Photography and video have advanced to such a degree that any one of us, for a modest investment of capital, can own the requisite equipment to make productions at the same level of quality as the pros. And most of us already hold in our hands computers capable of producing and editing hundreds of rich still and moving images.[...]
When a horse trots, do all four of its hooves ever leave the ground at once? At one time, we not only had no answer to that question, we had no way of finding out.[...]
Back in college, I took a survey class on Russian history, taught by one of these people who take up the profession in their active retirement after a career spent working in the field. This particular professor had gone to work for the State Department after graduate school and served in various posts in Soviet Russia for several decades.[...]
The story of the U.S.’s national parks isn’t one story, but many. These have been told and retold since the founding of the National Park Service, a century ago this past Thursday. And they stretch back even further, to the Civil War, the conquering and settling of the west, and the beginnings of the American conservation movement.[...]
For about a quarter of a millennium, Japan had a policy called sakoku, literally meaning “closed country,” which put to death foreigners who dared enter to Japan, or Japanese who dared to leave it.[...]
For almost two hundred years, English gentlemen could not consider their education complete until they had taken the “Grand Tour” of Europe, usually culminating in Naples, “ragamuffin capital of the Italian south,” writes Ian Thomson at The Spectator.[...]
We find ourselves, still early in the 21st century, in an unprecedented era in the history of photography. The consumers of the developed world have, of course, had access to cameras of their own for decades and decades, but now almost each and every one of us walks around with a camera in our pocket.[...]
Since its ancient origins as the camera obscura, the photographic camera has always mimicked the human eye, allowing light to enter an aperture, then projecting an image upside down. Renaissance artists relied on the camera obscura to sharpen their own visual perspectives.[...]
The shibboleths of our political culture have trended lately toward the loathesome, crude, and completely specious to such a degree that at least one prominent columnist has summed up the ongoing spectacle in Cleveland as “grotesquerie… on a level unique in the history of our republic.[...]
We humans are a quarrelsome lot. But one thing that unites us is the time spent on our backs, gazing at clouds for the pleasure of identifying whatever objects they may fleetingly resemble.
It’s a very relaxing activity.