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From Equatorial Africa to the Arctic Pole . . . and Outer Space!

July 23rd, 2013 No Comments

Today we look at three very unusual photo galleries.  On Monday German, Canadian and American websites posted news items about exhibitions and galleries related to subjects from Equatorial Africa, the Polar North, and in Outer Space!

Equatorial Africa

Helen Whittle on Deutsche Welle suggests that the West’s view of Africa has been defined by Photography.  Whether or not she gives photography more credit and more power than it deserves, her thesis is developed from the germ of an idea around which a major photography exhibition has been put together at The Walther Collection in small town Germany.

The exhibition is divided into three sections of which the early twentieth century photographs of Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin (found in the ‘Black House’ section) comprise the centrepiece.

These are not ‘art photographs’ but very faithfully rendered portraits of African subjects that do not depict them as such, in any manner or with any intent; rather they capture, preserve, the subjects as they are, perhaps even teasing out the respective subject’s essence.  The intention does not seem too distant from that of Karsh’s (much more) famous portraits of famous personages. 

Equally fine “vintage portraits” documenting a bygone Africa from the nineteenth century are seen in the ‘Green House’ section by various (for the time) very talented photographers.

Polar North

CBC features a story about photographs of “rare arctic wildlife scenes” with the interesting twist that no photographer is involved!  You see, the photos were taken “using remote camera technology.”

These motion-sensing cameras did the job in temperatures that fell to -40 in Yukon Territory’s Ivvavik National Park, capturing images of shy and seldom-seen animals.

The eleven-image gallery shows porcupine caribou, grizzly bears, and even a wolverine and a musk ox, apart from impressive views of an unspoilt tundra.  You can also see some of the same, and older, images on Parks Canada’s website.

Outer Space (well, not technically)

Sorry photogs, but the only way you’ll ever be able to take photos like the ones on offer here is if you book a million-dollar seat on a space shuttle.  PetaPixel reports on “a rare portrait session” for Planet Earth from “almost a billion miles away.”

By some chance these photographs, taken in interplanetary space, are artistically appealing.  The Earth, appearing as a pinpoint of light near the centre of the image, can be missed.  It is the curvature of Saturn in one or another corner with those obvious and well-known banded rings in a sea of gradated blackness that ‘makes’ these photos.


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