Photographs on the Brain

Photographs on the Brain

Edited by Bryan Formhals

Being green in the United Kingdom still attracts a sort of stigma. I believe that the movement outlined here transcends the doom-and-gloom environmentalism of my lifetime and offers great potential. I also believe this ideology is leaking into the way we conduct business and govern our society. As Gus Speth, a US Advisor on climate change (must be a harrowing job) said: “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.” Therefore, more than ever, it comes down to you and I, to us.
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manpodcast:

These are five of the seven pictures Dorothea Lange took of Florence Thompson in Nipomo, Calif. in February, 1936. Thompson was a pea-picker and mother of seven children. Ever since Lange took her iconic photograph of Thompson — shown above in the best-known form, and at bottom in un-modified form (note the thumb in the lower right) — she’s been known as the Migrant Mother. These are five of the seven known Lange photographs of Thompson. Each is in the collection of the Library of Congress. 

Tonight most PBS stations will premiere an "American Masters" documentary on the life and work of Dorothea Lange. Titled "Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning," the film looks at Lange’s life from her upbringing outside New York City, to her emergence as a major American photographer. Lange is best-known for her work chronicling the Dust Bowl era, but her oeuvre includes much more, including pictures of Depression-era labor strife, the internment of Japanese-Americans and early environmentalist documentary photography. Such was Lange’s stature that just after she died in 1966 the Museum of Modern Art devoted just its sixth retrospective of a photographer’s career to her work. 

Taylor was the lead guest on last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast. She and host Tyler Green discussed the documentary and Lange’s life and work.

How to listen to this week’s show: Listen to or download this week’s program on SoundCloudvia direct-link mp3, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:

(via 3rdofmay)

But as cellphones and then smartphones became ubiquitous, it became easier to capture a moment, and sometimes a feeling, with an image instead of a wall of text. As a writer, this might in theory make me nervous, but it doesn’t. I think language has some class barriers that image capture does not, and I like the fact that almost anyone can poignantly document their experience and viewpoint without having to learn how to compose a structured essay or write a compelling lede. Not because it’s easier or requires less artistry, but because if you can do it, an image makes an impression (or doesn’t) immediately. And it conveys so much more information so quickly. There are plenty of opportunities to lose/bore/turn off the reader in a written piece. With an image, it’s one powerful shot. Or a collage of images that tell a story impressionistically yet powerfully in a way that text technically can, but rarely does.
manyfacepalms:

greatleapsideways:

It was really strange to stumble across this black & white version of a recent Gregory Halpern photograph from his ongoing California project. I say strange because the photographs in that project are colour photographs, and somehow this one is not… The situation becomes stranger still when one considers that the photograph, as it was posted, is credited to Gregory Halpern (in the tags to the post), but looks nothing like the version he has published on his own site (see below).
The blog on which this mystery black & white version was posted seems to consist almost entirely of black & white images, which might suggest a strong preference at the very least. But if this image has been downloaded and converted to b/w, it can hardly be accredited to an artist who had nothing to do with its conversion, can it?
Something of a mystery…

Photograph © Gregory Halpern, from “California”.

Tumblr EXIF suggests the BW version is a scan. So maybe it was printed in BW in a book and scanned by the blogger?

manyfacepalms:

greatleapsideways:

It was really strange to stumble across this black & white version of a recent Gregory Halpern photograph from his ongoing California project. I say strange because the photographs in that project are colour photographs, and somehow this one is not… The situation becomes stranger still when one considers that the photograph, as it was posted, is credited to Gregory Halpern (in the tags to the post), but looks nothing like the version he has published on his own site (see below).

The blog on which this mystery black & white version was posted seems to consist almost entirely of black & white images, which might suggest a strong preference at the very least. But if this image has been downloaded and converted to b/w, it can hardly be accredited to an artist who had nothing to do with its conversion, can it?

Something of a mystery…

Gregory Halpern "California" (in progress)

Photograph © Gregory Halpern, from “California”.

Tumblr EXIF suggests the BW version is a scan. So maybe it was printed in BW in a book and scanned by the blogger?

Not everyone was happy with the rise of the snapshot. Professional photographers were repelled by the weird, ungainly, often out-of-focus shots that amateurs produced. “Photography as a fad is well nigh on its last legs,” prayed the art photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Other pundits bemoaned “Kodak fiends,” camera obsessives who carried their device everywhere and were apparently so constantly taking pictures that they would space out and miss their trains.
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