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Showing posts from February, 2012

Herbert George Ponting (1870–1935)

Young ladies by a pond, Japan (1907)

from the book In Lotus Land (1910)

In lotus-land Japan (1910)

Herbert Ponting Mount Fuji

This photograph is the opening image of Ponting’s ‘Japanese Studies’
collotyped by K. Ogawa F.R.P.S. in Tokyo in 1906.

It is accompanied by a quote from a Wordsworth poem:
‘A distant mountain’s head, Strewn with snow smooth as the
sky can shed, Shines like another sun.’

FUJI SAN photographed by Herbert G. Pontingpublished by K. Ogawa, 1905

The Great wall of China (1907)

Ponting expanded his photographs of Japan into a 1910 book, In Lotus-land Japan. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). His flair for journalism and ability to shape his photographic illustrations into a narrative led to his being signed as expedition photographer aboard the Terra Nova, the first time a p…

Edward S. Curtis (1868 – 1952)

E. S. Curtis (1904): Canon de Chelly – Navajo.
Seven riders on horseback and dog trek against background of canyon cliffs.

A smoky day at the Sugar Bowl--Hupa, c. 1923.
Hupa man with spear, standing on rock midstream

Hopi mother, 1922.

Crow's Heart, Mandan

The Pool- Apache

Self-Portrait of Edward S. Curtis 1868-1952.

The North American Indian at Project Gutenberg at at Northwestern University

In 1906 J.P. Morgan offered Curtis $3,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian. It was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Morgan was to receive 25 sets and 500 original prints as his method of repayment. 222 complete sets were eventually published. Curtis' goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: "The information that is to be gathered ... respecting the mode of life of one of the great …

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe (1853 – 1941)

Whitby Harbour, from the series of photographs of Whitby
and surrounding areas taken between 1875 and 1910.

Francis Meadow Sutcliffe (6 October 1853 – 31 May 1941) was an English pioneering photographic artist whose work presented an enduring record of life in the seaside town of Whitby, England, and surrounding areas, in the late Victorian era and early 20th century.
He was born in Headingley, Leeds, to the painter Thomas Sutcliffe and Sarah Lorentia Button. He made a living as a portrait photographer, working first in Tunbridge Wells, Kent then for the rest of his life in Sleights, Yorkshire. His father had brought him into contact with prominent figures in the world of art such as John Ruskin, and he resented having to prostitute his art taking photographs of holiday-makers. His business in Skinner Street rooted him to Whitby and the Eskdale valley but, by photographing the ordinary people that he knew well, he built up a most complete and revealing picture of a late Victorian town,…

Peter Henry Emerson: nature and memory

'Gathering Water Lilies', 1886. Platinum print, plate IX from
'Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads'
by Peter Henry Emerson

The Old Order and The New', 1886. Platinum print. Photograph by Peter Henry Emerson.
An illustration from 'Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads'.

P. H. Emerson’s writings and photographs focused on photography and nature, the aesthetics of photography and the recording of nature. As an early  “conservationist”, the pristine landscape of East Anglia and its traditional ways of life (peasants, fishermen) in the process of being transformed and displaced by the combined threats of industrial and commercial progress and tourism, were his main subjects and preoccupation.  A quasi-pantheistic, romantic sensibility is expressed in his images, combined with a naturalistic purpose that searches for “truth” as the common denominator of both art, that is, culture and nature (natura natura…

John Thomson - Street Life in London, 1877

John Thomson (1837-1921)
'Street Life in London England, 1877-8 Carbon print (woodburytype) Victoria and Albert Museum

The Photographs
In the late 1870s Thomson embarked on his most well known project, photographing the lives the people living on the streets of London.

'Street Life in London' was published in twelve instalments throughout 1877 and the beginning of 1878. Three of Thomson's photographs appeared in each edition with three stories mainly written by the journalist Adolphe Smith, who held reformist views and worked as the official interpreter for the TUC from 1886 to 1905.

With social problems gaining increased attention in the 1870s through the work of such men as Charles Dickens and the founder of homes for destitute children, Dr Barnado, these vignettes of survival among the poor proved popular with the public. The hopes and aspirations, values and needs of those portrayed were recognisable to the readers of other classes. The photographs added a gr…

Image and Idea: photography and ideology in the 19th century

John Thomson -Public Disinfectors from Street Life In London, 1877

image source:
Technical developments during the last part of the 19th century changed the context and the forms of production of photography: smaller cameras, more efficient (faster, economical) methods and materials for taking, developing and printing photographs allowed for a wider dissemination of the activity and of its products via the press, magazines, illustrated books, etc.  We see here the beginnings of photography as a “quotidian” practice. The vocation of photography to “immerse” itself in reality will be translated in the refashioning of the world as a “photographic environment”.
Photography invests daily life with the its forms and is invested, in the same process, with the dominant perspectives and ideas about social reality, the particular points of view, perceptions, values, mental patterns, etc., and the prevailing hierarchies of meanings …

John Thomson (1837 – 1921)

A Manchu bride, Beijing - ca 1871 

The Island Pagoda, Min River, Fukien, circa 1871.

Street Gamblers, circa 1868 - 1871.
Modern albumen print from wet-collodion negative

Through China with a Camera by John Thomson (1899)

John Thomson,   Honan Soldiers, 1871 (self portrait with Honan Soldiers).
Albumen stereograph from wet-collodion negative. Taken in Amoy in 1871,
one of the few images of Thomson in the Far East, also considered
one of the few self-portraits of the photographer.,_Honan_Soldiers.jpg links:

The photographs of John Thomson - National Library of ScotlandJohn Thomson at the Victoria & Albert Museum