Tuesday, April 10, 2012

you didn't even know you were missing: photographs

There is nothing quite like a photograph.
Although I enjoy, on occasion, the surrealism that tends to come with modern photography, all the digital alteration and rampant ambition to fool the eye and the viewer get under my skin. Quickly.

Yes, I own a Canon digital, and am constantly snapping away on my iPhone, but at heart I'm an Old School gal--give me a Brownie camera and woo me with F-Stop talk all day!
I prefer black and white to color, and when I have the means would love to cultivate a vintage (and functional) camera collection. I hate the darkrooms are so damn expensive!! I may just have to sneak into an unsuspecting high school's photo lab...

I even did a project in college centering around the manipulation of photography during the Industrial Revolution as a means of yellow journalism and promotion of workers' rights. Instead of turning in a mainstream, wearying essay, I created a handmade booklet with prints of the images I was discussing and parts of my essay mounted next to them, and then made the whole thing look antiquated.
Time-consuming and nerdy, I know, but I had a delightful time making it and I know I've said it before, I am a self-confessed history nerd. Deal.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some images that I don't think are very well-known, that I really enjoy.

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.  -Dorothea Lange
"Butterfly Boy"
Jerome Liebling

I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don't find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges.  

-William Albert Allard

Carte de Visite print of an American classroom.
Artist Unknown

The composition here is quite interesting--with the column nearly in the center of the frame.
"Old Witch House, Salem"
Artist Unknown

There is something so spooky about the play of light in the trees in this photograph--it captures the subject so fittingly.

"The Modern Farmer"
W.H. Martin
Whimsical. "Dad" Martin did quite a few fun images that are old-fashioned surrealism and were quite popular as American postcards. They don't blow you away with their majesty, they're just great is all.
"American Woman in Italy, 1951"
Ruth Orkin
I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.


"Canyon de Chelly"
Edward S. Curtis
Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.

-Matt Hardy

"Bronx, New York"
Stephen Shames
A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. 

-Eudora Welty

"Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico"
Ansel Adams
Yes, this is definitely better known than the other photographs I've shared today, but it is  perhaps my most favorite black and white of all time.
Hauntingly beautiful (you did it again, Ansel!).

I think next time I post photographs I will focus on portraits--they never cease to engross me!

And maybe even one day I'll post a few of my own photographs!

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