Blog Review Week 4

Zinnia Upson


Photo 2

Blog Review Week 4

For this weeks blog post I read about an article whose pictures caught my eye. It is an article called “These Nostalgic Photos Capture the Spirit of NYC”  written by Ellyn Kail. At first I couldn’t tell if all these photographs were by the same artist because of the common theme of NYC in black and white with heavy contrast and grain. As I scrolled I read that it was photographer Ian Robert Wallace and the photos are made to look vintage but are modern day scene he shoots. Kail talks about his photography in saying “He refers to the people in his photographs not as “subjects” but as “characters,” giving them a poetic aura. He doesn’t always obscure faces, and when he does, it’s not intentional, but the anonymity of a few of his figures does allow them to exist in an almost fictional world. “There’s a strength of character that these people have to sort of exist with one foot in the past: what they wear, how they carry themselves, what streets they walk down,” (Kail and Wallace) This artist immediately reminded me of the reading in the textbook about the first photographs we see in chapter one of where Emerling talks about Talbots work showing “Engravings in imitation” and “marks of the injuries of time” (Emerling, 18). We especially can see a connection between Talbots erie works and Wallace’s. “The arbitrariness of the photographs frame and its technical recording of the light and dark on the chemically treated paper displace the “thing itself.”” (Emerling, 20) This quote makes me think about Wallaces lack of data in his photos because of his use of heavy shadow and negative space.


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