The mandate for Documerica was intriguingly broad — “photographically document subjects of environmental concern” — and photographers responded with striking images covering everything from pot-smoking form to toxic smog.
Light painting has become quite trendy as a photography project as of late, but it’s by no means a new idea. The earliest known light painting photos were created back in 1914, and the technique has been employed by countless photographers over the years — including Pablo Picasso in 1949.
Another artist to use light painting decades ago was American artist Eric Staller. In the 1970s, Staller would roam the streets of New York City, armed with a Nikon 35mm SLR camera, some 4th of July sparklers, and a set of Christmas lights. The surreal light art he created at the time is better than many of the light painting efforts seen these days with the latest and greatest digital cameras.
If you’re a fan of the Polaroid SX-70, this promotional video from the 1970s should stir up warm fuzzy feelings. If you’ve never used one, watching this might give you a better idea of why so many are obsessed with it.
Even if you’re already a SX-70 fanatic, you might learn a thing or two from certain parts of this video that shed light on exactly how the system works.