Category Archives: Seattle

Documenting the Untamed West: The Genius of Edward Curtis

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It’s rare when one can regard a photograph and instantly know its creator. It’s even rarer to regard a photograph that sends chills up your spine as it transports you to the scene and time in which it was taken.

The work of Edward Curtis falls into both categories.

The son of a Civil War vet, Curtis was born February 16, 1868 near Whitewater, Wisconsin. He began shooting with a homemade camera, before his family moved to Seattle in 1887 where Curtis started his career. While in Seattle, he photographed the daughter of Chief Sealth, Princess Angeline, and various scenes of the developing Western landscape. In 1906, J.P Morgan commissioned Curtis to shoot what would become the highwater mark of his career, a series on the North American Indian.

I won’t belabor the points of his life much more, as you can just check out his wikipedia entry here, (and I highly recommend doing so, as he led a fascinating life), but the photos below are a few of my favorites from his archive at the Library of Congress, which consists of of more than 2,400 silver-gelatin, first generation photographic prints made from Curtis’s original glass negatives.

Teddy Roosevelt said of Curtis, “In Mr. Curtis we have both an artist and a trained observer, whose work has far more than mere accuracy, because it is truthful. …because of his extraordinary success in making and using his opportunities, has been able to do what no other man ever has done; what, as far as we can see, no other man could do.”

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Traversing the Heartland: A Robert Frank-ian Adventure.

Seattle to Chicago in 72 hours: Two friends. An El Camino. A carton of Marlboro Reds. Fourteen 8-track cassettes. A camera. Gallons of black coffee. And tons and tons of open range.

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More Summer Shots

I took these on a new camera, a Taron Marquis, which is a Japanese camera from 1962. According to the Japanese Camera Museum, the Taron Marquis (also sold as the Rival Rangefinder outside of Japan) was the world’s first 35mm camera with a built-in CdS sensor (Cadmium Sulfide).

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…To Grandmother’s House We Go (Pt. II)

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…To Grandmother’s House We Go

This summer I have the honor of staying at my wonderfully Americana grandparents’ house (constructed 1856); a house brimming with history, character, and photogeneity. The house is also devoid of that annoying antique-store kitsch aesthetic, which I find pretty incredible and difficult to pull off. So naturally, I’m obsessed with documenting the experience. I took these photos with my new camera, a Vivitar EF35, which Lulu thieved from a pack rat cobbler’s store in Chicago.

So here is the first round — I’ll definitely be be taking hundreds more though over course for the next few months at the house and around Bainbridge Island/Seattle, the best of which will be posted.

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seattle“Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land.”

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