This is an anonymous portrait by Bogardus, one of the “big names” in mid-19th century American portrait photography. The carte itself and the print are in excellent condition, and I love the photographer’s blind stamp on the back. I’m including two more below by Bogardus to show the different blind stamps he used. I’m sure it evolved further over time, but these are the ones I have in my collection.
On a parallel but unrelated note, I think the cabinet in the Nellie Keeler and plump lady photos is to Bogardus what the “Reaper” clock is to Brady (as referenced in my previous blog post). The article I linked mentioned that the author found two copies of the Reaper clock like the one Brady had in his studio – it would be very cool to find Bogardus’ sideboard and bring it into a studio.
Here are some shots from my new toy, the Canon 135 L f2 lens. I put it to use in my studio last night, doing some portraits of a friend of mine. As you can see, it’s wickedly sharp, but even at f10, it still has pretty shallow depth-of-field. In examining the original camera-RAW file in Photoshop, I swear I could count every hair on his back, and every pore on his face, until the depth-of-field dropped off and then it blends away to creamy-smooth very quickly. You can see in the shot of my cat Chub-Chub (long story behind the name, but when I first got him, he ate like a pig, started gaining weight and would waddle down the steps, belly a-swinging) that at f2, the depth-of-field is whisker-thin. I’m going to love this lens.
I was a very naughty boy yesterday – I gave in to gear-itis and snapped up a like-new-in-box Canon L-series 135mm F2 lens for on my Canon 5D. As you can tell from reading this blog, I’ve been an absolute junkie for all things big, old, and film-based. That doesn’t mean I reject the 21st century, however; I have been jonesing for this lens for my Canon though for a while as its quality as a portrait lens is super-famous (I’d say infamous but that would imply something negative about the reputation, which could not be further from the truth). So I’m now the proud owner of a 135 L f2. I was playing around last night photographing the cats last night for lack of a better moving subject. I did use it to record the new acquisitions in the antique image collection – it worked wonderfully for that. I’ll be using the 5D as an ersatz Polaroid tonight in the studio as I have a portrait commission to do tonight. It will make a handy lighting check, and it will be useful to have some portraits of something other than Frosty and Chub-Chub (my furry little pudd’ns).