Thursday, December 15, 2022

On May 9, 2021, I wrote in a notebook:

Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine, vol. 1, p. 18 [and, I went on to discover, repeatedly throughout], uses photography as a metaphor to justify idealism - 1888. Almost as soon as this extremely material technology becomes available. That an "image" can be directly transformed into an "object" seems to prove that the real is a transformation of the ideal.

cf. Hockney, Secret Knowledge, p. 16: "We were also experimenting with different combinations of mirrors and lenses to see if we could re-create the ways in which Renaissance artists may have used them. The projections we made delighted everyone who came to the studio, even those with a camera in their hands. The effects seemed amazing, because they were unelectronic. The images we projected were clear, in colour, and they moved. It became obvious that few people know much about optics, even photographers. In medieval Europe projected 'apparitions' would be regarded as magical; as I found out, people still think this today."

Two days later I would note: "Per Hockney, in the 1400s, at least in the Netherlands, painters and mirror-makers were in the same guild."

On July 26, 2019, I had emailed Richard telling him how I'd heard someone who seemed to have reason to know what they were talking about explaining that smartphone manufacturers, rather than pay to test the quality of the lenses they put on their cameras, instead use lenses that are likely (but not known) to be poorly made and then use elaborate software to compensate for the poor-quality image: when you "take a picture" the camera actually very rapidly takes a large number of pictures and then uses some algorithm to combine them into a best guess at what a camera with a decent lens would have produced.

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