Tuesday 9 November 2010

dark evenings and magic lantern review

Because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis plus the country changing the clocks back, it’s a bit dark to do needlework on the bus home. So now I work on the secret project in the morning, and in the evening I read about how to manage anger and irritability. It’s hard for me to get my head around thinking more “helpfully” about things that make me angry, but I’m just not going to get upset about that.

Yesterday, we went to a brilliant Magic Lantern by Professor Heard at the John Rylands Library. Fantastic colours! Stuff that was painted 200 yrs ago looked so clear and vibrant. The slides were all hand painted, though some use early photo techniques to make a black and white image to be painted over. The professor has seen photos of the painting being done, mostly by women and he had never seen one with a magnifying glass. Consider that a 2cm painted angel was projected to 1m on the screen, and you’ll understand how skilful these slide painters were. The machine itself looked really cool, too, with all the shiny brass knobs and lenses like cannons.

Am I now wishing for a Magic Lantern, you may ask? Well, no. They are cool, but as the Professor pointed out, they are used for a performance before a live audience. Not something I want to do. But I am curious about combining them with shadow puppets.

Also saw a little exhibit on early photography at the library, including what I think was a Holmes type stereoscope. Now I would like to try that- two pictures taken from a left and right eye standpoint, then put in a viewer that held them so each eye saw only the appropriate image to give a 3D effect. It seems like the perfect way to show off dolls and such. I wonder if there are any plans for them available on the interwebs?

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