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  1. #1
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    How the Wild West REALLY looked by Timothy O'Sullivan

    The American West as you've never seen it before:
    amazing 19th century pictures show the landscape as it was chartered for the first time

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ered-time.html
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  2. #2

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    Amazing. I take it that I am not the only one to see faces in a number of the rock formations?

    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I see rocks that think that they are people, but they are really only rocks.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #4
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Everytime I see that Santa Fe shot it blows my mind...
    K.S. Klain

  5. #5

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    I enjoyed those! Thanks!

    Jeff

  6. #6
    CPorter's Avatar
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    very nice, thanks for sharing............

  7. #7
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    How ironic that you should post a link to these. That 14th photograph, the one showing the silver miner with his pickaxe inside the mine, is the exact picture that was the inspiration for this photograph I posted for fun a couple of weeks ago as I was going through old negatives.

    Of course, we had it a bit easier than Mr. O'Sullivan with Coleman gas lanterns, a Nikon F2 with Vivitar 292 electronic flash, and Tri-X. Both my field partner that day and I were well aware of Mr. O'Sullivan's legacy. We were also intimately aware of the history of the Gold Hill/Virginia City Comstock Lode mining district and era.

    Interestingly, at the time my photo was made we had an opportunity to visit and tour the Savage Mine in Virginia City. It was still being worked at the same 900-foot level mentioned in the caption. This must have been above the water table level as defined by the Sutro Tunnel drainage, since I don't believe they were pumping any longer.

    Unfortunately, our schedules didn't work out, so we missed that chance. I always regretted that, as the Savage Mine was the last of the original Virginia City mining operations still in business.

    [Edit: If anyone is interested in reading a wonderful historical account of the Comstock Lode bonanza and those involved with it, take a look at the book Comstock Mining and Miners by Eliot Lord, first published in 1883. It's the best there is on the topic and reads a little bit like an antique Indiana Jones adventure. Great stuff.]

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 02-23-2013 at 02:30 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added edit and book link...
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's interesting that Ansel Adams was left out of the major International Art of Photography exhibition 1989 to celebrate 150 years of Photography because it was deemed he brought nothing new to photography essentially shooting in the footsteps of photographers like Timothy O'Sullivan.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Well, most have seen them before, but I'm guessing the Daily Mail readership haven't. Which is good.
    And is somebody going to write in and explain that they weren't tinted sepia?

    And also, just to show how far photography has come - http://wefolk.s3.amazonaws.com/image...jpg?1333362237
    A lot of contemporary colour work is simply O'Sullivan pastiche. This work by Kander is probably intentionally so and, of course, quite brilliant. But modern large format photographers have soooooo much to owe to O'Sullivan for their sense of composition specifically, more so than Adams.
    Last edited by batwister; 02-23-2013 at 05:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Always interesting to see after-the-fact discussions on the "art" involved.

    O'Sullivan was, in the words from the above Daily Mail link, an "Irish tough guy" who was simply hired to provide factual documentation for the US Government's Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel project, from western Nevada to eastern Wyoming. The primary goal was to attract new settlement to the American West. And as we all know, that goal was acheived.

    While he may have been adept at deciding where to set down a tripod—and the resulting photographs are indeed fascinating documents—I'm not so sure the "artiness" of his task was uppermost in his mind at the time. These were hardy men on a very difficult mission. And no aspect of it more difficult than his, given the state of photographic technology at that time. If anything, his work is closer to the US Government's Depression era FSA project than to anything AA did years later.

    It's not always about High Art.

    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

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