Edward Steichen's The Family of Man photo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art was the major American photographic event of the 1950's. The project served "as a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind," and it consisted of 508 images from 68 countries and 273 different photographers. The above image, taken by photographer W. Eugene Smith and entitled "A Walk to Paradise Garden," was one of the images included by Steichen in the exhibition. It captures two children walking from darkness into light and suggests this movement to be a symbol of the human experience.
We live in a society of images. The final sentence of Chapter 14 (entitled Halftones to Bytes) reads as follows: "First, we see the world through a television, computer, or PDA; later, the world confirms what we have seen on the screen."
I captured the above image roughly a month ago on the final hill of a collegiate cycling road race in Newnan, GA. The results from the race show that the first few riders in the peloton in this photo finished in roughly this same order (though it was slightly different as the final sprint - which followed shortly after the photo was taken - took place), and they were posted online shortly after the event finished. Later, my photo was posted, and it served to confirm what took place that Saturday at the bike race.
Says Eisenstaedt about the photo, "It took a long time to get the angle I liked, but the best picture is the one I took at the climax of the action. It carries all the excitement of the children screaming, "The dragon is slain!" Very often this sort of thing is only a momentary vision, my brain does not register, only my eyes and finger react. Click."
The above image by Courtney Johnson is a modern form of Cliche Verre and portrays Mexico City.
Hoch created this montage, entitled "High Finance," in 1923.
The link below corresponds with one of their most timeless and comical silent films, an 1896 sequence that captures two babies quarreling. The two girls dressed in bonnets are seated next to each other with trays. One girl reaches over to steal something from the other's tray and begins hitting her. The quarrel continues even though the victim begins crying. This particular film is interesting to me because it reflects an unchanging human condition - siblings will fight.
As the public became fascinated with photography and the masses gained access to the ability to take photographs, many artists attempted to validate their skills and seperate snapshooters from professionals. By inaugurating art schools and offering certificate courses in photography the pictorialist movement sought to elevate the status of photographic art. The movement was based upon the core idea that images could engage senses and emotions in a "naturalistic manner." In the above image, Demachy provides a soft, non-detailed view with a sort of painterly quality, and his style very much reflects the principles of the movement which he helped lead.
This Muybridge series captures a horse as it jumps and clears a pole. For me, the interesting thing about the event sequence that he captures is that the action captured is too fast in real life for us to take in with our own eyes. In the late 1800's, before many of our modern innovations, Muybridge had devised a way to slow down a sequence to freeze moments in time. That's pretty impressive.
I say that Baudelaire might approve of Uelsmann's image because he might not. A microscopic image of a snowflake would be a safer choice, but maybe Baudelaire could see this photo as a medium of creativity. It exhibits a non-realistic approach and is rich in symbolism, suggesting emotions and corresponding actions. Then again, who knows? Only Baudelaire.
This photo serves as a fantastic representation of Riis' mission. This photograph, taken in 1889 and included in his project titled How the Other Half Lives, depicts three "urchins" huddling for warmth in a window well. By capturing homeless and filthy children sleeping on the streets, he reached the collective consciousness of society and brought about reform. His message was this: No child should have to sleep outside.
Bentley's snowflakes are beautiful - they capture the ornate symmetry that is often overlooked in the world.
For me, the most interesting point concerning the renaissance of this old art is the fact that it remained hidden for so long. It suggests that women have a much greater role in art history that has previously been thought.
The latter image, a portrait of an American soldier (1861-1865), provides a good example of an ambrotype. Devised from the Greek word meaning "imperishable," the ambrotype was similar to the daguerrotype but lacked a highly reflective surface and was less expensive to make.
Both processes served their individual purposes. Ambrotypes provided a cheaper alternative to the daguerrotype, while still maintaining much of the ornateness (usually surrounded by ornate frames), and carte de visites provided for small images that could be used for social situations.
The above image, entitled Oak Tree in Winter at Lacock Abbey, is a salt paper print created by Talbot in the early 1840's.
The photograph produced by the Legacy Project is the largest single exposure ever created; it is interesting to note that most of the images which are claimed to be the largest are often produced by stitching numerous smaller images together. The Gigapixel Dresden, created in December of 2009, combines "1655 overlapping 21.6 megapixel images" to produce a highly detailed panoramic view of the city of Dresden, Germany. Photographing the array of images took roughly three hours, and the synthesis of the images into a single photo required nearly four days. The final product (shown above with considerably less clarity) was 102 gigabytes in size and was composed of 26 gigapixels. The following link allows the viewer to experience the view of Dresden via the original and to zoom into the image: http://www.dresden-26-gigapixels.com/dresden26GP