December 10, 2008

Relocating the Past: Trudi Lynn Smith

At the recent American Anthropological Association meeting in San Francisco, I was fortunate to be a part of a panel that focused on a visual anthropological theme. One of my co-panelists was Trudi Lynn Smith, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria. Her presentation was very well executed, and incredibly interesting. Here is a little excerpt from her site:


ABOVE: Early 20th century photograph taken by Bert Riggall.

"FIELDWORK 2008: To perfectly replicate an historical photograph by the legendary outfitter and photographer Bert Riggall from the popular viewpoint located on the Prince of Wales hotel hill in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. I use the exact camera as Riggall, having borrowed the Panoram No. 1 from his grandson. The process and performance of trying to replicate the photograph with the very same camera that he shot the view with in the early 1900s is recorded here."

ABOVE: Photograph taken by Trudi Lynn Smith on July 27, 2008.

Another excerpt:

"With no viewfinder to speak of, the challenge of a panoramic swing lens, and the extremely wide field of view, re-photographing an historical photograph with the Kodak Panoram no. 1 is not a straight forward task. My usual method to repeat a photograph is to use the grid method, which we developed while working on the Rocky Mountain Repeat Photography project in 2004 (now the Mountain Legacy Project). However, in that project, we knew the centre of the image. We placed a grid screen in the camera viewfinder, which we duplicated in digital formate to lay onto our historical scanned images. By working back and forth between the digital print out of the historical image with a grid laid over it, and the grid in the camera viewfinder, we were able to make camera adjustments in the field..."

Read the rest here.

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