Erdnase photographer ?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.
webbmaster
Posts: 192
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 11:38 am
Favorite Magician: richard Kaufmann

Erdnase photographer ?

Postby webbmaster » April 24th, 2020, 9:33 am

Or: The Third Man Theory. Chris Wasshuber posted that it would be interesting to know what camera took the reference photos for The Expert... I got thinking about it and realized there must have been a photographer. A third guy. Erdnase was busy posing, and we don't think Smith ever said anything about TAKING photos. Also, in those days, photography was very specialized - not too portable when you get to the developing and printing. You'd need a darkroom and chemicals and trays for same. My guess is that Sanders went to the photography studio and had the pictures taken and developed and printed so he could give them to Smith.
As magicians it is interesting that photography in those days still used lycopodium powder (liverwort spores) for "flash powder". Say "Cheese !". So who was the photographer and from what studio, this seems an interesting next question.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25511
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 24th, 2020, 2:30 pm

There is nothing in Smith's recollections to suggest that any photographs were taken.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Bob Coyne
Posts: 607
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bob Coyne » April 24th, 2020, 6:38 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:There is nothing in Smith's recollections to suggest that any photographs were taken.

Gardner's notes say: "He recognized his lettering on the book pictures, but not the drawings themselves. He thinks it strange he can’t recall doing the drawings, which must have been big job, so probably did them from photographs."

This statement can be read in a couple ways. i.e. Is it Gardner's inference that it must have been a big job and that Smith probably did them from photographs or was that part of what Smith told him? Either way, it does suggest the possibility that the drawings were done from photos.

David Ben
Posts: 219
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby David Ben » April 24th, 2020, 7:27 pm

Against my better judgment, here is some food for thought....

My partner is a professional visual artist, figurative work her speciality. She had scholarships to the College of Art in London, and the Beaux Art in Paris. I asked her to take a look at the drawings, and opine whether they were done from life, or from photographs. (I did not mention that the author stated that they were drawing 'from life'.)

Unequivocally, and without hesitation, she said they were drawn from life.

She said the illustrations are 'gestural', not something you would get from a photograph. Further, the proportions are off in many of them. Particularly the palms. Something you would not get if traced from a photograph. The foreshortening is off in many of them, not something that you would get in tracing a photograph.

They are cartoon like. The sleeves are drawn in generally the same manner, as are the marks on the back of the hand and the knuckles, not something you would get from photographs where the light would change the look of these things, or the drape of the sleeve would vary. Again, too much rote repetition that you wouldn't get from a photograph capturing a moment.

When I asked her how long it would take to create these sorts of drawing "from life". She said, "minutes per drawing".

Not that anyone will really be listening, but the argument that they were made from photographs is just another conspiracy theory, much like Milton Franklin Andrews (Gardner just made up the connection because, as a writer, he was never one to let the facts get in the way of a good story), and Sanders (David Alexander manufactured the connection because he missed the obvious, and then disowned it to me prior to his passing, and Marty Demarest took it on to market a potential screenplay - his own words to Julie Eng and myself in the Dealers Room at the LA Conference on Magic History.)

Not sure that it is E.S. Andrews. I know, however, it is neither Milton Franklin or Sanders.

Let the fight continue.

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 24th, 2020, 8:50 pm

David Ben wrote:Not that anyone will really be listening, but the argument that they were made from photographs is just another conspiracy theory...


I'm certainly listening ... and couldn't agree more.

The entire search for Erdnase has historically been burdened by these detours and conspiracy theories.
If it's not conspiracy theories, it's pulling names out of a hat and then jumping through supernatural hoops in order to get some sort of connection established between the name put forth, and Erdnase.
We've seen plenty of that in this very forum.

Anyway, I'm glad David pointed out the almost "cartoonish" element to the drawings, and the fact that the majority of the drawings could not have been traced from photographs.
And for those who might argue that lens technology wasn't very advanced in 1902, such that the lenses themselves might introduce such distortion as we see in the EATCT drawings, that wouldn't be at all accurate.
Lens technology was very advanced in 1902, indeed they were already playing around with oil between lenses in order to improve speed, and reduce chromatic aberration.
Indeed, by 1902 Alfred Steiglitz was already well on his way to revolutionizing photography with his razor sharp, highly detailed photographs.

https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/i ... ngs.57433/
https://www.facebook.com/zeisscameralen ... =1&theater
https://twitter.com/zeisslenses/status/ ... 6485191680
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/stgp/hd_stgp.htm

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 24th, 2020, 11:27 pm

Thanks, David Ben.
webbmaster wrote:...for "flash powder". Say "Cheese !". So who was the photographer and from what studio, this seems an interesting next question.
And ... we've got the Men In Black Neuralyzer which is why he only vaguely recalls one meeting in an empty room and nothing about the weeks of work. :idea:

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 1042
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Brad Jeffers » April 25th, 2020, 3:24 am

The majority of the drawings could not have been traced from photographs.

If photographs were used, why should we automatically assume that Smith would trace them. Why wouldn't he just draw freehand what he saw in the photos, the same as if he were drawing "from life".

In fact, wouldn't tracing the images be both unnecessary and a little beneath an artist of Smith's ability?

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4286
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby erdnasephile » April 25th, 2020, 10:26 am

Given his stated motivation for publishing the book, would it have made sense for Erdnase to have paid two people (Smith and the mysterious photographer) to get product that he could have obtained by paying just Smith?

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 25th, 2020, 10:46 am

Smith was a talented artist, something that's easy to see in his paintings of old New Orleans.

I think a more common thought is that some of the more "amateurish" hand drawings in EATCT were very likely done after the fact by (non-artist) Erdnase himself, with Erdnase making amateur effort to copy the general feel of Smith's much higher quality drawings.

Bob Coyne
Posts: 607
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bob Coyne » April 25th, 2020, 11:37 am

Roger M. wrote:Smith was a talented artist, something that's easy to see in his paintings of old New Orleans.

I think a more common thought is that some of the more "amateurish" hand drawings in EATCT were very likely done after the fact by (non-artist) Erdnase himself, with Erdnase making amateur effort to copy the general feel of Smith's much higher quality drawings.

I've always been struck by the uneven quality of the illustrations too. So that seems like a reasonable explanation.

Somewhat related... David Alexander believed that they were traced from photos, but that the photos were taken at different points in time. Some appeared to him to be with bridge cards vs poker cards.

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1581
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bill Duncan » April 25th, 2020, 2:29 pm

Why would we assume that photographs means the illustrations taken from them were traced? Isn't that just applying what we do now to something done a century ago?

I recall hearing a lot about the differing quality of the illustrations. Wouldn't it make just as much sense to thing that after the in person illustrations were delivered and assess photos were taken so additional images could be included? Would the quality of images drawn quickly form life differ from images drawn from photographs?

And speaking as a former art student, someone's skill as an artist has almost nothing to do with their ability to draw hands. Very little cripples a budding artist like doing a study of human hands.

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 25th, 2020, 3:08 pm

It wouldn't make any sense at all really, because other than pure conjecture based on a nebulous phrase Martin Gardner used one single time, we have nothing to lead us to believe that a photographer was involved in EATCT at all.

I mean you can posit anything you want, but at some point in time the KISS principle has to apply in order to keep the conversation on track.
EATCT features line drawings of hands, with not a single photograph or reference to a photograph to be found.
That Smith drew the "good" hands, and that Erdnase (or somebody else less talented than Smith) drew the "bad" hands is simply the most logical explanation to be arrived at.
You can arrive at a much more complicated explanation if you wish, but it's not based on any available evidence, it's just based on "well, I think...".

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25511
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 25th, 2020, 7:30 pm

Not the KISS principle. It's Occam's Razor.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 26th, 2020, 12:45 am

Technically, couldn't it be either?
Although I concede that Occam's Razor is the appropriate descriptor for the discussion underway.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5373
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bill Mullins » April 26th, 2020, 1:51 am

The title page says "Over one hundred drawings from life by M. D. Smith". So I tend to believe that the drawings were all done from life, and they were all done by M. D. Smith.

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1581
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bill Duncan » April 26th, 2020, 2:23 am

Because you can always trust a reformed card cheat who hid his identity? That makes sense to me.
; )

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 26th, 2020, 2:33 am

erdnasephile wrote:Given his stated motivation for publishing ...
J. McKinney & Co needed the money - and went out of business shortly thereafter. Or was this about the line from the text? "the primary motive of the author..." Fredrick Drake and Co seem a better match for the word 'publisher' in this context.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 26th, 2020, 2:48 am

Occam's Saw applies to working theories. Unlike the Chicago Ball trick the idea is not to unnecessarily multiply entities.
McKinney printed a book about card gambling and tricks. M. D. Smith has his name on that book as artist. Smith does not recall the artwork. So that leaves only the printers themselves. If there are data from the printers suggesting additional input into the book bring them into evidence for discussion.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

webbmaster
Posts: 192
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 11:38 am
Favorite Magician: richard Kaufmann

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby webbmaster » April 26th, 2020, 5:48 pm

One of the things that makes me think they were traced from photographs is the regularity of size. No offense to anyone who thinks otherwise (that they were really "drawn from life") but I don't know anyone that would sit as long, posing, as it would take to get the fine points of the sleights, the number of cards being shown, etc., and especially for someone who is not a magician or gambler. On a slightly different topic, I can think of two people who drew magic without photos; Schmidt, who worked for Karl Fulves and Micky O'Mally who drew for the Linking Ring...there is a different "look" to their work. By-the-way, I teach art, for the animation industry. In that field there is something called rotoscoping...tracing, in fact. No one who rotoscopes admits to it. It is something to be kept secret...so I'm never surprised when I hear someone denying using "reference". Finally, they are not "gestural". Gestural means something else..a different look than the Erdnase illustrations. I personally have worked from photos and from life, and again...the consistency of the drawings makes me think there were photos used.

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 26th, 2020, 5:58 pm

Unfortunately, beyond "thinking that photos were used", there is no evidence whatsoever to support your personal conjecture.

webbmaster
Posts: 192
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 11:38 am
Favorite Magician: richard Kaufmann

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby webbmaster » April 26th, 2020, 6:17 pm

I've worked professionally drawing hands from my imagination, by tracing from photos, by drawing freehand from looking at photos, and from people posing for me to draw "from life". I think it is more like having an educated guess that a non-magician or "cardman" (Smith), or someone not a trained model (Erdnase) could have done the work without some help.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 26th, 2020, 7:51 pm

Perhaps there was a process outside what M. D. Smith recalls, and some reason to believe there was at least one photo session ... maybe something involving transparencies showing groups of illustrations to have been done from the same perspective ... but the idea is to argue from evidence.

The artist of record, whose name is on the book, offered a vague memory of one meeting between the artist and someone with soft hands who did card tricks in a cold room.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4286
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby erdnasephile » April 26th, 2020, 7:59 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:Given his stated motivation for publishing ...
Or was this about the line from the text? "the primary motive of the author..."


^^This

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 26th, 2020, 11:27 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:Given his stated motivation for publishing ...
Or was this about the line from the text? "the primary motive of the author..."


^^This
A page which reads as a nicely Americanized and somewhat tweaked version of an earlier text.
A line from later in this text, which was available before "erdnase" was composed, seems apt:
It would seem, however, that there is a kind of fatal fascination in gambling which some persons appear to be wholly unable to resist. It is therefore quite as well that those who will indulge in such an expensive propensity should do so, at least, with their eyes open. On this account, if for no other reason, the publication of this book is fully justified, and any apology for its appearance would be superfluous.


Here's the end of the preface from that earlier work:
Experience has demonstrated that the ignorance of the public with regard to the capabilities of trickery is the principal factor in all problems connected with every kind of deception. If the public only knew a little more in this respect, the thousand-and-one quackeries which flourish in our midst could not exist. My self-imposed task, then, has ever been to endeavour to educate the public, just a little, and to enlighten those who really seek for truth amid the noxious and perennial weeds of humbug and pretence. In this, I am happy to say, I have to some extent succeeded; but there is still much to be done.
This book, then, is but another stone, as it were, in an edifice raised for the purpose of showing to the world the real nature of those things which are not really what they appear to be, and practices with the very existence of which the average man is unacquainted.
Although the immediate practical outcome of this book may be nil, I shall not be depressed upon that account. If it only has the effect of opening the eyes of the authorities to some extent, and of hinting a caution to gamblers generally, I shall be content; and, commending it to the public with this reflection, and with the hope that this much, at least, may be accomplished, I leave it to its fate.

David Ben
Posts: 219
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby David Ben » April 27th, 2020, 6:24 am

I suggest that if Marshall D. Smith knew that people today thought that he had traced any of his illustrative work from photographs, he would be rolling in his grave.

The curriculum of the type of training Smith would have taken would have been on the French system that flourished in the 1890s, particularly at places like the Academy Julian in Paris, and whose technical approach was imported en mass into America. (You can also see from his paintings that he was firmly interested in the style of art that those schools produced.) That course of study was very rigorous, and the first year - or two - was devoted to observing and drawing from casts. That would include casts of human hands. The idea being to learn to observe and draw those objects - casts of hands, for example - perfectly. No live models. That would come later. He would have drawn thousands of sketches and studies of the human hand.

The drawings are gestural - although not in the way some associate with quick scribbles to capture movement and energy as warm up exercises in studio work as is used in the nomenclature of today- in the sense that the subject is holding a deck cards, and providing short holds of position for the artist to document.

Smith probably approached the work in this manner: Erdnase held the deck. Smith would observe, and within a minute or so would produce a thumbnail sketch, so to speak, of that drawing in a simplified gestural mode, simplified in the sense that it would be like a pure contour drawing, but with more gestural lines. Speed was of the essence, both commercially and artistically, and Smith would have been taught this approach as part of his training.

Nicolaides, for example, in his seminal text "The Natural Way to Draw", establishes time limits for the students on all aspects of his program. In the sections on contour drawings and gestural drawings students are often expected to complete 25 drawings in a half hour session. If a model is present, the model may shift position every minute. So, for Smith, Erdnase's engagement would have been standard fare, and well within his training and, not surprisingly - except for having a client obsessed with a deck of cards - no big deal.

Smith would take those rapid drawings back to his studio, and then redraw them as pure contour drawings - which is what they are. He would then bring the his work back to his client, Erdnase, for comment and correction. He probably did more illustrations than were required - what happened to them - and would have made whatever corrections or fine tuning required by his client there on the spot. Who knows if Erdnase did subsequent alterations. He paid for them. He could do what he wanted with them.

So, given his training, not only would Smith not trace from photographs, he wouldn't even have considered it. (And if he did, and word got out at that time, he would never get any other work in his field, or recognition as a visual artist with merit.) Although some visual artists such as Degas did use photographs to capture an overall scene, they didn't trace them. They would use them to scale larger works using the traditional grid method. This tracing of photographs, and the acceptance of that approach as part of artistic practice, probably came into vogue with the development of the animation movement.

Smith, however, was not an animator. And his entire training and artistic sensibilities - judging from his post-Impressionist stylistic output - would not suggest otherwise.

User avatar
Zig Zagger
Posts: 396
Joined: March 20th, 2008, 6:59 pm
Favorite Magician: Aldo Colombini
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Zig Zagger » April 27th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Very interesting comments, Mr. Ben, thank you!

Would you care to elaborate briefly on what "the obvious" is that David Alexander missed and why he turned away from Sanders late in his life? (Sadly, I am not familiar with your writings on Erdnase yet.) Given the high number of Sanders acolytes and Gallaway doomers here, this would promise both fun and enlightenment...
Tricks, tips, news, interviews, musings and fun stuff: Have a look at our English-German magic blog! http://www.zzzauber.com
Advancing the art in magic one post at a time (yeah, right!)

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5373
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bill Mullins » April 27th, 2020, 2:03 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:The title page says "Over one hundred drawings from life by M. D. Smith". So I tend to believe that the drawings were all done from life, and they were all done by M. D. Smith.

Bill Duncan wrote:Because you can always trust a reformed card cheat who hid his identity? That makes sense to me.


Just because one is skeptical of the statement "Over one hundred drawings from life by M. D. Smith" (and skepticism is entirely reasonable here) does not lead to the conclusion that photos were involved, or that someone besides Smith did some of the drawings. The evidence for both of those is weak, and I submit that the statement on the title page outweighs it.

The issue of photography was examined thoroughly eleven years ago. (And back then, Roger M. argued for the possibility of photographs . . .)

I think the illustrations do a good enough job showing what needs to be showed that Erdnase had to be heavily involved in their composition. That being the case, it would have been much easier to "direct" a sketch session, because of near real-time feedback, than to direct a photography session. If the "first draft" was sketches by Smith, he could have roughed out something, Erdnase could have immediately looked at it and approved it, or suggested changes, and they could have gone on to the next figure. (and this is consistent with Smith's comment to Gardner that "He recalls that Andrews had to O. K. each drawing before he did this. ")

For photos, Erdnase would have had to pose; tell the photographer what features needed to be caught (and for illustrations from the audience POV, he would have had to visualize what the photo would need to look like from outside himself) (and establish a technical vocabulary to convey highly specific information to a photographer who would have been a layperson with respect to technical sleight of hand -- think of Vernon's quote about how the information was dense: "it's like geometry"); the photographer would have to develop and print the photos for Erdnase to approve; they would have to reshoot the ones that didn't work; and even then, Erdnase would have to explain in detail to Smith "this is the essential part of this photograph" 102 times. The process and the timeline for drawings from life works so much better than it does for photography either for tracing or for reference.

Smith did comment to Gardner that he "probably did them from photographs" is suspicious to me, and I think it was in response to being pushed by Gardner. Gardner mentioned that Vernon believed he had seen "photographs and drawings both submitted to Canadian office for copyright" (probably based on the submission of the 1905 photography-illustrated Ritter book), and was looking for the process to involve photography. If Gardner had never brought up photos, I bet Smith wouldn't have either.

Some details from the old thread:

Eoin O'Hare overlaid figs 22 and 23 into an animation. There are huge inconsistencies between the two figures, not at all consistent with being traced from photographs (unless you posit that Erdnase posed for Fig 22, then changed his jacket and shirt to one several sizes larger, and then posed for Fig 23 . . . ) (The sleeve also shrinks from 17 to 18, and from 77 to 78.)

If the illustrations were from photographs, the left thumbnail in figs 6 and 86 would not be so substantially different (Richard Hatch gets credit for this). Compare also Figs 22 and 23 in Eoin's animation.

(Eoin also uploaded all the figures to a single page, where you can compare and examine them.)

On Figs 77 and 78, the 2 of clubs index moves position between the two drawings.

The thumb in Fig 22 is oversized compared to the rest of the hand and is obviously not traced.

If Figs 17 and 18 were based on photographs, the camera would have had to have been embedded in Erdnase's chest, like Tony Stark's arc reactor.

PressureFan
Posts: 35
Joined: January 11th, 2015, 4:17 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby PressureFan » April 27th, 2020, 2:36 pm

"If Figs 17 and 18 were based on photographs, the camera would have had to have been embedded in Erdnase's chest, like Tony Stark's arc reactor."

I assume M. D. Smith was in his vest pocket.

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 28th, 2020, 11:09 am

As Bill notes in his post, I did contemplate photography as a possible option 11 years ago.
But in the time since I've learned and re-learned that positing every ... single ... option ... just for the sake of positing options - and doing that "positing" without any evidence whatsoever to support it, is simply a waste of time.

So although I proposed 11 years ago that Smith could have drawn the illustrations from photographs, in 2020 I note that there is simply no evidence to support him having done that.

My post 11 years ago is an example of what happens when you get too far into your own head when researching something ... in that I offered up a scenario in specific detail that might have played out had a photographer been in the cold hotel room with Erdnase, taking pictures of his hands.
The only problem with that is the entire proposition existed in my own head and nowhere else.
In effect, I made it up.
Because it's made up - it's pointless.

Q. Kumber
Posts: 63
Joined: October 15th, 2019, 3:52 am
Favorite Magician: Tom Whitestone

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Q. Kumber » April 28th, 2020, 11:52 am

Has anyone worked out how much photographs would have cost back then? And for over one hundred photos? And then have them turned into drawings? A good artist can have a basic sketch made even before a photographer can focus the camera.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4286
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby erdnasephile » April 28th, 2020, 11:55 am

Q. Kumber wrote:Has anyone worked out how much photographs would have cost back then? And for over one hundred photos? And then have them turned into drawings? A good artist can have a basic sketch made even before a photographer can focus the camera.


Bill Mullins did a calculation in the main Erdnase thread a while back. His conclusion was that it wouldn't be cost prohibitive. I will try to find the post (if Bill doesn't beat me too it).

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25511
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 29th, 2020, 11:43 am

Have none of you read David Ben's long post? Read it. Accept it. Let's stop talking about photographs.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Edward Pungot
Posts: 569
Joined: May 18th, 2011, 1:55 am

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Edward Pungot » April 29th, 2020, 12:47 pm

Image

webbmaster
Posts: 192
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 11:38 am
Favorite Magician: richard Kaufmann

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby webbmaster » April 30th, 2020, 12:07 pm

Mr. Ben mentions in this thread a different topic, that of not thinking it was Sanders who wrote The Expert... From an oldish Genii article on Sanders, which I thought was compelling that it was Sanders...do we now think that article was wrong. Anyway, I'd like to add that they are making camera lucidas again, and that I think that is still an interesting idea...no photographs. Finally, I teach figure drawing as well as animation and have read all the texts thank you all.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1924
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 30th, 2020, 12:27 pm

webbmaster wrote:Mr. Ben mentions in this thread a different topic, that of not thinking it was Sanders who wrote The Expert... From an oldish Genii article on Sanders, which I thought was compelling that it was Sanders...do we now think that article was wrong.


I don't. Too much compelling circumstantial evidence to walk away from Sanders. David Alexander approached the hunt for Erdnase from the standpoint of a detective, which he was for a time.

Bob Coyne
Posts: 607
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Bob Coyne » April 30th, 2020, 3:02 pm

David Ben's statement that he knows it wasn't Sanders (or MF Andrews) is just his opinion. And he hasn't offered any new arguments to back it up. There's a lot of evidence that points towards Sanders, though of course it's up to everyone to weigh the evidence and judge for themselves what they think.

Is this thread turning into the Erdnase thread part 2?

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 30th, 2020, 4:42 pm

Other than his name on the book, what evidence is there that Smith did any of the illustrations?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25511
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 30th, 2020, 5:00 pm

Jonathan, that is one of the strangest things you've ever written.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Roger M.
Posts: 1489
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Roger M. » April 30th, 2020, 11:22 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Other than his name on the book, what evidence is there that Smith did any of the illustrations?
Other than you claiming to be Jon Townsend by attaching your name to posts on the Genii forum, what evidence exists that you're Jon Townsend, more-so what evidence exists that you know Jon Townsend, or even "know of" Jon Townsend.

Silly, I know ... but at some point in time people just have to top being contrarian for no reason whatsoever and accept that M.D. Smith met Erdnase in the cold hotel room and drew his hands (as described in great and knowledgable detail above by David Ben) as Erdnase demonstrated the various moves he wanted illustrated for EATCT.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8322
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase photographer ?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 1st, 2020, 2:22 am

Roger M. wrote:... being contrarian for no reason whatsoever and accept that M.D. Smith met Erdnase in the cold hotel room and drew his hands...
Gardner has the use of photos in his notes from discussion with Smith. Later on there's mention of pencil drawings which were inked after "Andrews" approved.

Do the hands in erdnase look like other hands Smith is known to have drawn?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


Return to “General”