Trends in photography are most noticeable when they’ve recently passed out of favor. Overhead shots of lattes or potted succulents may seem like good pictures, until suddenly they’re the only things you see on Instagram. Although trend turnover is accelerated by social media, popular photographic styles have followed the same general lifecycle since the 1840s. First, a new style is pioneered and picked up by early adopters. Soon it saturates the visual landscape and everyone’s doing it (remember duck face?). Critics step in to decry the overuse of the trend. Its popularity wanes, only to be replaced by another new style: the next good pictures. [Read more…] about What makes a good picture?
One of many strengths in the Ransom Center’s collections is early photography. In addition to the earliest surviving photograph produced in a camera, The Niépce Heliograph, the Center holds many beautiful examples of daguerreotypes.
The Harry Ransom Center continues to monitor the local and global developments related to COVID-19, as well as changes in university guidelines.
One of the most celebrated objects in the history of photography is featured in a permanent exhibition just inside the main entrance to the Harry Ransom Center. The untitled photograph—the earliest known surviving photograph made with the aid of the camera obscura—was produced in 1827 by the French scientist and inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce using a process he called héliographie. Permanent exhibitions are never really “permanent,” however; objects may remain in place, but their meanings are always evolving, and exhibitions are periodically revised to reflect those advances. [Read more…] about Introducing ‘The Niépce Heliograph’
On March 12, award-winning photographer and documentary filmmaker Louie Palu will install a series of photographs frozen in large ice blocks on the Ransom Center’s plaza. The photographs were made in the high Arctic over three years while Palu was on assignment for National Geographic. View the free installation, part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Art Program, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No SXSW badge is needed. [Read more…] about Arctic Passage
More than 35 years ago, prominent artists Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken and John Wood agreed to participate in a project exploring creativity in photography. Led by art historians Susan E. Cohen and William S. Johnson, the three-year collaborative project examined the artists’ creative process . Until now, no comprehensive record of those efforts has been accessible.