Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “photography”

Eudora Welty on the Difficult Art of Seeing Each Other and the Power of Photography as a Dignifying Force
Eudora Welty on the Difficult Art of Seeing Each Other and the Power of Photography as a Dignifying Force

“If exposure is essential, still more so is the reflection. Insight doesn’t happen often on the click of the moment, like a lucky snapshot, but comes in its own time and more slowly and from nowhere but within.”

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Aristotle’s Aperture: An Animated History of Photography, from the Camera Obscura to the Camera Phone
Aristotle’s Aperture: An Animated History of Photography, from the Camera Obscura to the Camera Phone

…and how a greedy attitude to intellectual property made the camera’s primary competitor perish.

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The Emperor of Time: A Dreamlike Short Film About Motion Picture Pioneer Eadweard Muybridge
The Emperor of Time: A Dreamlike Short Film About Motion Picture Pioneer Eadweard Muybridge

A foundational story of modern culture, told from the point of view of an abandoned son and viewed through an antiquated device.

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Susan Sontag on Selfies, Selfhood, and How the Camera Helps Us Navigate Complexity
Susan Sontag on Selfies, Selfhood, and How the Camera Helps Us Navigate Complexity

“There is a dialectical exchange between simplicity and complexity, like the one between self-revelation and self-concealment.”

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Pioneering 19th-Century Photographer Félix Nadar on Gender and the Single Most Important Factor in Becoming a Successful Artist
Pioneering 19th-Century Photographer Félix Nadar on Gender and the Single Most Important Factor in Becoming a Successful Artist

“To seek honor before profit is the surest means of finding profit with honor.”

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The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence
The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence

“Photography is at the nerve center of our paradoxical memorial impulses: we need it there for how it helps us frame our losses, but we can also sense it crowding in on ongoing experience, imposing closure on what should still be open.”

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Susan Sontag on How Photography Mediates Our Relationship with Life and Death
Susan Sontag on How Photography Mediates Our Relationship with Life and Death

“We no longer study the art of dying, a regular discipline and hygiene in older cultures; but all eyes, at rest, contain that knowledge. The body knows. And the camera shows, inexorably.”

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Feathers: A Stunning Photographic Love Letter to Evolution’s Masterpiece and Its Astonishing Array of Beauty
Feathers: A Stunning Photographic Love Letter to Evolution’s Masterpiece and Its Astonishing Array of Beauty

Art meets science in a poetic celebration of Earth’s astonishing diversity.

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Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist
Patti Smith Reads Her Beautiful Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe About How He Taught Her What It Means to Be an Artist

“You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist.”

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Italo Calvino on Photography and the Art of Presence
Italo Calvino on Photography and the Art of Presence

“The life that you live in order to photograph it is already, at the outset, a commemoration of itself.”

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