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Saturday, 16 February 2013


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Michael Nash AP, Warsaw (1946) - according to Google image search.

The second picture was taken in the ruined Warsaw in 1946 after the end of World War II by Michael Nash AP. If my memory does not fail, because I had already seen this picture somewhere.

The photograph was taken by Michael Nash in Warsaw in 1946. He worked for AP at the time

Mike said -

"It can be more about Observation than Creation. "


I suppose I could go on until I'm blue in the face about photography being more literature than painting....... (in many, even most of it's forms. And the form that most resembles painting, the so-called fine art photograph, is in my opinion the one least worthy of attention)

Google Image Search got a major upgrade a long time ago when I wasn't looking (hence my not knowing exactly when), and you can upload or give them the URL of an image to find "similar" images to.

I've got a firefox extension that makes that a right-click option on any image I see on the web. (Called "find copyright infringements", but of course many of the uses it finds, and most of the ones that interest me, are legit).

Anyway, it finds the AP/Nash attribution as the #1 hit. It's a tool that should be in your toolkit.

I love the second photo in this post (the first one, the lolmacro, is very good, but appeals to me in a very different way).

What is maybe the most touching thing about that photo is how I think I can understand why people would want to do this. I'd think it'd be more "valuable" to take photos of the people in the environment as it is, but how sick would one not be of the war and the destruction and death it has brought.

These are marvelous Mike, and I would love to see these as a regular feature on your blog. Very entertaining and also valuable in thinking about photography. Please share these gems!

"Also very photographic in its essence—not something an artist might think to invent."

That also surprised me as a definition (or explanation)of photography that I have never thought of. Now I will think about it...

Perhaps a different form of artist? Gary Larson's "Midvale School for The Gifted" springs straight to mind....

I could imagine the second pic set-up being something you would send to your emigrated family to say "look I'm fine, no need to worry". You wouldn't necessarily want them to see the reality.

I really like your posts; they make me think and then find blogs like this one;

Two comments. I love the notion that there is photographic art and then that other "Art." Street photography is a perfect example of photographic art. It is unique to photography. It will never be confused with painting. What other kinds of content are unique to photography?

The second image is quite moving. It reminds me of that wonderful book, Life Smiles Back, a collection of photos that were from the Miscellany page--the last page in Life Magazine. Always humorous and inventive. The book was a favorite of my children and their friends.

The Warsaw picture strikes me as joyfully defiant.
It could be entitled, "How to wave goodbye to Nazism... with but a single finger."

" Also very photographic in its essence—not something an artist might think to invent."

Can I disagree? Take a look at a lot of Japanese pop fashion, just as logically implausible as the combination of reversed cap and hand as sunshade in that image, but straight copies from Japanese anime. I could also say the same of the copperplate handwriting style which was developed when people tried to copy the inaccurate way in which copperplate engravings imitated the transition from thin to thick produced by a chisel point nib.

Artists have often been the inventors, Photography is a great populariser, and carries a testimonial value that other art forms don't as Kenneth Tanaka pointed out, but artists have often been the inventors both wittingly and unwittingly.

In fact when it comes to style and fashion it's hard to argue that artists haven't been the inventors if you're prepared to accept that designers are artists and I think they are.


Re: "A photograph at its most basic can tell us something true about the world, or about human beings, or animals, or about something that happened...not "Truth," capital T, but just truths. Little ones."

I believe photographs do tell the Truth, with a capital 'T'. Your statement would seem to imply that there is a higher level of truth; one not of the mortal realm-- perhaps some omnipotent supreme being? I believe the ball cap photo tells the truth about human nature with a capital 'T'.

Best regards,

The second picture is, as you say, poignant. "Pathetic" would be accurate, in that it prompts a pathos, but rather inappropriate in view of the way this adjective is used nowadays. The picture makes me think about how sweet it would be for some if they could live in a dream instead of reality - which can be rather sordid sometimes. It is a very powerful picture, and I can't help feeling some kind of tenderness for the woman being portraited: that portrait would be her way of escaping the cruel reality of her life. Above all, it states that photography is first and foremost an illusion. I can't think of a better photograph to illustrate such statement.

I remember the first time I saw the former image on Facebook I cringed, because I have done exactly that. Of course I had a reason, I had a big honking dslr in the other hand and every time I brought it up to my eye the hat got in the way!

Google image search is really great for identifying images like this. I just dragged the Warsaw image into the search panel, and came up with a ton of links to Michael Nash, AP, 1946, and the Warsaw Ghetto.

When I was young, they use to build hats with the shade on the front, now they do them whith the shade on the sides or on the back.
Human stupidity has no limits.
Sorry I couldn't resist.


The WWII is amusing. I don't think any filter or light meter in the world could make any photo that comes out that look remotely real.

LOL, LOL, LOL! I keep getting drawn-back to viewing this photo because mentally I haven't finished "looking" at it. I'm pondering the backstory, the bombs, the death, hunger, etc. Where is her family? How did she get the money to pay for this? Her forward-thinking in that she might not live long enough to be able to have a nice picture taken of her after a rebuild that might not ever happen. The photographer is in town only this week, so act fast, etc. Fast forward, now her Modern-day relatives view this picture and see her sitting in a mid-summer setting, but she is wearing a long WINTER COAT! Obviously (to you and me) needed because judging from all the snow on the ground around them it must be frigidly cold!

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