Kevin Briggs Photography

Inspiring

Kevin Briggs

Remarkable.

It makes me wonder: with respect to the arts (not to mention other facets of life), what will technology allow people to do in the future...?

Diving Into Monet’s World

Kevin Briggs
 Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916

Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916

This Google site is amazing.

Even though Monet’s master creations are not in the realm of photography, of course, his impact upon many other forms of art is undeniable. As a photographer, I have been inspired on numerous occasions by his work and I know countless artists, no matter what their medium, could say the same.

The Oldest Surviving Photo of a U.S. President

Kevin Briggs
059N09642_9GJFF-front_anatomy_Slideshow_2000.jpg

With so much time and attention being paid to the current U.S. president — whether for good or for bad — I found the following to be of note with regarding photographic history.

In March of 1843, the 6th US president, John Quincy Adams (who served from 1825–1829) sat for a portrait photo in a Washington studio. The daguerreotype is currently the oldest surviving photograph of a U.S. president. 

As the auction house Sotheby’s highlights on its site, it will be going to auction soon and carries an estimated value of $150,000 to $250,000.

When he posed for this portrait, John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) had completed his term as the sixth American president (1825–29) but was still serving his country as a congressman from Massachusetts. An indefatigable diarist, Adams documented the sitting in entries for 8 and 16 March 1843, when he twice visited the Washington, DC studio of Philip Haas. This recently rediscovered plate – the only one currently known to have survived from the Haas sessions – is believed to be the earliest photograph of an American president to come to market in many years and the earliest extant photograph of the man himself. An invaluable document, this daguerreotype crystallises a remarkable moment in the history of photography and American politics.

I will be very interested to know the final winning bid.

Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Kevin Briggs

This restorative production is astonishing.

From the Museum of Modern Art's website:

This documentary travelogue of New York City was made by a team of cameramen with the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern, who were sent around the world to make pictures of well-known places. (They also filmed at Niagara Falls and in Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice, although New York 1911 is the only selection in the Museum’s collection.)

Opening and closing with shots of the Statue of Liberty, the film also includes New York Harbor; Battery Park and the John Ericsson statue; the elevated railways at Bowery and Worth Streets; Broadway sights like Grace Church and Mark Cross; the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue; and Madison Avenue.

Produced only three years before the outbreak of World War I, the everyday life of the city recorded here—street traffic, people going about their business—has a casual, almost pastoral quality that differs from the modernist perspective of later city-symphony films like Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler’s Manhatta (1921).

Take note of the surprising and remarkably timeless expression of boredom exhibited by a young girl filmed as she was chauffeured along Broadway in the front seat of a convertible limousine.

Be sure to view in full screen mode.

A Reiteration of Texture

Kevin Briggs
  Emergence

Emergence

As a landscape photographer, I have often been asked about what exactly motivates me as an artist.

Stated as succinctly as possible, the principal goal of my fine art photography is to capture texture. This is not by any means the soul motivating factor for my work. Nevertheless, and as I have noted in previous blog posts, as I approach any respective vista, there is an innate hunger that always takes over, one that lies deep within an aesthetic and creative well. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it represents nothing less than a passion which desires to seize that which is before my eyes and convey it as texturally accurate as possible.

That is, I am continuously and anxiously engaged in the wonderful effort of trying to capture the tangible qualities of feel, touch, surface, consistency, and quality of subject matter.

As I noted in a previous post:

Texture is often a seriously neglected component within much of landscape photography. It may rightly be said that my greatest aspiration as an artist is that my photographs will enable the viewers to reflect upon their own experiences with various surface and constituent qualities of disparate terra firma and therefore be able to bring those abundant memories to bear as they feel with their eyes the textures presented in each of my works.

  Black and White No. 20

Black and White No. 20

This is true of both my landscape as well as my abstract photography: 

Whether one is speaking of thick and sinewy clouds within the firmament, the jagged angles of a particular mountain side, the bark on a fallen tree within a lush stream, or combinations of various fibrous-like hues forming a harmony of color (as with my color abstract photography), I want the viewer to be able to truly feel the subject of the photograph itself. 

  Sunlight Through Birch Trees

Sunlight Through Birch Trees

As an artist who is naturally attracted to a wide variety of textures, it is my foremost objective to seek to make such textures as visceral as possible within each of my fine art photographs.