These Photos Show the Trails Used by Irish Catholics to Reach ‘Secret Masses’
Photographer Caitriona Dunnett has spent years doing background research for her photography project Mass Paths, which depicts the old trails used by Irish Catholics for attending “forbidden mass.” The photo technique used is the “digital contact negative.”
From the 1690s, Ireland’s parliament was controlled by Protestants and strict laws were passed to oppose the Catholic majority. Catholics were not allowed to become lawyers, judges, or vote. They were also banished from the military and were not allowed to teach or even own a horse worth more than £5.
The restrictions were many, and this gave rise to “forbidden mass,” to which Catholics would sneak away out of sight and conduct their worship in secret.
It was only in 1920 that the last laws against Catholics were revoked.
“The locations of these paths were traditionally passed on by word of mouth and local knowledge handed down through generations,” Dunnett tells Atlas Obscura. “I discovered the paths by doing searches on the Internet and finding little snippets posted by schools doing projects on local history, parish newsletters informing congregations about annual mass at the mass rock, and walking clubs that give directions, using penal sites as way-markers.”
Dunnett did the project with digital contact negatives. She shot each photo using a digital camera before converting them to negatives in Photoshop. Then she printed the negatives onto acetate before contact-printing them onto a paper coated with cyanotype formula. The prints were then left in a bath of vinegar and water and then washed in water. Her prints were toned in a bath of tea for a few hours, giving them their “historic” color.
“I like the idea of the process being layered like the Irish landscape, which has been coated over time by personal and national narratives,” says Dunnett.
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I Shot a Short Film with the Panasonic GH5S: Here Are My Thoughts
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Panasonic Lumix GH5S in time to start shooting for our new short film 4:17 AM. The shoot was going to take place mainly at night and early morning, so when I heard about the GH5S, I thought it would be the ideal testing bed for the new camera.
I’ve also spent the last few months assembling a collection of anamorphic adapters and associated accessories and I decided that this project would suit shooting some scenes in anamorphic too.
The concept of the film that Isabel, our creative director, developed was to attempt to abstractly represent the turbulence of the human relationship with sleep and to visually show the moments, mental crossroads and the drifting in between consciousness.
You can see the full film here:
Shooting the Film: Technical Details
As a super small team that consisted of Isabel, myself, Declan (who was acting), and fellow Panasonic ambassador Ross Grieve shooting some BTS we knew we had to keep the kit fairly light as I’d be doing the shooting, lighting and everything else in between.
On the camera front, we had one GH5S with a set of Leica Rs (28, 50, 90) with Metabones .71x and Aputure LensRegain .75x, Panasonic Lecia 15mm 1.7, Bolex Moller 8/19/1.5x anamorphic, Moller 32/2X anamorphic and Iscomorphot 16/2x anamorphic with Rectilux Hardcore DNA, Jim Chang’s V2 clamp set up, 8Sinn cage and a bunch of small rig accessories to hold it all together. Ross also brought along his Syrp Magic Carpet which we used on top of the Manfrotto Nitrotech for some of the opening shots.
As a small team, we also needed to be flexible with the lighting, so we had a small lighting kit consisting of an Aputure 120D, Aputure Mini20 kit and a couple of Manfrotto LYKOS LED panel lights that could all be run both on mains and battery power for location. We used the compact Manfrotto Combi-boom for most of the outdoor shooting and c-stands for indoor shots.
We shot the film over a period of an evening, full day and the following morning, where we tried to shoot before sunrise and after sunset when the sky had a bit of color left in it. Due to the nature of the shoot, except for a couple of shots, the bulk of the shooting was done between ISO 800 – 6400.
A quick disclaimer: this won’t be a heavily technical review of test charts etc, there are people way more skilled at those than me. The below is my honest thoughts from shooting with this camera over the period of a couple of days on a small, agile set, the type that many Lumix GH5 users will be familiar with.
The standout feature of the Lumix GH5S for me is it’s potential to shoot improved low light whilst keeping the great codecs and framerate options I’d come to love from my Lumix GH5. As I knew that I’d be shooting a lot in low light for this film, I was excited to put the camera through its paces. I’d been eyeing up a Panasonic EVA1 for a while now and to hear that the new Lumix GH5S had the same Dual ISO technology inherited from the larger Varicam range was great. Whereas the EVA1 has Dual ISOs of 800/2500, a quick test of the GH5S shows it to use 400/2500 for its Dual ISOs.
If you’re not familiar with the Dual ISO concept, there are basically two circuits right after each pixel and before the gain amp, one for each ISO which allows for two ‘native’ ISOs. In theory, this will allow you to shoot clean images in much lower light conditions than a camera with a single lower native ISO. The benefit of Dual Native ISO is that the low light improvement is coming directly from the sensor, rather than just boosting the gain and adding noise reduction.
The great thing about the Lumix GH5S is that there is an Auto Dual ISO option, which will change the native ISO on the fly, giving you the best possible quality at each ISO. ISO 160 to 800 will use the native 400 ISO and everything above 800 up to 51200 will use the higher 2500 native ISO, so no need to worry about changing it manually unless for a creative reason.
When I took the footage from this shoot into edit, I was amazed at how clean the V-Log L footage was even at 6400 ISO. Even after pushing the 10-bit 25p footage and 8-bit 50p footage around in post, the noise still seemed remarkable. It’s hard to say for certain, as I haven’t done any direct side to side comparison, but my gut says that the GH5S has around 1.5-2 stops more useable ISO in low light and it’s also much cleaner throughout the range too. Whereas before with the GH5, things started to decline after 1600, I’d be happy to shoot this camera up to ISO 6400. The frame below was at ISO 5000.
Low Light Aside, What Else is New?
As well as being a low light beast, the 10.2mp GH5S sensor is also multi-aspect, which means that the FOV will remain the same regardless of the aspect ratio you chose. This also allows for true cinema 4K in 50/60p, which is a first for a mirrorless hybrid camera.
If you’re coming from a GH5, ergonomically this camera is identical. The body and button placements are almost exactly the same, except for the new red ring around the drive dial and the new REC button on the top plate.
The variable frame rate options have also got a boost up to 240fps. You can now run timecode in/out using the included BNC adapter cable through the flash sync port, great for people recording external sound or running multiple cameras. You can also now select Line/Mic levels for the Mic input if you want to run your input at line level.
There are also some nice usability features included too such as the night mode from the Lumix G9, Liveview Boost, which boosts the brightness of the display allowing you to compose in very low light, and the focus magnification also got a boost to 20x rather than 10x on the GH5.
As well as the new features, there’s also the pretty much everything still there from the GH5 V2 firmware including anamorphic de-squeeze, waveforms, HLG, V-Log and of course 10-bit 4:2:2 shooting.
One of the things that people might be disappointed in, is the lack of in-body image stabilization. For high-end productions, where the GH5S might be locked down inside moving vehicles, the fixed sensor will be a welcome change, but for the run and gun shooter, IBIS was a super popular feature.
I’m torn on my thoughts on the lack of IBIS, which means each camera will probably have a distinct role in my bag, whereas a GH5s with IBIS would have made my GH5 redundant. I did, however, shoot about 80% of 4:17 AM completely handheld and I’m very happy with the feel of the footage.
In my opinion, the GH5S is a more specialized camera and less of an all-rounder than the GH5. It’s one I’d pick up for low light specific shooting or when I was running the camera on the gimbal.
For my run and gun travel work, I’d see myself carrying the GH5 and for higher end productions with more kit, the GH5S would be the camera of choice.
The beauty of the system is that they’re ergonomically identical and so all of your accessories, cages, batteries etc will all fit the GH5S as well as the GH5. This makes adding the GH5S as a second body and using each camera to their advantage is not going to be made more expensive by the need to rebuy lots of new gear.
Full disclosure: Jacob James is currently an ambassador for Panasonic UK, Manfrotto, and X-Rite and has partnerships with Paramo, Eagle Creek, and Phottix.
About the author: Jacob James is a travel and cultural documentary photographer based in the UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. His work has been published widely in publications across the Web and world. You can find more of his work on his website. This article was also published here.
Rant: How Sony Can Fix the Terrible Menus on Its Great Cameras
Many Sony shooters rave about their cameras but rant about the menu systems within them. Camera reviewer Maarten Heilbron has some ideas on what’s wrong and how things can be improved. Here’s his 11-minute video “rant” on the subject.
“Sony’s features are at the leading edge of camera technology,” says Heilbron. He accepts that this will lead to complexity in the menus, but he nevertheless remains frustrated at the lack of organization and clarity.
With the introduction of the new a7R III, Sony has adjusted the menu. Heilbron hoped that with this new generation of cameras there would be a completely redesigned menu, but he was disappointed.
There are a whopping 181 settings, excluding “My Menu,” in the A7R III’s menu. That’s a lot of options that would clearly need some proper organization to avoid having things get messy.
First off, Heilbron suggests that there is clearly room for another tab at the top of the menu system, but this hasn’t been utilized and that only increases the number of pages that need scrolling through.
The squares at the bottom only take up space and “duplicate” the page numbers nearer the top. Since these cameras have touch-enabled screens, why is this not possible to use in the menu? Heilbron thinks that’ll make things a lot quicker to navigate.
Another major hang-up is that it appears similar settings are not clustered together and are instead “interspersed” with completely irrelevant settings. This makes it a bit of a minefield to navigate.
Heilbron likes the changes to the Custom Key selections, which now let you move between pages rather than scrolling an “endless list.”
However, it seems there is still a lot of work to be done. Check out the video above to hear more of Heilbron’s thoughts and suggestions regarding Sony’s menu systems.
College Sports Photographer Was Paid by Other Schools While On the Job
The chief photographer of the University of Tennessee Athletics Department is now under investigation and on paid leave after a state investigation found that he photographed athletes from other schools for those schools while on the job.
The Knoxville News Sentinel writes that a new report released Thursday by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury found that UT athletics photographer Donald Page had used UT camera equipment during work hours to shoot non-UT athletes, and that he was paid by other universities to do so.
The report also stated that Page, who earns $56,661 according to UT’s public salary database, had hired other people to help photograph non-UT athletes on his behalf, paying those assistants in cash. In total, he was found to have earned $9,240 from other schools while on the job, and over $6,000 while off work.
A conclusion from the report was that, at minimum, Page “abused university work time and equipment for his personal benefit” and that his actions “resulted in a waste and/or abuse of taxpayer funds.” Since UT is a public school, Page is a state employee.
UT placed Page on paid administrative leave back on June 15th, 2017 and has been awaiting the comptroller report before making a decision on Page’s future. The comptroller is recommending that UT officials determine for themselves whether Page violated any official UT policies with his actions.
We’ve reached out to Page for comment and will update this article if/when he responds.
Meet Genesis Vega, the Rising Model to Watch
While some may say that at five feet Genesis Vega may be petite in stature, there is nothing small about the twenty-year-old’s personality. V sat down with the boisterous young model to talk about everything from her favorite anime character and first job, to her goals for 2018 and how she manages to keep a level head in the social media age.
Man Finds ‘Deathbed Photo’ of War Photographer Gerda Taro
A man sharing a photograph of his father online has apparently stumbled upon the last known photograph of legendary war photographer Gerda Taro, who’s regarded as the first female to shoot on the front lines of conflict (as well as the first to die while doing so).
Warning: This article contains graphic photos.
It all started on January 16th, when former soldier and historian John Kiszely of Gloucestershire, England, posted a photo of his father to Twitter.
Just dug out this photo of a young doctor with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 – my father. pic.twitter.com/QY02OAcYOP
A sharp-eyed observer then pointed out that the wounded woman may be Taro. Kiszely then confirmed that the note on the back of the picture reads: “Mrs Frank Capa, Brunete.”
John, I think the lady is Gerda Taro, the partner of the legendary photographer Robert Capa. She died of injuries when her car collided with a tank on the way back from the Battle of Brunete on 26 July 1937. Does that make sense?
The full inscription reads: “Brunete Front, June 1937 (in Torrelodones) Mrs Frank Capa = of Ce Soire of Paris, killed at Brunete.”
Taro was never married to Capa — she rejected his marriage proposal — but many people mistakenly believed that they were married. The name “Frank” may have been due to a mixup between the names “Robert Capa” and “Frank Capra,” the famous film director.
Gerda Taro, whose real name was Gerta Pohorylle, was the companion and professional partner of Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann) who helped create the legend of Robert Capa before being killed at the age of 26 while covering the Spanish Civil War in 1937. While documenting the Republican army retreat at the Battle of Brunete on July 25th, Taro was critically injured when the car she was riding on collided with a tank. She died the next day.
“I never looked at the back,” Kiszely tells The Guardian. “To me this was just a photograph of my father with another patient.”
“My very first impression is that it does look very like Gerda Taro,” Taro biographer Jane Rogoyska tells The Guardian. “The thing that inclines one to think it is Gerda Taro is the short hair and those very thin eyebrows, and just the fragility of the body.”
Rogoyska does note that there needs to be additional research into the details surrounding this photo to be sure that it does indeed show the last months of one of history’s most famous war photographers.
Image credits: Photographs provided to PetaPixel by John Kiszely
CVS Pharmacy has announced that it will use only unaltered photographs in all of the marketing and packaging they produce, and the company will ask the brands whose products they sell to comply with new transparency standards for altered imagery. The retail pharmacy chain, the largest in the U.S., introduced the initiative earlier this week.
CVS joins brands such as American Eagle’s Aerie and Dove in making the shift away from the heavily retouched imagery that has become the norm in the fashion and beauty industries. Photographs heavily altered in post-production have been increasingly criticized in recent years for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” said President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health Helena Foulkes in a statement.
Beginning this year, all imagery produced by CVS Pharmacy will adhere to new post-production standards, and the company will use a “CVS Beauty Mark” watermark to call attention to images which are not “materially altered.” The company has defined material alteration as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”
The company announced they will require transparency for all beauty imagery in its stores and marketing materials by the end of 2020. “We’ve reached out to many of our beauty brand partners, many of whom are already thinking about this important issue, to work together to ensure that the beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve,” Foulkes said.
Rudimental Talks Tour Life and New Single “These Days”
UK-based jamband Rudimental has blessed us once again with another contagious, uplifting beat, this time featuring friends Macklemore, Jess Glynne and Dan Caplen. As the lyrics for “These Days” reflect upon love, loss, and friendship, the song ultimately delivers a hopeful message that will keep you on a high for days to come. To get inside the minds of the men behind the music, we sat down with Rudimental to talk influences, bucket lists, and what’s next.