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Olga Nethersole woodburytype zoomified

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Let me decode that headline:

Olga Nethersole (1867-1951) was an actress and a celebrity in England and America. She is a perfect subject to demonstrate the woodburytype.

Woodburytype was a process for printing high quality black and white photographs, used from the late 1860s until about 1900. This Woodburytype print of Olga makes a fine test for zoomify

Zoomify is software for zooming and panning website images.

Miss Olga Nethersole, photograph by W & D Downey, London, c1892. The woodburytype image is 93 × 140 mm, pasted onto a 185 × 245 mm book page.

The internet comes to my desktop through fibre-to-the-premises, and displays on a pair of crisp Eizo screens. I can quaff web con­tent by the gallon, but I know you might still have a slow con­nec­tion and a small screen. Whatever your setup, I hope you can zoom, pan, and generally enjoy this image of Miss Nether­sole. Do try the toggle full page view button.

Even with zoomify, it’s not the same as holding the original Woodburytype print​—​but it’s close.

William and Daniel Downey, royal photographers, took many portraits of England’s rich and famous. This could be one of their best​—​the light, the gesture, the detail in her dress. But poor Olga is laced so tight it hurts to look at her. How technology has ad­vanced​—​now we can produce such body distortions, painlessly, with photoshop.

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