Early Inspiration


A few weeks ago the New York Times had an article on Jeff Wall, the photographer.  He makes incredible light boxes of staged images; the stunning photo above is called “After ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Emerson, the Prologue” (Before you rush out to buy a copy you should know that his photos go for $1M a pop-minimum).

What was interesting about the article (other than that it was about Jeff Wall), was its brief description about early attempts at photography as art.

For instance, check out this image called The Two Ways of Life by Oscar Gustave Rejlander-it’s a photomontage from 1857 that was put together from 32 images (think pre-computer Photoshop).

Similar work was also done by his contemporary Henry Peach Robinson.  His 1858 composite Fading Away was his first and also his most famous:

Hippolyte Bayard was one of the first to stage a tableaux, with his Self Portrait as a Drowned Man in 1840:

Not too shabby considering that Louis Daguerre didn’t invent his eponymous way of creating images until 1837.


Thursday, April 5, 2007

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