung-un, in his 70s, has been a bankrupt and an inventor of household and health-related devices. He was investigated and cleared of complicity in the suicides of 32 members of his church in 1987.

Prosecutors have raided Yoo’s house in their investigation into last week’s ferry sinking in which hundreds of passengers, mainly school children, were killed or are missing presumed dead.

Son Byoung-gi, the lawyer representing Yoo and his family, told Reuters that they had not been summoned by prosecutors and that as far as he was aware there were no irregularities in the financing of the company.

“Yoo and his family will take all legal and social responsibility for this tragic accident if they have to as major stakeholders of the company,” Son said.

Prosecutors have also raided the shipping company’s offices and financial regulators are

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Doc to Air on HBO

HBO Sports and Mandalay Sports Media, in association with Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment, are developing a documentary about basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Variety has learned.

Directed by Ron Yassen, produced by Deborah Morales and executive produced by Mike Tollin (“Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream”), the project will follow the former L.A. Laker from his long run in the NBA and through his many controversial and landmark moments over the past 50 years.

Tollin, co-chairman of Mandalay Sports Media, says the film will “reveal the complexity and genius of Kareem both on and off the court. By his own admission, Abdul-Jabbar has had a complicated and occasionally hostile relationship with the media. This is a unique opportunity to tell all sides of his story.”

Production and principal photography began this week in Los Angeles.

The film is scheduled to debut in early 2015 on HBO.

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Trio joins ‘Right Kind of Wrong’ Pic starts principal photography Monday

Will Sasso (“The Three Stooges”), Jennifer Baxter and Kristen Hager have joined Ryan Kwanten, Sara Canning, Catherine O’Hara and Ryan McPartlin in Serendipity Point Films “The Right Kind of Wrong.”

Pic was formerly titled “Sex and Sunsets” and starts principal photography Monday in Banff, Canada.

The film is produced by Robert Lantos and directed by Jeremiah Chechik. Megan Martin adapted the screenplay from Tim Sandlin’s novel. Ari Lantos is also producing and Mark Musselman is executive producer.

Hager plays the protagonist’s first wife, who has made her fame and fortune with Why You Suck, a blog cum best selling book about his failings. Baxter and Sasso play a married couple.

Kwanten plays the lead, who meets the girl of his dreams on the day she is marrying the perfect man.

“The Right Kind of Wrong” will be distributed by eOne Films in Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Benelux.

Click here for more film news on Varie

School Photography Firm Makes The Grade

Norbert and Marge Dompke were a little surprised recently to find out that their business is considered a North Side landmark. They smiled at each other, a little perplexed, fidgeting modestly while they thought of a proper response.

Finally, they both nodded confidently and agreed with a prideful smile that, “Yes, guess we are. We`ve touched a lot of people.“

Three hundred thousand people a year, to be exact. As owners of Root Photographers, at 1131 W. Sheridan Rd., they are in charge of one of the largest school photography businesses in the nation.

In a year, Root photographs students at 450 schools, grosses $4 million, pays Kodak $1.2 million for supplies, stocks 29 tons of Kodak paper in a temperature-controlled storage room and shoots 80 miles of film.

There are 35 full-time and 15 part-time photographers. There are salesmen, deliverymen, bookkeepers, receptionists (including some Senn High School vocational students who are “graded“ by Marge Dompke) and various technicians who work within a maze of automated and expensive film processing machines.

And there are nine professional retouchers at Root (“really artists,“

Dompke said) who do nothing but remove from negatives and