Photography as Contact Sport
This is a detail from a contact-printed roll of photos of Joan Crawford, taken by Eve Arnold in 1959. It’s from a show called “Magum Contact Sheets,” at the International Center of Photography in New York. The exhibition presents a bunch of famous photographs – including Che Guevara as seen by René Burri and the D-Day landings shot by Robert Capa – in the context of the other images shot at almost the same moment and rejected. It shows how much a particular technology affects how choices – and images – get made. Circling one frame on a contact-printed roll of 36 is a very different thing from clicking on one digital image from a hard drive that can scroll you through hundreds.
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