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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Coming on Tuesday

On Tuesday, The Online Photographer's Ten Greatest Photographs Ever Made list will commence with #10. The countdown will continue each Tuesday morning for ten weeks.

"Ten Best" lists are always subjective and never authoritative, which is of course part of their charm. The purpose of our list is to be entertaining, with the added hope that it may be thought-provoking and perhaps even inspiring.

One unavoidable problem of such a list of photographs is that it will necessarily exclude certain genres. Surely a specialist could propose candidates for, say, the greatest racehorse portrait, or the most beautiful photograph of a gemstone, or the best surfing picture. In the T.O.P. list, no attempt will be made to balance or "cover" various genres. (There are, of course, a lot more than ten of them anyway.)

A more serious problem (again specifically in the case of photographs) is nationalism or "culture-centrism." Nations or races of people tend to exalt their own cultural myths, iconographies, heroes, and historical milestones, and, aside from gaining meaning in these ways, many pictures and photographers will simply be more famous and familiar in certain nations than in others—photography is probably more Chauvanistic than most of us realize, whatever our citizenship. Being from the U.S. of A., I have little choice but to see the art of photography through the lens of my own culture; however, as a critic accustomed to writing for an international audience I'll try to be sensitive to the issue.

I hope this will be fun. Please join us on Tuesday morning.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON

1 Comments:

Anonymous Wilhelm said...

1) Car #6 at Speed, J. H. Lartigue - 1905

2) Blind, by Paul Strand - 1916

3) Pepper #30, by Edward Weston - 1930

4) Children Playing in the Ruins, by Cartier-Bresson - 1935

5) Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange - 1936

6) Churchill, by Karsh - 1941

7) Moonrise, by Ansel Adams - 1941

8) Big Blue Marble (Earth from Space), by NASA

9) Napalm Girl, by Nick Ut - 1972

10) Tomoko in Her Bath, by Gene Smith - 1972

12:36 PM  

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