Brain Pickings

The Great Mystery of Photography: How to Photograph a Black Dog


For the past decade, editor Eric Kessels has been sifting through the world’s amateur analog photography, culling fascinating collections of found photos around eccentric and esoteric themes. in almost every picture #9: black dog documents one family’s attempt to solve one of the grand mysteries of photography: How to photograph a black dog. The couple, befallen by their beloved pet’s complete blackness and the technical insufficiencies of their very vintage camera, try over and over again to capture endearing portraits of the pooch, only to find his likeness hovering between brooding silhouette and nondescript black blob.

The collection unfolds across seasons and years, in almost comedic fashion, as the family carries on the seemingly hopeless quest, revealing at once a tender personal story and a timecapsulre of a photography era long gone.

Before the digital age, before cameras that could solve any problem from red-eye to world hunger, there was the 20th century, a time when photographers actually had to take photos themselves. Among other things, this included finding sufficient light for your subject.” ~ Christian Bunyan

And, finally, in a dramatically overexposed shot, we see the dog’s elusive face.

in almost every picture #9: black dog is the latest in a fantastic series of found photography books by Kessels, exploring everything from Japan’s infamous flat-headed Oolong rabbit, one of the earliest internet memes, to missing persons portraits.

via Lensculture

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