December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
One thing that I’ve discovered this year that I now love fairly deeply is the Flickr Commons. It’s basically a searchable archives of copyright-free photographs (and illustrations, maps, etc.) held in museums’ collections from around the world. There are a lot of really old photographs here – the one above is from, as the link says, 1893. And it’s beautiful – I’m fascinated with the 19th and early 20th century world fairs, expositions, etc., and here you can see the beautiful, ornate structures, temporary monuments to the manufacturing and electric industries, and they’re perfectly sharp, unmoving. Below them, the people are a blur – it’s a tell-tale sign that it’s a long exposure, that this is an old photograph. The people seem more transient than the structures around them – but the people would have mostly outlived the structures that tower over them. All that beauty for a large, industrial fair; a temporary exposition. Incredible.
I’m going to make a series of posts looking at my favourite photographs from the Flickr Commons. If you want to suggest one, leave a comment or drop me an email.