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Archive for the ‘PHOTOGRAPHY’ Category

BY ZOÉ EDGECOMBE

George Osodi, b. 1974, Nigeria. De money series no. 1, 2009. Fuji crystal archival print. H x W: 80 x 120 cm (31 ½” x 47 ¼”). National Museum of African Art, museum purchase, 2011-16-1. Mining and cutting into the land. Despite the dangers to their health from mercury exposure and damage to the environment from land degradation and water pollution, jobless youths and their families continue to search for gold, or “The Money,” in Obuasi, Ghana.

George Osodi, b. 1974, Nigeria. De money series no. 1, 2009. Fuji crystal archival print. H x W: 80 x 120 cm (31 ½” x 47 ¼”). National Museum of African Art, museum purchase, 2011-16-1. Mining and cutting into the land. Despite the dangers to their health from mercury exposure and damage to the environment from land degradation and water pollution, jobless youths and their families continue to search for gold, or “The Money,” in Obuasi, Ghana.

Two stories below ground, an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art looks deeply (literally) at issues of landscape in Africa. With approaches ranging from land art to film to textiles, the artists in Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa are tackling intensely local topics, like mining and deforestation, that have profound but often invisible global significance.

Soon after you enter the exhibition, you come upon a small photograph: A proliferation of shacks and utility towers edging into a body of water implies a dense and invisible human population, gathered to work and live in a landscape whose features are utterly transformed.

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LAM-Jan2013-Interview-HalfDome

From the January 2013 issue of LAM:

By Lydia W. Lee

Even though Alexander Dunkel, Student ASLA, has never visited the High Line in New York City, he can tell you exactly what part of the park is the most popular: the 10th Avenue Square. How? He spent a year analyzing Flickr, the popular image web site, and seeing where people take the most photos. Because many of the images in Flickr collections are tagged with their precise geographic location as well as a descriptor (“Golden Gate Bridge,” for example), Dunkel was able to generate maps of an area’s most frequently photographed subjects. From his home in Dresden, Germany, he spoke about his research at the University of California, Berkeley, which won a 2012 ASLA Student Honor Award.

What inspired you to study Flickr?

Flickr is a unique source of data that shows how people interact with the landscape. Some people take pictures all the time, some people only take a picture of things that are really important to them, but if you look at the whole data set, you see what the majority opinion is.

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TRANSPORTED

Ken Thorne

It’s time to take a trip while staying right where you are—National Geographic Traveler has announced its 2012 Photo Contest winners, and they all capture places and emotions in equal measure. Above is my personal favorite, a forest of Baobab trees on the west coast of Madagascar.

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PHOTOS CAPTIVATE

Wisteria Tunnel at Pinces Gardens, Photographer Unknown

The creative minds at the website Bored Panda recently turned their attention to landscape photography, gathering 50 artistic examples that are a pleasure to browse through. One quibble: It’s a shame that the locations of many of the photos are not identified (unlike the one above, which is at Pinces Gardens in Exeter, England).

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WORLD ON FIRE

Courtesy NASA

News articles about wildfires tearing through forests around the world are disturbing, but when the destruction is on a large scale it can be hard to grasp its magnitude from the words of a news article or even a photo or video of trees burning. Satellite images like this one of the Bosque de la Primavera, a park west of Guadalajara in Mexico, can show the alarming breadth of fire damage in a different way. NASA posts images  of fires from around the world on its web site.

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GARDENS ON GLASS

Mrs. Francis Lemoine Loring house, 700 South San Rafael Avenue, San Rafael Heights, Pasadena, California, photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston was shooting gardens and hand-coloring her glass-plate lantern slides. LAM’s April issue featured a stunning selection of these slides, but now you can see many more of them on the Library of Congress’s Flickr page.

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Artist: Caroline Lavoie / Photo: Daniel Jost, ASLA

For more than a generation, “taking slides was part of becoming a landscape architect,” says Paula Horrigan, an associate professor at Cornell University (which I attended, though Horrigan was not a professor of mine). “It [was] your way of knowing the landscape and recording the experience.”  Your slides were a window into your identity, and, unlike simple photographs, slides could be shared with large audiences.

Today, digital photographs have replaced slides—both in offices and, increasingly, at the academy. Now a lot of people are digitizing and disposing of their slide collection. Forgotten Frames, an exhibit at Figure One Gallery in Champaign, Illinois, looks at how the slide framed the way we think about space and how unwanted slides can be given new life as a medium for creating art. (more…)

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