Super Expensive Photos

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Super Expensive Photos

Postby RoganJosh » 03 Feb 2016, 03:02

I'm subscribed to a youtube channel called 'Objectivity', which basically looks at rare and interesting objects from the past and present. The newest episode has some very old photographs. Enjoy :)

Mick Fagan
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Re: Super Expensive Photos

Postby Mick Fagan » 03 Feb 2016, 08:12

Very interesting, thanks for the link.


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Re: Super Expensive Photos

Postby Maris » 04 Feb 2016, 09:46

Yes! A very interesting video. I'd suggest those ancient photographs are valuable because they encapsulate rarity, singularity, fully realized handcraft, fine and valuable materials, archival durability, coherent scholarship, and interesting content. But, to carry the argument further, I further propose that these photographs are valuable because they are, in a formal sense, photographs rather than just pictures.

People forget that the first half of the 19th century was awash with pictures: paintings, drawings, etchings, woodcuts, engravings, lithographs, etc. Photography was not prized as an endeavour because it would address the shortage of pictures, there was none, but because it had a direct physical link to subject matter, a link that was not hostage to the vagaries of the artist's hand.

I reckon the same applies today in the early 21st century. Again we are awash with pictures: monitor "screen-lookers", LCD panels on 'phones, industrial quantities of printed illustration, computer print-outs, and a few (very few!) photographs. Pictures made out of light-sensitive materials, photographs as such, were rare in the 1850s and they are rare now. I dare say a fair proportion of all the photographs made on any given day in Australia will be emerging from large format photography darkrooms. And given the passage of 160 years someone in 2176 might well be bidding a million bucks for one of them.

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