Bill Taub, NASA photographer

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Bill Taub has died age 86. As senior photographer for NASA from 1958 to 1975 he photographed virtually all of their missions and astronauts from the start of the Mercury project through to the end of Apollo.

Growing up in the UK in the 1960s meant the space race and Apollo missions were a huge part of my life. In this photo, and looking way too cool for his own good, it shows him having a blood test as part of the quarantine procedure for Apollo 11, complete with the requisite short-sleeve white shirt, Ray-Bans, cigarette and a Leica. To a young boy, this was the face of NASA and what space exploration was about!

Silver Eye Auction

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Cathedral of Learning, platinum-palladium print, 2008

I have a print in this year’s upcoming benefit auction for the Silver Eye gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s a platinum-palladium print, 8″ x 8″ image size on 14″ x 18″ Weston Diploma paper. The following press release is from their website.

Silver Eye Center for Photography
2010 Benefit Photography Auction and Brunch
Sunday, April 25, 2010 11 pm – 2 pm
1015 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, 15203

Mark your calendar now and plan to attend one of the region’s signature art auctions! This year’s auction, preceded by a champagne brunch, features an impressive selection of contemporary and vintage works donated by artists, galleries and collectors from around the world.

Join us for a first look at the work at the Auction Preview Exhibition, on view March 30 through April 21, 2010. The opening reception is Thursday, April 1, 2010 from 6-9 p.m. Free admission for members; $6 non-members.

Individual tickets are $45 for Silver Eye members; $50 for non-members.

The Silver Eye 2010 Benefit Auction is made possible, in part, through the generous support of Aaronel deRoy Gruber, one of Pittsburgh’s most honored photographers, and her husband Irving B. Gruber.

The media sponsor is WYEP 91.3 FM. In-kind sponsors are Boyd and Blair Vodka, La Fond Galleries, Esser’s Floral, Sam Berkovitz and Concept Art Gallery.

Commitment

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Press Release

Ilford Photo has issued a commitment to all black and white photography enthusiasts that despite other brands’ products becoming discontinued elsewhere in the industry, it will continue to support its existing range of mono photographic products for the foreseeable future.

Numerous black and white specialist products have been discontinued by other manufacturers in recent months and as the only dedicated black and white photographic brand, Ilford Photo issued the following statement today reassuring customers that it has no plans for downsizing its product range.

Steven Brierley, Marketing Director for Ilford Photo commented: “Over the course of our 130 year heritage, Ilford Photo has become more than just another photographic company – many of our customers see us as the custodians of the future of black and white photography. Due to recent news from many parts of the industry that some black and white products are being discontinued, we have had a number of queries from anxious customers asking about the future of our own range. As such, we want to confirm that we have no plans to reduce our range in any way.

Ilford Photo, through its parent company Harman technology, has pioneered a number of campaigns in the past to demonstrate its commitment to the future of black and white analogue photography, including the ‘Defend the Darkroom’ programme and its calendar of photo education materclasses.

For more information please visit the Ilford Photo website.

The Imperfect Image: The Art of the Handcrafted Print

The show at IFP MN Center for Media Arts that I wrote about earlier now has a title and dates. The Imperfect Image: The Art of the Handcrafted Print will open with a reception on March 26th and run through May 16th 2010. The images, from myself, Osama Esid and Beth Dow, will showcase our love for the beauty of the handcrafted print, whether it be in gelatin-silver, platinum-palladium, photogravure or any of the other alternative and historical processes.

In conjunction with the show I’ll be giving a short workshop/demonstration on how to make a platinum-palladium print on Sunday April 25th, noon to 4pm, covering everything from making the digital negative through to printing.

Minnesota State Arts Board Grant

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After what seems to have been an incredibly long time waiting for the results, I’m happy to say that I’ve received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. This is the second time I’ve received the grant, the first being in 2006, and this time the grant money will help towards producing and printing the Memento series of images.

This body of work is a departure from how I usually work (on film, in black and white and printed with either the platinum-palladium or photogravure process) in that it’s colour and shot digitally. Thanks to the panel of jurors who supported my work – grants are always a great confidence booster!

One other item of note. The British Journal of Photography, which holds the record for the world’s longest continuously published photography magazine, being first published in 1854, has undergone a major facelift. As well as a new look, it has some brand spanking new editorial sections and a return to its monthly format, although the last time it was published monthly was back in 1857!