Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Physionotrace Workshop

Before photography, silhouettes captured styles of the era, as well as moments in time. It was hard to find a master at the hand-cut silhouette. The physionotrace machine was used-- it captured the shadow, and reduced it. Augustin Edouart was appalled by it, and the incorrect images it produced by individuals who did not know how to draw with scissors. He took a scissors, and cut out a perfect silhouette. He became the most prolific silhouette artist in the 19th century.
However, this incredible apparatus paved the way to capturing light and shadow. Rochester New York's prestigious International Museum of Photography will have an exhibit and workshop in late June covering camera obscura, camera obscura and camera lucida. People can learn how to "cast a shadow" and do a make-shift silhouettes. Although it will not be a silhouette cut by a master silhouette artist, it will be a fascinating workshop.


  1. Can you give me the name of any book talking about the physionotrace?

  2. Freund, Gisèle Photographie et société 1974