Friday, March 26, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
In 1939, my father was a 25-year-old, Bronx-born amateur photographer who volunteered at the New York World’s Fair, which granted him expanded access to the grounds and a unique vantage point from which to photograph the event. Although numerous popular snapshots and professional photographs of the Fair exist, my father’s images taken in September of 1940 just weeks before the Fair closed, offer a distinct perspective: he artfully captured architectural shots at night with few, if any, people populating them. In spare, striking contrast, his images evoke the solemnity of the time, and conjure the sinister settings characteristic of the period's film noir.
I inherited my dad’s negatives from the 1939 Fair, and have the pleasure of reprinting them in my darkroom as interest in the Fair persists. His images have been exhibited in museums and licensed for use in television shows.
Perhaps his most iconic image was that of the 700-foot-tall Trylon and 200-foot-diameter hollow Perisphere--the centerpieces of the Fair--with a nearly sixty-foot tall statue of George Washington as he faces the future.
I’ve always considered this image to be a winner, and have submitted it to numerous competitions. I most recently entered it into the Vintage Image Photo Contest for the April 2021 issue of Black & White magazine, one of my favorite fine art photography publications. I’m happy to report that the image won!
The magazine is on newsstands now. You can also view this image and all of my dad’s photographs in the 1939 World’s Fair Gallery via the link above to my website.
Monday, February 15, 2021
It was a privilege for me to sign two agreements with COSMOS-POSSIBLE WORLDS which involved using three of my 1939 World’s Fair images. It came as quite a surprise. I was sent continual emails but I didn’t recognize the COSMOS name at all.
After several attempts at reaching me, I did a Google search and felt like a fool. They were the real deal. Getting unrequested emails is a hassle for all of us hence my reluctance to respond. However, now the story was very different.
We spent quite amount of time negotiating price and legal issues. They wanted to pay nothing and I wanted $1 million per photo. Needless to say, we arrived at pricing that was more realistic to both parties yet very lucrative to Webbers.
Our company attorney then advised as to who would use the photos, where they would be used, how they would be used, to what extent would they be used, and how often would they be used, and how long the agreement would last. Obviously, COSMOS had their own boiler form, but with further review, the agreement was accepted by both sides
COSMOS found my website which led to the agreements which led to the finished arrangement. Should you ever become involved in any license agreement, make sure you know what you’re worth (there’s no cookie cutter pricing), make sure you have a qualified lawyer, and make sure you over deliver for your customer.
I may have mentioned this before but if you have the Disney channel then click on National Geographic, then click on COSMOS-POSSIBLE WORLDS, then click on season 1 – episode 13. There you’ll see some of the images that are the results of these license agreements. They’re also available at https://www.webbersphotography.com/c/1939-worlds-fair Enjoy!
Friday, January 29, 2021
THE DARK SLIDE
For the years that Marie and I ran our studio, we used Hasselblad cameras and accessories. In my opinion, it was the finest film camera ever made. It was solid aluminum and made in a modular fashion. You had the camera body, then you attached a film magazine to the back, a lens to the front, and a viewfinder to the top. Hasselblad made countless variations to the modular parts to satisfy any photographic need.
Well, here’s the dark slide story. You see, you loaded the film magazine once it was removed from the camera. The dark slide protected the film from exposure during this process. Once loaded, you would then attach the magazine to the camera back and remove the dark slide. This would allow the film to be exposed by whatever image you chose to shoot.
It was at a wedding reception that I was feeling confident and creative. Feeling so, I went about shooting a roll of film creating some neat images. With everyone eating (you never photograph them then) I was free to do as I pleased. Got some cool shots of the property and other interesting images I knew the couple would want. All of a sudden Marie asked me why I didn’t remove the dark slide. ON NO! I immediately detached the magazine, threw away the film since you can’t rewind it, reloaded a new roll of film, removed the dark slide and gave it to Marie. I then went about to shoot the “shots” I already shot. Our customer bought a number of them for their wedding album. DARK SLIDE DEFEATED!
Quite often we forget the obvious when we do the obvious over and over again. Ever happen to you? Love to hear your story. Leave your comment below. Thanks – Hank
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
DUSK OR DAWN?
Both are quite appealing in photography. The sunrise gives a unique copper color to all the subjects it illuminates while the sunset shows as a beautiful gold tone. The challenge we have as photographers is to be ready for either “event” at the right time of day. Both appearances only last about 5 to 10 minutes at most. Therefore, you need to be ready to go prior to sunrise and in place for the sunset.
As a black & white film photographer, obviously I’m not capturing color. What I enjoy is the quality of light only present at these two times. Yes, you can photograph all day long from any and all angles but the early morning and evening light has a special appeal in making a fine art photograph as opposed to a shot at noon.
Have you tried either of these time “events” in your photography? If so, leave a comment as to what you captured and why. Thanks - Hank