Printing Music's Biggest Legends at Dickerman Prints

As one of rock ‘n’ roll’s preeminent photographers, Ethan Russell chronicled the everyday life of music’s most iconic faces: both on stage and off.

Keith Richards Exits “The Starship” 1972 US Tour.   Photograph by Ethan Russell Copyright: © Ethan Russell

Keith Richards Exits “The Starship” 1972 US Tour.

Photograph by Ethan Russell
Copyright: © Ethan Russell


Ethan Russell's Career as a Rock & Roll Photographer

During a storied five-decade career, Russell photographed Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, k.d. lang, Audioslave, The Doors, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, to name a few. He also is the only artist to shoot album covers for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.

Astonishingly, much of Russell’s music photography went unseen for nearly 30 years. Only recently have these historic images been dusted off, scanned, restored and printed.

Long removed from his darkroom days, Russell now prints his iconic images at Dickerman Prints: a custom photo lab in San Francisco. By fusing digital technology with traditional darkroom techniques, the lab creates timeless prints on extraordinarily elegant papers.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono “Cat”   Photograph by Ethan Russell Copyright: © Yoko Ono. All rights reserved. Used with permission

John Lennon and Yoko Ono “Cat”

Photograph by Ethan Russell
Copyright: © Yoko Ono. All rights reserved. Used with permission

Linda Ronstadt. “Hasten Down the Wind.” Malibu 1975.    Photograph by Ethan Russell.         Copyright: © Ethan Russell

Linda Ronstadt. “Hasten Down the Wind.” Malibu 1975.

Photograph by Ethan Russell.        
Copyright: © Ethan Russell


Creating Timeless Photographic Prints With Seth Dickerman

Recently, Ethan Russell and Seth Dickerman sat down for an interview with Rangefinder Magazine. What follows is an excerpt from the article.

"Back in the days when Russell lived in England, he worked with a lab run by a father and son who did traditional gelatin silver prints. Years later when he moved back to San Francisco, he couldn’t find a local printer who could match the quality of their analog work. “It was always a struggle,” Russel recalls. Whenever he needed a print, he flew down to Los Angeles. Then, in 2011, he was introduced to Dickerman Prints, a full-service San Francisco lab founded in 1996 by Seth Dickerman, that had switched to digital process in 2007.

“I was nervous about it,” Russell says of trying digital prints. The first piece Dickerman produced for him was a 30x40” print of Keith Richards in rehearsal, a memorable shot. Richards was beyond pleased with the result. “As soon as I saw it,” he says, “I decided I could move away from analog printing.” He’s worked with Dickerman exclusively ever since.

“We work together, but Seth has a determination and patience that I sometimes lack,” Russell admits. 

Russell is in the lab with Dickerman at least once a week, if not more. Depending on demand, Dickerman Prints may produce a single 8x10-inch print for a collector in a week, or up to 60 images for an exhibition.

“Seth will take an image and make it better. He understands the direct relationship between the digital file and the paper.”
Gabriel Agiular, Garnell Boyd, Seth Dickerman and Ethan Russell (left to right) 

Gabriel Agiular, Garnell Boyd, Seth Dickerman and Ethan Russell (left to right) 


Choosing the Perfect Paper for Ethan Russell's Rock Legends Photography

While preparing for a recent, Russell wanted something other than his typical framed or mounted prints. The weight of Entrada Rag Bright allowed his large-format photographs to be hung using magnets, while ensuring the print would not ripple when exposed to the elements.

This simple and elegant solution left the prints uncovered, allowing the viewer to truly appreciate the stunning images without distraction.

After seeing the results, Russell is excited to continue using Entrada Rag Bright for future shows. He especially loves how the paper brings out the best in both color and black and white photographs. The Beatles would certainly have approved!

Click here to see more of Ethan Russell's work.

Ethan Russell's photography - printed on Entrada Rag Bright and on display at the 501 Gallery in Sherwood Park, Canada

Ethan Russell's photography - printed on Entrada Rag Bright and on display at the 501 Gallery in Sherwood Park, Canada

The Rangefinder article on Ethan's career and his collaboration with Seth Dickerman - as seen in the January 2017 issues

The Rangefinder article on Ethan's career and his collaboration with Seth Dickerman - as seen in the January 2017 issues

Daily Life at a Photo Printing Lab - a behind the scenes tour

ever wonder what it's like to work at a photo lab? 

From helping people create art to editing photos, scanning film, chatting about a print and catching a whiff of darkroom chemistry, there's always something new going on.

Now, go behind the scenes and explore daily life at Dickerman Prints - a modern photo lab in San Francisco.


Come visit our beautiful, light-filled lab space in the South of Market (SOMA) district.

Come visit our beautiful, light-filled lab space in the South of Market (SOMA) district.

Here's what our print shop looks like from across the street. We are conveniently located at  1141 Howard Street  in San Francisco.  We've got plenty of  street parking!  

Here's what our print shop looks like from across the street. We are conveniently located at 1141 Howard Street in San Francisco.

We've got plenty of street parking! 




In addition to being a photo lab, Dickerman Prints is a gallery, coffee shop (complimentary, of course!), photographic history museum and an inviting place to learn how to create the best prints possible.

Start off your visit with a cup of organic espresso or tea in our communal area.

Take some time to enjoy the fine art photography displayed on our walls.  

Chat about the latest trends in photography ... or peruse 70 years of photographic magazines.

Then, finally, settle down in your own calibrated workstation to edit and print your photographs using our DIY service.




Part of being "your darkroom for the digital age" means that we still provide traditional C-41 film processing in both color and black & white. Each roll of film is individually developed with fresh chemistry, ensuring that your precious film gets the very best ... every time. 

That trusty ol' clock has been timing down film processing for decades.

That trusty ol' clock has been timing down film processing for decades.


This is our Wing-Lynch C-41 film processor

Reel of films are hand-processed in small batches, using only  clean and fresh chemistry.

Reel of films are hand-processed in small batches, using only clean and fresh chemistry.




Our wide range of scanning options are the perfect way to breath new life into an old image! From film to slides, existing prints, flat art and even large paintings, our expert staff is ready to create high-quality digital files from your analogue originals.



                                    HEIDELBERG DRUM SCANNING        LARGE FLAT ART REPRODUCTION  

Gabriel prepares to scan a roll of film in our  Durst Sigma Plus  scanner.

Gabriel prepares to scan a roll of film in our Durst Sigma Plus scanner.





Our world-class Polielettronica Laserlab "Polie" digital C-printer is the best of both worlds — using digital technology to emulate the darkroom process ... in under 8 minutes! 

First, red green and blue lasers activate the photographic paper, which embeds your image into the very fibers of the paper. Next, your print travels through a traditional bath of darkroom chemistry and a high-powered dryer.

Finally, your beautiful new print drops into a wooden tray — dry, ready to hang and of the highest possible quality. 

Should you want to manage the process yourself, our DIY service allows you to use the Polie to your heart's content. Or, if you would rather give us a file and let us work our magic, we also offer custom printing services.




Whether you want to go BIG or just want a wider selection of papers, our custom Archival Pigment Printing is the way to go.

Sometimes called Giclée or inkjet printing, our Epson 11880 printer represents the state of the art in pigment printing. It’s 64-inch wide paper path allows the creation of prints up to 64×96 or larger.

Additionally, our expert staff will ensure your image is optimized for the paper of your choice ... and that you're completely happy with your print.



We offer a carefully selected set of archival papers and canvas designed to provide the very highest quality across a variety of finishes and textures: perfect for fine art and commercial applications.

Not sure what paper might suit your image best? Let us help! 

Our  Epson Stylus Pro 11880  inkjet printer

Our Epson Stylus Pro 11880 inkjet printer


Whether it be a DIY print, custom print, or a pigment print, our team loves to help customers achieve the best possible print.

Here's Gabriel working with a customer to get the colors in her image just right.





One of the most rewarding parts of working for a fine art photo lab is seeing all the wonderful images that come out of our printers! There's always something new ... and we love seeing the smile that comes across someone's face when they first see their new print.




We love to have fun at Dickerman Prints. We also take our work very seriously, and demand perfection from every print we produce. From start to finish, our expert staff ensure that every pixel and inch of your photograph is the best it can be.


Garnell carefully examines and marks up a print, before preparing the next round of edits

Garnell carefully examines and marks up a print, before preparing the next round of edits



In addition to being a photo printing lab, Dickerman Prints Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting and promoting the work of our vibrant photographic community.

With subject matter as diverse as the artists we serve, past exhibitions have featured some of San Francisco's most well-known photographers. Additionally, we regularly curate group exhibitions ... and our gallery is home to an always-rotating collection of fine art photography.


Interested in seeing more?

Come on by! 


10 Tips for Mastering Landscape Photography

Mastering landscape photography can be a lifelong pursuit.

From chasing the best light to shooting in inclement weather, dealing with crowds and lugging your prime lenses on a long hike, landscape photography is full of challenges. That said, there's no greater feeling than being surrounded by nature, pressing down the shutter and knowing you've just created a masterpiece.

Now, to help you on your next outdoor adventure, we've assembled a collection of simple yet powerful techniques to improve your landscape photography.


1. UNDERSTAND depth of field AND FOCUS

>> In landscape photography, focus is of paramount importance. For sweeping vistas, the simplest way to achieve sharp photos is to use a small aperture setting (such as f/8, f/16, etc ). The smaller your aperture (and larger the f/stop number), the greater your depth of field.

Here's a great overview of aperture and depth of field.

2. Work with weather

>> Sure, photographing landscapes on a bright and sunny day will produce nice and even images. However, braving the elements and shooting in inclement weather can lead to something far more striking, emotional and awe-inspiring. When preparing for your outing, make sure to scout your location beforehand and check the weather conditions in advance. Also, remember to protect your gear by packing preventive measures, such as a rain cover for your camera, cloths to wipe down your gear, extra batteries if it's cold ... and proper clothes for yourself.

Photography by  Niall David    Follow Nial on  Instagram  -  Facebook  -  Twitter  

Photography by Niall David 

Follow Nial on Instagram - Facebook - Twitter 

3. Tripods can be your Best Friend 

>> Most people use a tripod to prevent camera shake and ensure their photos come out sharp in low light or small aperture situations. However, for landscape photographers, "the waiting game" is another key reason to use a tripod. Basically, you'll want to find a perfect spot, put your camera on a tripod, frame your photograph ... then sit around and wait for the perfect light and moment to present itself. For extra insurance when it comes to camera stillness, consider investing in a cable or wireless shutter release.

4. Experiment with your Foreground 

>> One element that can make or break your landscape image is the foreground. When setting up your shot, consider using leading lines; or, try placing your horizon lower to capture a different and interesting perspective. Don't forget about your depth of field and remember to keep your aperture on the larger side to keep as much of your image in focus as possible. 


>> Leading lines are extremely vital when it comes to photography, as you'll want to guide your viewer’s eyes across your image. Lines can help you guide your viewer's eye to the main point of interest and  also create a  feeling of depth and scale to your image. A few examples of natural leading lines you might find would be roads, railroad tracks, streams, pathways, etc. 

Photography by  Greg Goodman    Follow Greg on  Instagram  -  Facebook  

Photography by Greg Goodman 

Follow Greg on Instagram - Facebook 

6. Don’t forget about the sky!

>> A truly great landscape photograph has a well balanced mix of beautiful sky and captivating foreground. However, Mother Nature, time constraints or happenstance may have other ideas. In those situations, don't be afraid to focus on one of the two elements and see how the other falls into place. An interesting foreground can sometimes make up for a bland sky. Conversely, many landscape photographers fill most of their frame with a beautiful sky of dark or dreamy clouds. It's amazing how many different emotions the air above can convey. Have fun and experiment.

Photography by  Josh Berger    Follow Jsh on  Instagram  -  Facebook  

Photography by Josh Berger

Follow Jsh on Instagram - Facebook 

7. The Power of Movement 

>> Though landscapes are usually sought after for their peaceful, quiet and overall serene qualities, landscapes can be a perfect place to capture movement. Take a moment to look around you and observe the wind rustling through the trees, birds in flight, waves crashing over rocks and even clouds moving overhead. 

8. Two words - Golden Hours

>> Twice a day, the landscape is bathed with beautiful golden light ... instantly making any photograph more warm, vibrant and magical. Specifically, the "Golden Hours" are the times just after dawn and just before dusk, when the sun is still low on the horizon. The light is a perfect shade of gold, which can create many interesting elements such as shadow, silhouettes and patterns. 

9. Find your Focal Point

>> Focal points are a crucial factor when it comes to photography. Without them, your image can come off as empty, dull and lacking purpose, which tends to make viewers move on rather quickly. Think carefully about your composition and always consider the rule of thirds to make your images come alive. You focal point could range from a building or structure to an interesting rock, tree, animal, person ... sky's the limit, so go out there and get creative!

10. Have fun and Experiment!

>> Photography is about having fun, so always remember to try new ideas and concepts and get out of your comfort zone! Good luck shooting!

Why Prints Still Matter

In a world of digital media files, why does printing photographs still matter?

Whatever camera you use to make a photograph, a print is still the ultimate expression of your creative vision. Plus, they don't need power plugs to survive.

First, let's discuss the nostalgia of prints...

Forget what you've learned about the technical aspects of photography and remember why we press the shutter in the first place.

We photograph to remember ... to capture a moment in time that allows us to control both what we see and what the viewer takes away from the shot. Printing photographs allows a much more meaningful way to observe, improve and appreciate all the effort that goes into the work.

A printed photograph becomes a real object. It's something you can hold and touch, rather than an image among thousands you can see on a screen. 


A print will last a lifetime

One of the best parts about printing a photograph is that prints typically withstand the test of time. Most professional papers are guaranteed to last at least 100 years, and a quick Google search for "photography from the 1800s" shows that your prints will probably last even longer.

Now, compare that to digital files and think about how technology is constantly changing. Remember floppy discs? VHS cassettes? Zip Drives? Even CDs/DVD's are on their way out. Apple has been ensuring this for years, as Macbook Pros don't even come with disc drives anymore. 

With prints, you'll be able to leisurely enjoy your work for years to come ... without the worry of computer crashes, hard drive backups or rapidly changing technology. Sure, your negatives will still be digital, but at least you'll also have something tangible.


Prints help you grow as a photographer

Prints are also the best way to receive feedback on your work. If you are looking to improve and receive critiques on your photography, the easiest way to do so is by showing someone your prints.

Holding your printed work allows a fresh perspective where you will be able to notice different facets of your work that you might have missed before. Parts that are too dark, too light, dust, color variation...these are all things that might be overlooked on a computer screen.

Plus, a print will help you determine if you have correctly calibrated your monitor. 


Printing matters as a professional photographer 

As a professional and full-service photographer, there are many benefits to being able to produce high quality prints of your work. Let's explore a few reasons why:



Making prints for your clients shows that you care about their customer experience. Providing their images in their final polished form also shows that you are a full-service photographer, which is a rarity nowadays. 

Image a scenario where a potential client wanted to see photographs of a wedding you shot. Instead of only being able to provide images on a screen, you can dazzle them with prints that they can physically hold and appreciate. It shows you care about your work, and are willing to go the extra mile to give your client what they want. 



As a photographer, offering printed photographs gives the opportunity to make additional income instead of just making money from session fees. 



Quality control is essential for a full-service professional photographer! When you make prints for a client, you can control the quality of the finished product ... as opposed to leaving it up to your patron to produce their own (potentially off-color and low quality) prints.



Above all, printing your work supports the intricate web of the art industry ... much of which is still locally-owned. In addition to getting a physical print, you are supporting businesses that help artists connect with clients, expand their trade and, above all else, continue doing what we love to do. 


So, Why Do Prints Matter?

While the world seems to be propelling into a digital age with access to hundreds of thousands of images at a moments notice, it's important to remember what photography really stands for.

Photography is more than just a paycheck. It's the act of capturing a moment in time and preserving that memory for years to come.

When you take the time to learn how to be a professional and full-service photographer and improve your trade, you show that it's more than just about pictures, it's about loving what you do- and every client wants to see that in their photographer. 

ICC Profiles » a photographer's guide

If you have ever taken a photograph or had one printed, you have dealt with color profiles … perhaps without even knowing it.

What may seem like an innocuous option in a drop-down menu might mean the difference between an accurate, high quality representation of your image and a lackluster, disappointing imitation. So, just what are color profiles and why are they important?

Every digital camera and printer has its own idea of what a specific color looks like. In order for the devices to communicate with each other properly — and reproduce the image without color distortion — they need to find common ground. That's where ICC profiles come into play.

ICC Profiles and color correction


What is an ICC profile?

ICC Color Profile

An ICC profile is a set of data that characterizes a color input or output device (or a color space) according to standards promulgated by the International Color Consortium (ICC).

The International Color Consortium was formed in 1993 by eight vendors in order to create an open, vendor-neutral color management system, which would function transparently across all operating systems and software packages.

ICC profiles provide a common understanding between multiple editing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One and others.

These profiles act as languages of color and compression, interpreting the image as close as possible across devices; from the camera to the monitor, the monitor to the printer, the printer to the paper. If these settings are not aligned across the different platforms, information gets lost in translation.


An Intro to Color Profiles & Color Spaces

In order to have a clear understanding of ICC profiles, you have to be familiar with color profiles and spaces. 

Color profiles include CMYK, RGB, LAB, etc with more specific versions depending on the output. Each one represents a color gamut, which basically represents the range of colors that are supported. A printer has it’s own specific gamut of colors it can print, as does a camera when it captures an image.

Additionally, a particular paper has it’s own color gamut ... as does a specific monitor. Ultimately, different types of printers, cameras, papers, and monitors all have their different color gamuts.


For now, let’s focus on the camera. 

How to color correct an image using an ICC profile

On it’s own, a camera’s color information doesn’t really mean anything. Before the data it collects can be useful, we need to know the specific colors that the information corresponds to. That's why we map the colors in the image into a color space

A color space is basically a standard that defines a specific set of colors. When we map the colors in our image into a color space, then the color values that our cameras captured have specific meanings. Now you may not know this, but most cameras have been mapping their colors into a color space all along.

Most SLR cameras offer a choice of two color spaces  — Adobe RGB 1998 and sRGB — which are the most common color spaces (gamuts) for images used for display (digital format, web, monitors, projectors, etc).  



The shortcomings of sRGB

Currently, sRGB color space is the default color space on most cameras (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.) and photo editing systems, such as Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, etc. Unfortunately, sRGB tends to lose a lot of colors out of spectrum.

If you shoot in a format such as JPEG, image information, including color, is compressed and lost. Instead, we suggest shooting your images with the RAW setting, because no information is compressed, allowing you to produce higher quality images.

Below is an example of the difference between sRGB profile and Adobe RGB profile. Note how many more colors, especially green, are made available with Adobe RGB.


How to Use an ICC Profile

In order to produce the highest quality image, it’s important to play attention to your ICC profiles. Each printer, computer, camera, and paper all will have their own unique ICC profile and will allow you to be able to pick and choose which you like best for your work.

So now that we know how important ICC profiles are when it comes to taking, editing, and printing your images, how do you use them? Here's a step-by-step example using the ICC profiles we have available for D.I.Y. printing at Dickerman Prints!

First, download your preferred profile:



Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 1.09.00 PM.jpg
  1. Locate and unzip the file you just downloaded
  2. Open a separate Finder window
  3. From the main menu, select "Go -> Go to Folder"
  4. Type in the following:  ~/library/colorsync/profiles
  5. Drag the profile from your downloads folder into the colorsync folder that you just opened
  6. That's it!



  1. Locate and unzip the file you just downloaded
  2. Right click on the unzipped ICC file and select "Install Profile"
  3. That's it!


Setting up an ICC Profile in Photoshop 

1. Make sure you have restarted Photoshop after installing your ICC profile.

2. From the main menu, select "View -> Proof Setup -> Custom"

3. Under "device to simulate," select the option for either: 

Polie_FujiRA4_Matte or Polie_FujiRA4_Glossy

4. Once selected, the rest of the window should look like the image to the right. 

5. Click save, name your profile and click OK to close the window.

6. To confirm that it has been installed, you can once again use the menu and navigate to "View -> Proof Setup." On the bottom, you will see a new option with whatever name you specified in Step 5.



To use your new profile, simple press command + Y (Mac) or control + Y (PC)

To confirm that it's working, look at the filename of your active document. At the end, you should see the name you specified earlier.




After activating the ICC profile, you may notice a shift in colors. What you are seeing is a more realistic representation of what your image may look like when printed. You should use these colors as a guide when prepping your images for printing.

Also, please keep in mind, our ICC profiles are meant to be used with a properly calibrated monitor. If you want to ensure that "what you see is what you get," please feel free to bring your files into our lab and use our complimentary and calibrated workstations! Organic espresso and tea included!





A brief timeline of the history of photography!

Photography is something most of us practice everyday. Whether it be from taking a simple photo of your food to landscapes– photography continues to illuminate our lives and intrigue us. 

But how did we get to this point in technology– where it's as easy as pulling out your phone to take a photograph?

Let's revisit history to see the evolution of photography!

5TH CENTURY B.C. ⇢ Chinese and greek philosophers describe the basic principals of optics and the camera.

The Chinese were among the first to discover the idea of the basic pinhole camera. Around 5th Century B.C. they wrote about how an image was formed upside down from a "pinhole" on the opposite wall. 

An example of how a pinhole camera works 

An example of how a pinhole camera works 

4TH CENTURY B.C.⇢ The Greek philosopher Aristotle discussed pinhole image formation in his work.

“Why is it that an eclipse of the sun, if one looks at it through a sieve or through leaves, such as a plane-tree or other broadleaved tree, or if one joins the fingers of one hand over the fingers of the other, the rays are crescent-shaped where they reach the earth? Is it for the same reason as that when light shines through a rectangular peep-hole, it appears circular in the form of a cone?"

1021 A.D. ⇢  The invention of the camera obscura is attributed to the Iraqi scientist Alhazen and described in his book of optics.


1664-1672 ⇢  Sir Isaac Newton discovers that white light is composed of different colors by refracting white light off a prism.

Our modern understanding of light and color begins with Isaac Newton

Our modern understanding of light and color begins with Isaac Newton

1685 ⇢ The vision of a box form of a Camera that was portable and small was was envisioned by Johann Zahn, THOUGH it would be nearly 150 years before technology was able to bring his vision to life.

1717 ⇢ Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that silver nitrate darkened upon exposure to light.

1816 ⇢  Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce constructed a wood camera fitted with a microscope lens.

 He succeeded in photographing the images formed in a small camera, but the photographs were negatives- meaning they were darkest where the camera image was lightest and vice versa. They were not permanent in the sense of being reasonably light-fast; like earlier experimenters, and Niépce could find no way to prevent the coating from darkening all over when it was exposed to light for viewing. Disenchanted with silver salts, he turned his attention to light-sensitive organic substances.

1826 ⇢ Joseph Nicephore Niepce invented Heliograph, which he used to make the earliest known permanent photograph from nature, View from the Window at Le Gra.

The process used bitumen, as a coating on glass or metal, which hardened in relation to exposure to light. When the plate was washed with oil of lavender, only the hardened image area remained.

View from the Window at Le Gras required an extremely long exposure (traditionally said to be eight hours, but now believed to be several days) which resulted in sunlight being visible on both sides of the buildings.

The oldest surviving photograph of the image formed in a camera –  View from the Window at Le Gras    

The oldest surviving photograph of the image formed in a camera– View from the Window at Le Gras 

1837⇢ In collaboration with Joseph Nicephore Niepce– Louis Daguerre invented the first practical photographic process, which was widely used in portraiture until the mid 1850s.

The image below is one of the world's first photographic self portraits. It was taken by Dutch migrant, Robert Cornelius, in 1839 outside his family business in Philadelphia, USA. The back of the daguerreotype reads: "The first light picture ever taken".

1837⇢ The first aerial photograph was taken by Gaspard Felix Tournachon of Place De L' Etolie, Paris. It was shot from an altitude of 520 meters in a tethered balloon.

1861⇢ Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell produced the first color photograph in 1861.

Maxwell created the image of the tartan ribbon shown here by photographing it three times through red, blue, and yellow filters, then recombining the images into one color composite

1871⇢ Dr. Richard Maddox discovered a method of using gelatin instead of glass as the plate material for the light-sensitive solution.     

This discovery led to the invention of dry plate photography, a less cumbersome process that did not require the photographer to use a darkroom tent for immediate plate development as had been required by wet plate processes.

1884- 1888⇢ George Eastman introduced celluloid based film in and the small portable easy-to-use box camera.   

His first camera, which he called the "Kodak," was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed, which along with its relatively low price appealed to the average consumer.

The Kodak came pre-loaded with enough film for 100 exposures and needed to be sent back to the factory for processing and reloading when the roll was finished. By the end of the 19th century Eastman had expanded his lineup to several models including both box and folding cameras. Photography could now reach the masses.

1878⇢ Eadweard Muybridge successfully captured the sequence of movement. It was this ground breaking discovery and technique that helped invented motion pictues.

1884- 1924⇢ The camera went into production at the Leitz factory in Germany. It was called the Leica from the initials of "Leitz Camera."  

1926⇢ Underwater color photography was born with this shot of a hogfish, photographed off the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico by Dr. William Longley and National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin

Equipped with cameras encased in waterproof housing and pounds of highly explosive magnesium flash powder for underwater illumination, the pair pioneered underwater photography.

1929⇢ The major step forward to mass marketing of the TLR (twin-lens reflex) came with the Rolliecord and then rollieflex, developed by Franke & Heidecke in Germany. 

1936⇢ The first 35mm SLR, the Ihagee Kine Exakta had a left-handed shutter release and rapid film wind thumb lever, folding waist level finder and 12 to 1/1000th second focal plane shutter. 


1948⇢ An entirely new type of camera is introduced– the Polaroid Model 95. It was the world's first viable instant-picture camera. The Model 95 used a patented chemical process to produce finished positive prints from the exposed negatives in under a minute. 

1949⇢ A historic camera: the Contax S— the first pentaprism SLR for eye-level viewing. 


1952⇢ Asahi's first model, the AsahiflexI, was the first Japanese-built 35mm SLR.

1959⇢ The nikon f— the first Japanese system camera with interchangeable components that constitutes the core of a system.

1975⇢ The first ever digital camera was invented by Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak.

The 8 pound camera recorded 0.01 megapixel black and white photos to a cassette tape. The first photograph took 23 seconds to create.

To play back images, data was read from the tape and then displayed on a television set.

We've come a long way since then!

We've come a long way since then!

1984⇢ Steve McCurry captured one of the most famous portraits the world had ever seen.

The Afghan girl with the haunting green eyes captivated everyone. That captivation proved, once again, the power of photography to open eyes—and hearts and minds—with a single image.

The portrait appeared on the cover of  National Geographic  in June 1985

The portrait appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985

1988⇢ Though it never hit the market the 1988 Fuji Fujix DS-1P introduced an important technology– a removable SRAM (static RAM) memory card developed with Toshiba.

1993⇢ Unlike many other digital cameras that stored photos in “volatile” memory that required battery power to prevent file loss– this video graphics array (VGA) resolution camera was the first to save image files in the kind of solid-state flash memory that is now the near-universal storage medium in digital cameras.

1994⇢ Generally believed to be the first consumer (under $1,000) camera to take color images on a single sensor, the QuickTake, designed by Kodak and manufactured by Chinon in Japan, captured at VGA resolution. It represented the first take on photography by Apple.

This is where it all started for Apple!

This is where it all started for Apple!

1994⇢ Foreshadowing the camera phone and Wi-Fi-equipped cameras that wouldn't appear until many years later, the 1994 Olympus Deltis VC-1100 model was the first digital camera with the ability to transmit images over a phone line, without the intermediary of a computer or other device!

1999⇢ The Kyocera VP-210 introduced a concept that we still use frequently today– phone photography!

It could store 20 stills and transmit live “video” at a rate of 2 fps. Sharp soon followed with its J-SH04, developed with inventor Philippe Kahn, whose 1997 prototype phone was the first to transmit a photo—of his baby daughter.

Compare this to your iPhone 7 ! 

Compare this to your iPhone 7 ! 

1991⇢ The Nikon D1 was the first DSLR body designed from scratch by a single manufacturer. It competely changed the game for SLRS at that time- dropping the price of a digital SLR by more than half.

The original price the camera was  sold at just under $5,000. It offered the image quality, build, and performance that was required by photojournalists at this time. It, and DSLRs from Fujifilm and Canon, also helped end the reign of Kodak in professional DSLRs. 

2002⇢ The Casio Exilim EX-S1/EX-M1 leapt forward in the ultracompact design race with the 0.4-inch-thick EX-S1 “wearable card camera.”

2003⇢ When this 6MP DSLR was announced on the Internet, editors scurried to redo the cover to trumpet the first DSLR priced below $1,000 ($999.99, street, with kit lens). The Reb flew off the shelves and proved the tipping point for countless serious amateur photographers to switch from film to digital.


2005⇢ The Canon EOS 5D had the popular new market category all to itself until 2008, when Nikon and Sony released their D700 and Alpha 900.

It was Pop Photo’s Camera of the Year for ’05 provided full-frame capture to serious amateur photographers and cash-strapped pros for the first time, with a price less than half of the bigger, heavier professional full-framers.

2007⇢ The Go Pro Digital Hero 3 is introduced to the market and offers go-anywhere cams with rugged cases. Now most people who do sports, ride bicycles, even drive cars have these.


2007⇢ The first ever Apple Iphone is introduced. Though Apple was not the first to include camera phones– they combined a simple camera interface, intuitive downloading and sharing tools, and, in 2008, a highly accessible platform for third-party photo apps– making these incredibly popular.

Notice the phone company provider's name is Cingular... ! 

Notice the phone company provider's name is Cingular... ! 

2008⇢ Polaroid announces it is discontinuing the production of all instant film products, citing the rise of digital imaging technology.


2008⇢ The Canon EOA Mark 11 is introduced.

Although not the first (by about a month) to offer video on a DSLR, the quality of the video was so good that it was single-handledly responsible for kick starting the now widespread use of DSLRs in the broadcast film and TV industry, in which it has become ubiquitous.

 It has been widely used to shoot TV shows such as House and even for movies, in addition to its' enormous popularity among landscape photographers.


2008⇢ When Panasonic took the mirror and prism assembly out of a DSLR and replaced them with an electronic viewfinder, the resulting camera, the Lumix G1, became the world’s first Compact System Camera.

Not only is this the fastest growing sector within the camera industry it’s one of the fastest growing of any consumer electronics category – it now accounts for almost half of all interchangeable lens cameras sold in Japan, for example while it’s approaching one third in Europe.

The main advantage of the CSC is in offering relatively high image quality, and interchangeable lenses, in a small camera, with smaller lenses. But by casting aside the optical assembly from DSLRs the G1 also paved the way for the wide spectrum of interchangeable lens cameras we see today, from every manufacturer, which come with or without viewfinders, and with a variety of sensor sizes from DSLR sized down to compact camera sized.

2012⇢ The Nikon D800 comes to the market with an unprecedented 36 million pixel full frame sensor.

2016⇢ The Canon 5d Mark IV is relased as a whopping 30.1 megapixels full frame digital single lens-reflex with the ability to shoot video in 4k.

2016⇢ The iphone 7 introduces its latest in camera technology- a camera has a six-element lens and a 12-megapixel sensor.

The camera now comes with optical image stabilization and A f/1.8 aperture that captures 50% more light means you’re going to get much better pictures and videos in low light conditions.


Photography has evolved a lot over time. The question is, where will it go next? 

Leave a comment below on where you think photography might be heading in the future! 

12,000 Years in the High Desert

Ancient and hidden petroglyphs, timeless landscapes, wild animals, indigenous tribes and North America’s oldest human settlements come together in Dennis Anderson’s latest photographic project.



Thursday, April 21, 2016   6-9pm
1141 Howard Street, SF


12,000 years ago, humans had a symbiotic relationship with our world. Nature was sacred, the cosmos untouched and mysticism a part of everyday life. While modern progress has paved over most traces of that existence, pockets of early civilization remain scattered across North America.

Hidden in the high desert plateaus of south-central Oregon, Native American tribes live in harmony with the same flora and fauna that sustained the region’s first paleo peoples. They gaze up at the Milky Way with the same reverence, and now keep the locations of their sacred sites secret from wandering visitors.

It took years of building relationships before Dennis Anderson learned the exact locations of certain ancient cave drawings and ceremonial rings. When asked about the inspiration behind this long-term project, Anderson explains,

“The sites are well out of cell phone range … but definitely in range of something bigger. Standing on that ancient and unpopulated land, one feels a powerful connection to the universe and to our planet. Even if it only provides a glimpse into that world, it’s worth seeking out.”

12,000 Years in the High Desert features more than 50 fine art prints, each transporting the viewer to a simpler time of prairies, indigenous rituals, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and thousands of migratory waterfowl soaring across the sky.




Dickerman Prints Gallery will host a public opening reception on Thursday, April 21st from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at 1141 Howard Street, San Francisco.

The exhibition will remain open on weekdays through May 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m, and on Saturdays from Noon – 6:00pm.

Click here to RSVP




Named one of the 10 great hospitality photographers by Hospitality Design Magazine, Dennis Anderson is an internationally published tribal art, commercial and architectural photographer whose fine art photography resides in the permanent collections of both the New York and San Francisco Museums of Modern Art. Today, Anderson is still exploring the world with his camera … just as his mentor, Imogene Cunningham, encouraged him to do.

You can visit Dennis Anderson's Web site by clicking here.



An Interview with Kenneth Shevlin

Meet Kenneth Shevlin: artist, former commercial photographer and participant in Dickerman Prints' artist-in-residence program.

Kenneth's unique and varied photographic works range from the surreal to the hyper-real. His Places In-Between | New Landscapes series emulates the style of 19th century impressionism using a homemade pinhole camera. Meanwhile, My Space takes an intimate look into that most personal room in our home: the bedroom.

Recently, Kenneth was kind enough to spend some time chatting about his photography and career. Here is that interview...

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DP: What does photography mean to you?

Photography is a complicated subject for me. In a day and age when everyone has a camera in their pocket and the ability to broadcast every moment of their lives, I find the amount of images I encounter on a daily basis overwhelming. The over saturation of imagery in the world maybe even threatens the medium of photography to be taken seriously. As far back as 1977 Susan Sontag had already written in her book, On Photography, that - 

Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing—which means that, like every mass art form, photography is not practiced by most people as an art. It is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

Photographers today seems to relish the idea that “there’s an app for that…” or “Don’t worry about it, I can change it in post…” Expediency and convenience seems to be king in the medium, robbing it of a kind of specialness. I’ve always loved photography and the potential for it’s meditative process in making art.

I think that’s why photographers like Ellen Susan and Sally Mann use the 19th century collodion process. Aside from the unique images that are created through this process, I imagine the cumbersomeness of that process slows them down and helps them more deeply engage with their subjects.

Photography is a complicated medium that skirts the line between a means of art making and a mechanical reproduction process - (Think Walter Benjamin). So what does photography mean to me, or rather why am I a photographer? I like the process of using a camera as an investigative tool and hopefully uncovering new ways of seeing and interpreting the world. That and I can’t paint!


You have spent most of your career as a commercial photographer. How does that work differ from your passion projects?

To clarify, I only spent a relatively small amount of time as a commercial photographer in the early to mid 1990’s … and most of that time was spent as a first assistant to a very successful commercial photographer here in San Francisco. He specialized in fashion and table top. It’s safe to say that experience killed most of my interest in commercial photography and almost killed my interest in photography in general. After quitting my assisting job and any commercial photography pursuits, I didn’t really pick up a camera again until 2010.


To answer the second part of your question, although quite a stretch in time, the way my photography differs now from before has everything to do with having gone to college and studying art history and conceptual art practice. Art history taught me how to think about art aesthetically and how to appreciate art and its trajectory in a social and historical context.

The conceptual art practice part taught me how to challenge conventional thinking around materials and what art could actually be outside of mainstream interpretation. The experience taught me to think about the “why” and “what" when considering what I was doing. I think without that experience I probably would never have come back to photography… up until then it had seemed so devoid of meaning for me… other than a way to promote products.


Can you describe the idea and inspiration behind your My Space project?

The My Space project came about in late 2014 while recalling my childhood. I had these memories of hearing nightly muffled interactions between my parents through our shared bedroom wall. Usually devoid of any discernible content because of the wall separating us, my parents bedroom became a mysterious place where private things were spoken about, done, and kept hidden away.

Being left alone quite a bit as a child, I would enter their bedroom as a kind of anthropologist any chance I got. I would search through their drawers and closet trying to find clues as to what was going on in that room during those nights. I came across allot of things I shouldn't have: A gun, war medals, pornography, money, cigarettes… It was both fascinating and frightening to me that my parents were one thing on the outside and two complete strangers to me when inhabiting their bedroom. So it got me thinking about the bedroom as unique space, the things we do in that space and the artifacts we keep there. So as a subject, photographing bedrooms seemed it could make an interesting series.

I’m still working out how best to present the spaces in terms of the amount of room to photograph and composition. Once I figure out what seems to work best, I plan on doing as many rooms as possible for a future show and maybe even try to self-publish a coffee table book of the images.


If you could photograph the “spaces” of any five people – living or not – who would they be and why?

I’m not sure. It’s the same issue I have with “if you were marooned on a desert island, what album would you want to bring with you?”  

I’ve found every room I’ve photographed so far to be fascinating in some respect.  I go into every environment excited by the challenge of how to compose the photograph and how to light it.  What I find fascinating are the participants reactions after seeing the completed shot of their bedroom. It ranges from them really liking the photo to feeling it looks like some kind of forensic crime scene … filling them with a kind of dread … I guess I couldn’t ask for a better reaction!


Your landscape series attempts to emulate the look and feel of 19th century impressionism, what draws you to that particular art style?

For this body of work, the impressionistic look is a result of having used a pinhole camera. I felt the landscapes needed a particular visual style in order to explore the idea I was having about them. Namely, rapidly diminishing open spaces resulting from resource extraction and the expediency of wholesale development.

I felt Impressionism as a recognizable style was both in concept and technique best suited to the look I was trying to achieve. In this approach I’m trying to blend the scene, allowing light and natural forms to subsume the disfigurement caused by human imposition. My hope for these images is that they create an abstracted landscape existing somewhere between the literal and the imagined, encouraging contemplation around more thoughtful use of these spaces and the need for their conservation.


You developed your own pinhole lens for full frame digital cameras. Can you talk a bit about how you made it and how you use it?


There was a lot of trial and error getting the pinhole lens configuration to work correctly. Lots of gluing, drilling, step up rings, ND filters …etc. Even with the final lens configuration, it’s still a very hit or miss process trying to capture the image when shooting, but I love the process.

One of my favorite parts of being an artist is experimentation. I think most good ideas come from the “happy accident” when trying to solve creative problems. Recently I bought a new camera body from a different manufacturer … now I have to make the lens all over again!


You recently returned from a long photographic trip along the Northwest coast of America and Canada. Could you share a few of your favorite stories and photos from the adventure?

Indeed I did…last summer. It was an amazing trip. I try and get out onto the road each summer for a month to recharge and do the landscape work. It’s also a time I like to think about new photo projects. This trip though, I did more thinking than photographing.

My hope this last trip was to focus on the West Coast. Photographing the sea and the surrounding area from the tip of Washington State down back into California. Unfortunately with the strange weather - El Nino and The Blob (large mass of warm water in the Pacific Ocean) most of the trip the entire coast was blanketed in fog.

So short of a meditation on the color grey through photography, I opted to do a bunch of reading on photography and exploring coastal towns. Many of those towns relying on tourism (now that logging is mostly gone) reminded me of something out of a David Lynch film …. scenes of desperation mixed with anxiety, fear and secrets. Could be another body of work!


On your Web site, you claim to have “no interest in whether analog photography is better than digital.” This begs the question, “why not?” Also, which do you prefer and why?

Well I’ve since removed that from the web site as I am not sure how much it added. But to clarify… My relationship to photography has always been a bit frustrated by the tension of its need for supposed precision, science and loyalty to purism and tradition. That and there’s a certain machismo around “gear” and the medium as if it were a kind of sport. It’s a real turn off and ultimately has no real bearing on the making of meaningful images.

It seems, unlike in other art forms, there’s this perceived notion that photography has a set of rules that need to be followed: One must use the correct shutter speed and exposure. There’s a particular lens or manufacturer that’s better than another. Adherence to “classical” composition is mandatory for a proper photograph. Lighting ratios … needing to follow development chemistry exactly (mostly during the days when I worked in the darkroom)… Pro vs Prosumer… A full size sensor is better than a cropped. It goes on an on. As far as I’m concerned these divisions are meaningless and do nothing to further photography as an expressive art form. Mostly it seems to relegate the camera’s use to an elite class of technicians working within a set of confining parameters.

With the development of digital photography there were the arguments between the purists and early adopters about how analog was better than digital…. how film had more fidelity or dynamic range or resolution. In the meantime most of these detractors were still doing the same stultifying work they’d always done. I don’t know… maybe the same arguments went on between those early photographers doing daguerreotype, ambrotypes and tintypes. Ultimately it all just seems like a bunch of noise.

I realize in the stridency of my response I should probably differentiate between my impressions of commercial photography and art photography. My experience working in commercial photography taught me it was important to represent the product or brand idyllically (realistically?) at any cost - regardless of the inherent falseness of the final “hero image”. This most of the time required manufacturing shots by using professional models wearing tailored clothing or in he case of table top … glycerin and water to emulate water droplets on a beer bottle. In these instances maybe it does call for a kind of science, being there is a need for consistency and repeatability.

On the other hand, with art photography (my opinion), it’s not always just about the final image, but the creative process of working towards the desired idea independent of the accepted means and conventions of getting there. More of a free and exploratory process of trying to create something unique in look, texture and feel ….something one of a kind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the reluctant say, “I’m not a good photographer … I don't know how to use a camera” …. It’s hard to imagine the individual(s) who did the cave paintings at Lascaux having such an ingrained notion of proper technique and skill!

So as to which do I prefer… analog or digital photography? Neither … they’re both great. I do more digital photography as it affords me the opportunity to experiment economically.

What projects are you working on during your residency at Dickerman Prints?

For the residency at Dickerman Prints, I will mostly be working on the pinhole landscape series. I did however work with Seth for one session on a “My Space” photo… discussing how I might do some adjustments to the image before printing. If time permits I’d like to work with Seth and print more from that series before the end of the residency. 

What advice do you have to those among us who dream of following their passion and turning photography into a career choice?

If you're talking about advice on how to become a commercial photographer as a career choice …. do NOT spend $100,000 to go to a art school to become a commercial photographer. Find the commercial photographer who’s work you admire and figure out a way to assist with them. You’ll learn more about technique and business that way than all the classes you could ever take at the Pasadena Art Center.

If you want to follow your passion as an art photographer …. get a skill … wait … get a few skills that you can use to make a living while pursuing your vision and personal style. Don’t be afraid to break rules. Create projects for yourself and figure how to bring them to fruition. Figure out what your work is about and why you’re doing it … it will help as a guide in realizing the look, feel and content of what you’re exploring.

Finally try and get into a residency program like the one offered at Dickerman’s. The ability of being able to work with an artist and master printer like Seth would be invaluable in helping you to get closer to whatever vision your trying to achieve.


To meet Kenneth and experience his pinhole landscape series, be sure to stop by opening night of The Residents: Volume III - Friday, December 4, 6-9pm at Dickerman Prints Gallery - 1141 Howard Street, San Francisco.