Alfred Stieglitz





http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/visualarts/Image-Library/Stieglitz/stieglitz_From_the_back_window_291-1915.jpg
http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/visualarts/Image-Library/Stieglitz/stieglitz_From_the_back_window_291-1915.jpg



This is one of Alfred Stieglitz’s later photographs of the night in the city, most likely New York City. It is titled “From the Back Window” and was taken in 1915. At first glance, the two illuminated signs stick out to the observer first. They are un-readable but still draw the attention of the viewer. Looking a second time other parts of the picture begin to come out including the small apartment buildings and the lit up buildings in the background come into view. The lights in the apartment buildings give a hint to what life might be like in those buildings; possibly a small porch outside a dimly lit, small living area. Between the buildings is a line of white laundry which helps to draw the attention of the viewer. Also, the cloudy/ hazy image gives a hint at the suggested mood of the photograph and photographer. What would this picture be like if there was no laundry line? It brings a piece of reality and something to relate to for people of that time; laundry hanging outside of small apartments shows the tough times as well as the realities of not having a dryer, like we have today. But, since only one building seems to be lit up, it makes the picture seem lonely or abandoned because no other surrounding parts of the building are lit up. Finally, if you look closely you can also see two large poster signs on one of the far buildings.The cloudy/ hazy image gives a hint at the suggested mood of the photograph and photographer.

Equivalent, 1930. Courtesy of: http://thelovemagazineblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/stieglitz_equivalent_1930.jpeg
Equivalent, 1930. Courtesy of: http://thelovemagazineblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/stieglitz_equivalent_1930.jpeg

Alfred Stieglitz’s 1930 photograph, Equivalent expresses Stieglitz’s desire to evolve photography into an art form. This photo will never be in the cloud chapter of a science text book, nor will it be found in a family album for the obvious fact that no person is in the photo. Also, this will not be found in a family album for the not as obvious fact that the sky did not pose for this picture. The earth is always rotating and thus the clouds appear to be always moving. If Stieglitz took this picture five seconds before or after he actually took the picture then it would have come out differently. The same cannot be said for the posed photographs that had become so popular at the time this photo was taken. That is where photography evolves into an art form. The timing of this photo had to be just right in order for this picture to capture the evolution of the sky. From the trees that are rooted into the earth to the blackness of the seemingly endless deep space, this photograph freezes it all in a permanent moment in time.