Sift Through Hundreds of Images by Legendary Photographer Robert Frank

Illustration for article titled Sift Through Hundreds of Images by Legendary Photographer Robert Frank

Robert Frank forever changed the course of photography when his book The Americans was published in 1958, chronicling the broad landscape of life in the USA. To say that Frank has reached legend status is an understatement. Now, with a new online collection put together by the National Gallery of Art, hundreds of Frank's photos, workprints, and contact sheets are available for anyone to view for some serious photo education.

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The Robert Frank Collection includes over 8,000 items and spans Frank's prolific career from 1937-2005. Only a few hundred of those are viewable online so far, but it's still a glorious treat to examine over 100 contact sheets and over 400 photos from locations such as Peru, New York, and New Orleans.

Illustration for article titled Sift Through Hundreds of Images by Legendary Photographer Robert Frank
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© Robert Frank, from The Americans

A photographer's contact sheets are a window into his or her process, providing valuable lessons for anyone attempting their own photographic adventures. It's a pretty rare thing to have this type of access to such an influential artist's work. You can zoom in super close for a look at how Frank worked a scene, chose his composition, and selected his best shots.

Collections like these are essential to spreading knowledge to people who may not have access to large museums or libraries of photo books. Let's hope the National Gallery of Art keeps adding images to their online database so us photographers can keep salivating. [via NYT Lens]

Top image: © Robert Frank, from The Americans

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DISCUSSION

Speedgraphic
Speedgraphic

Even though it seems like more people than ever are practicing 'street photography' I can't say that i've seen any work recently that goes beyond the concept of the decisive moment, which Frank and the best street photographers from the later 20th century did successfully through their edits/personal vision.

So...is street photography undead? I would argue yes.