Here are some uncropped (or “unzoomed”) versions of iconic photographs that show more context than their famous cropped counterparts. It’s interesting to see what photographers and photo editors chose to keep and what they chose to throw away. The image above is an alternate view of Tank Man.
A rare Beatles photograph taken in the same shoot as the iconic Abbey Road album cover is set to go up for auction on May 22nd, and is expected to fetch up to £9,000 (~$14,300). The photograph by Iain Macmillan was one of seven photographs captured while the band walked back and forth across the zebra crossing. A police officer held up traffic while the photographer was given 10 minutes to do the shoot while standing on a ladder. Only 25 copies of this “wrong way” photo were ever printed.
(via Bloomsbury Auctions via The Guardian)
If you go to Google Street View and type in “rue de londres, paris“, you can visit the location where photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson captured his famous street photograph Behind the Gare St. Lazare in 1932. It’s an ordinary location that became an iconic photograph through Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” style of photography. Cartier-Bresson notes,
There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped. The space between the planks was not entirely wide enough for my lens, which is the reason why the picture is cut off on the left.
If you know of any other iconic photo locations that can be revisited through Google Street View, leave a comment!
“rue de londres, paris” in Google Maps (via Erik Kim)
Buzzfeed has published a gallery showing every winning photo from the World Press Photo contest from 1955 to the present. It’s a powerful set of photos that paints a pretty grim picture of humanity.
Every World Press Photo Winner From 1955-2011 (via kottke.org)
San Diego-based photographer Tim Mantoani has an awesome project and book titled “Behind Photographs” that consists of 20×24-inch Polaroid portraits of famous photographers posing with their most iconic photographs. The film costs $200 per shot, and Mantoani has created over 150 of the portraits already since starting the project five years ago.
Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway recently started a business in which she restores and colorizes old black and white photographs. To show off her skills, she decided to colorize some famous B&W photographs captured throughout history.
Fatescapes is a series of images by visual artist Pavel Maria Smejkal consisting of iconic photographs with their subjects Photoshopped out of them. The New York Times writes,
[...] Pavel Maria Smejkal goes a step further and forces us to reconsider the veracity of historical images and the photographer’s role by digitally removing the people that made these images resonant. What is left is the scene as it might have looked just minutes before or after the photographer passed by. These images are reminiscent of a time, before Photoshop, when photographs were believed to be a reflection of reality. Mr. Smejkal’s alterations question whether photographs should be viewed as accurate representation.
See if you can recognize each of these famous historical photographs. The answers are at the end of the post.
“The Catch” is one of the most famous plays in American football history, and Walter Iooss Jr.’s photograph of Dwight Clark leaping into the air is one of the game’s iconic images. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has published an interesting analysis of the photograph and why it “works”:
I’ve been fascinated by the famous photo of the Catch for years and have always thought it to be the greatest photo ever of NFL action, and possibly the greatest sports photo, period. The photo has always been very visually pleasing to me, so I recently decided to find out why.
Out of curiosity I applied the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, and perspective to the photo, and I was completely blown away by the results. Now I know why this photo has always been so visually stunning to me: Compositionally, it is divine. I’ve prepared a series of exhibits to support my points.
If you aren’t familiar with these two rules of composition, check out this article.
Deconstructing the Catch (via Coudal Partners)
Behind the Gare St. Lazare is one of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s best known photographs, and is frequently cited as an example of his “decisive moment” approach to photography. The photograph was made in 1932, but the oldest known print is dated 1946. That print will be sold at a Christie’s auction on November 11th along with 100 other signed prints, and is expected to fetch up to ~$250,000.
(via Christies via Foto Actualidad)
For every iconic photograph that’s out there, there was likely a number of other photographs taken at the same time that many people probably have never seen. One such photo is Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange — an image that became one of the defining photos of the Great Depression. The woman in the photo, Florence Owens Thompson, had been travelling with her family when their car’s timing chain snapped. After setting up a temporary camp to wait while her husband and two sons went to town for repairs, Dorothea Lange drove up and spent 10 minutes capturing 6 photos.