Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Stieglitz - Paul Strand 1919

Paul Strand photographed by Alfred Stieglitz
Two of the undisputed masters of photography.

I enjoy looking at contemporary photography and photoblogs, but it can be exhausting. There's just so much to see, and a fair amount of it is either too derivative or self-consciously 'arty' for my taste. Occasionally I need to retreat into the past and look at some Harry Callahan or Minor White or Tina Modotti. There's a good selection of work at the Masters of Photography, and you can see just how influential and ground-breaking many of the great early photographers were.

I discovered the early plant photographer Karl Blossfeldt there.

'... the delicacy of a Rococo ornament, the severity of a Renaissance chandelier, the mystically tangled scroll work of flamboyant Gothic, domes, towers, and the noble shafts of columns - a whole exotic language of architecture. Crosiers embossed in gold, wrought with trellises, rich sceptres: all these man-made forms find their original form in the world of plants.'