Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

03 DECEMBER, 2012

Berenice Abbott’s Minimalist Black-and-White Science Imagery, 1958-1960

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The abstract beauty of science, made dramatically visible.

Photographer Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) might be best-remembered for her striking black-and-white prints of New York’s changing face in the 1930s, but she was also intensely interested in science and in making the abstract elegance and beauty of science visible and concrete. In 1939, she began experimenting with scientific imagery and capturing the whimsy of physics, mathematics and chemistry in her minimalist yet dramatic black-and-white photos. Documenting Science (public library) collects the best of that work, which culminated with the Physical Science Study Project at MIT in 1958.

A Bouncing Ball in Diminishing Arcs (1958)

Behavior of Waves (1962)

Beams of Light Through Glass (1960)

Multiple Exposure of a Swinging Ball (1958)

Multiple Exposure of a Swinging Ball (1958)

Magnetism & Electricity (1958)

Collision of Two Balls (1960)

Magnetism with Key (1958)

Parabolic Mirror (1958)

Interference Pattern (1958)

The Pendulum (1960)

Documenting Science is part Mathematical Impressions, part Bee, part something entirely and timelessly original. The MIT Museum is currently showing an exhibition of Abbot’s scientific imagery, running through the end of the year.

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19 NOVEMBER, 2012

Andrew Zuckerman’s Extraordinary Portraits of Flowers

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Blossoms like you’ve never seen them before.

Thanks to his ethos of curiosity and rigor as the key to creativity, photographer Andrew Zuckerman has consistently managed to captivate the imagination and stir the soul with his crisp portraits of nature’s creatures, celebrated musicians, and our era’s most beloved elders. He now brings his singular lens to nature’s most vibrant and whimsical flora with Flower (public library) — a collection of mesmerizing, luminous close-ups of more than 150 species, making the familiar sparkle with newfound curiosity and shedding scintillating light on the exotic.

Here is but a tiny taste — though it’s worth noting the screen does Zuckerman’s lush, rich artwork absolutely no justice.

Datura fastuosa 'Double Purple'

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

fiddlehead fern

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Rosa Charlotte

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Aechmea 'Del Mar'

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Brugmansia suaveolens

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Cannabis sativa species Indica cultivar

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Chrysanthemum 'Coral Reef'

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Couroupita guianensis

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Maxillariella picta

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Paeonia cultivar 6

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Paphiopedilum Pink Fred

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

Strongylodon macrobotrys

Andrew Zuckerman :: flowerthebook.com

In addition to the photographs, Zuckerman also produced a series of breathtaking short timelapse films with fantastic sound design:

Flower comes on the heels of Zuckerman’s Bird, the sequel to Creature.

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12 NOVEMBER, 2012

Changing New York: Berenice Abbott’s Stunning Black-and-White Photos from the 1930s

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A breathtaking time-capsule of this ageless, ever-changing city.

New York City loves its streets, loves its dogs, loves its heat waves, loves its apocalyptic fictions — but, above else, loves its timeless dignity. Between 1935 and 1939, photographer Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) made 307 black-and-white prints of New York City that endure as some of the most iconic images of city’s changing face. In advance of the 1939 World’s Fair, 200 of them were gathered in Berenice Abbott: Changing New York (public library), along with a selection of variant images, line drawings, period maps, and background essays — a lavish time-capsule of urban design organized in eight geographical sections, documenting the social, architectural, and cultural history of the city.

Many of the photographs are now in the public domain and have been made available online by the New York Public Library. Here are some favorite images Abbott took between November 1935 and May 1936, as part of the Federal Art Project (FAP) — a Depression-era government program related to the Works Progress Administration, enlisting unemployed artists and workers in creative projects across advertising, graphic design, illustration, photography, and publishing.

Stone and William Street, Manhattan

Gasoline Station, Tenth Avenue and 29th Street, Manhattan

Seventh Avenue looking south from 35th Street, Manhattan

Ferry, West 23rd Street, Manhattan

Henry Street, Manhattan

Fulton Street Dock, Manhattan skyline, Manhattan

Cliff and Ferry Street, Manhattan

23rd Street Surface Car, West 23rd Street, Manhattan

Oldest apartment house in New York City, 142 East 18th Street, Manhattan

Radio Row, Cortlandt Street, Manhattan

'El', Second and Third Avenue lines, Bowery taken from Division St., Manhattan

Lyric Theatre, Third Avenue between 12th and 13th street, Manhattan

And, hey, is that time-traveling Don Draper?

Department of Docks and Police Station, Pier A, North River, Manhattan

A few blocks around my studio:

Jay Street, No. 115, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge, Water and Dock Streets, looking southwest, Brooklyn

Warehouse, Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn

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