By Al B. Umen
We at I Photo Central wanted to see if our newsletter readers were up on their knowledge regarding photography. Well, actually we didn't really want to know, but we had this idea of a quiz to test your patience and ability to keep awake while reading questions on all things photographic. So let us start in. You need a sharp pencil (basically to jab yourself to keep yourself awake) and probably a good eraser. A score of less than ten out of ten means that:
A. You've been drinking too much again.
B. You've been smoking too much again (and we know who you '60s hippies are).
C. You've been breathing in too much developer fumes.
D. If you've skipped ahead and still can't answer these questions, then you've been doing A., B. AND C.
1. What is an Ozotype?
a. It is an old picture of Ozzy Osbourne.
b. It is a form of Italian pasta.
c. It is a type of Russian vodka.
d. It is a pigment process that didn't work right, so its inventor decided to improve it by changing the "type" part of the name to "brome".
2. What did hatters and daguerreotypists have in common?
a. Their own taste in haberdashery was usually atrocious.
b. They both used Mercury (a heavy metal with results much like Metallica), which rotted their brains, hence the famous phrase: "Mad as a daguerreotypist."
c. They liked tea.
d. They liked little girls named "Alice".
3. Some contemporary photographers, including Joel-Peter Witkin and Doug + Mike Starn (I often wonder what that adds up to exactly), sometimes make encaustic prints. What exactly is "encaustic"?
a. A sadomasochistic form of ancient painting that involves hot beeswax or linseed oil, and hot metal tools?
b. A photograph that causts a lot?
c. An expensive method for crucifying a horse, as Joel-Peter Witkin once reportedly screamed out on the phone to photo curator Kathleen Howe.
d. A sticky taffy pudding that is only good for coating old photographs and is used extensively by British photographers.
4. In an auction house if you stick up your hand, you are:
a. Asking for permission to go to the bathroom.
b. Being that teacher's pet with the correct answer who nobody liked in school.
c. Pleading to pay more than you probably should for a photograph, including--usually--a 25% buyer's premium, sales tax and overpriced shipping.
d. Wasting your time since the auctioneer is only focused on the auction's phone banks and on preening for the camera for the Internet viewers.
5. What makes Richard Prince's photographs so expensive?
a. He has a lot of legal bills to pay for all the photographers suing him over copyright infringement.
b. Nobody got the punch line of his joke paintings, so he had to make up for it on photographs.
c. Kinko's increased the costs of color copying Marlboro ads to such large sizes.
d. His gallery has a lot of legal bills to pay for all the photographers suing it over copyright infringement.
6. When buying photographs at auction, one should:
a. Always trust what they put in the catalogue and in their condition reports.
b. Feel safe because the auction house has vetted the item carefully and guarantees everything that they say.
c. Never worry about what the item costs somewhere else, because it is bound to be cheaper at the auction.
d. Bid away because having an under-bidder always means that you paid a fair price and can sell it later for at least that much.
7. An autochrome is:
a. An old Cadillac with a lot of that shiny metal stuff.
b. A silver-plated Polaroid.
c. A color photo made from squashed, not mashed, potatoes.
d. What you polish frames with.
8. An etched daguerreotype is:
a. Something that Mitt Romney's campaign advisor wished he never referred to in an interview.
b. Your daguerreotype plate on acid.
c. Something that a guy named Fizeau improved on by electrocuting himself.
d. Something that never really worked, so they went back to using an etch-a-sketch (see answer a.)
9. Famed 19th-century photographer Gustave Le Gray was noted for:
a. Selling bad photography supplies and chemicals.
b. Dumping his wife and kids and taking a trip to Italy to avoid his creditors.
c. Really liking wax a lot!
d. Smoking bad cigars.
10. American 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge was:
a. Actually Scottish.
b. The first person in the U.S. to get off from a charge of murder by pleading temporary insanity after he murdered his wife's lover when Muybridge came back from a long trip. He actually lost the plea, but won the case when the jury acquitted him for "justifiable homicide" (most of the jurors must have been ex-state senators from Florida or Arizona).
c. Settled a dumb bet that proved that horses could defy gravity (at least for the instant that their hooves left the ground together), showing that a Scotsman will do almost anything for a wee dram.
d. Not really named Muybridge, but Muggeridge, perhaps after the Muggles of the Harry Potter series. He also changed his first name three times from Edward to Eduardo to Eadweard, although he occasionally liked being referred to as the Sun God, Helios.
Answers in the opposite order of the questions to further mess with your mind: 10., because Muybridge was an Englishman and not Scottish, you only get points if you selected b., and d., which was correct except for that supposition about Harry Potter; 9.a., b., c. and d.--he just was not a nice guy.; 8.b.; 7.c.; 6. ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Those are good ones! LMAO. If you selected any of these, do not pass GO, but do lose all your money and go immediately to jail; 5.a. and d.; 4.c. and/or d. (if you said both, you get extra credit); 3.a.; 2.b.; 1.d.