Matthew Brady

Mathew B. Brady (May 18, 1822 – January 15, 1896) was one of the first American photographers. He studied under inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, who pioneered the daguerreotype technique in America. Brady opened his own studio in New York in 1844, and photographed Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, among other celebrities. When the Civil War started, his use of a mobile studio and darkroom enabled vivid battlefield photographs that brought home the reality of war to the public.  The thousands of photographs which Mathew Brady’s photographers (such as Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan) took have become the most important visual documentation of the Civil War, and have helped historians and the public better understand the era – wikipedia

I’ve always loved looking at some of these old portraits of historic figures of the past. In the early days of photography, Matthew Brady had a simple “shutter”. When they were ready to expose the film, they simply removed the lens cap by hand and then put it back on after a predetermined length of time. Since the photographic plates used in those days were not very sensitive, exposures of five or ten minutes were common. – NYIP

photos by Matthew Brady


Moon Shot


Buzz Aldrin on the moon (photo by Neil Armstrong)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. This was one of my favorite photographs when I was growing up. I think what drew me to it was the clarity and detail of it. You can see the footprints in the background. Cameras have come a long way since then, but it’s still amazing to me to see that we were able to take such great photos back then.

Medium format camera are larger than 35mm cameras and use paper-backed or paper-leadered roll film. The most popular medium-format cameras produce negatives that are 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 inches, 6 X 7 cm, and 6 X 4.5 cm. The large negatives make stunningly sharp enlargements, full of detail. The 2 1/4 inch single-lens reflex (SLR) camera has a viewing system similar to the 35mm SLR reflex camera. As the name implies, these larger SLRs produce negatives that are 2 1/4 inches square. The Hasselblad was the the camera used by America’s astronauts when they visited the moon. 

The Hasselblad wasn’t the first camera to reach the moon; that honor goes to the one Neil Armstrong took one with him on the 1969 mission. But it’s the only one to ever make it back. The rest were left behind due to their bulk and weight; the one below, which was used on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, was lucky enough to make the return journey.





l am really enjoying my photography class at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. For our next project, we are learning about aperture. A wider aperture causes the background to be more out of focus, and a smaller aperture yields a photo with more areas of the image in focus. A small f number is used for a larger apreture while a large f number is for a smaller one. Below are some side-by-side examples of photos I took experimenting with aperture.

Random photos experimenting with aperture

Time Shots

We played around more with shutter speed in my next assignment for ART142 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. This assignment was called time shots. Basically we experimented with both freezing the object in motion by a faster shutter speed or blurring the object by slowing down the shutter. The shutter speed is the valve that controls how long the light flows through the lens and onto the image sensor. The smaller the aperture, the longer it will take a given amount of light to flow through the funnel and the longer the required exposure will be. This was a fun assignment and it usually requires a trip-pod. I took some of these photos of the Valley Metro light rail around ASU campus.

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I’ve become quite the traveling photographer recently!


By increasing or decreasing your shutter speed on your camera, you can make a subject ‘freeze’ in motion or make it look blurry. For today’s class we had to freeze an object in motion but make the background blurry by following the subject as it is in motion. This is called panning. Two of my classmates from Chandler-Gilbert Community College rode a scooter back in forth as we practiced shooting.