Shares It is about a country convinced of its independence and freedom, but that when photographed appears chained to a set of principles and dreams powerfully manifested in its architecture and in the lives its people have chosen to lead. It is an unspeakable force, lurking invisibly, powerful, cultural, American. It is about a country convinced of its independence and freedom, but that when photographed appears chained to a set of principles and dreams powerfully manifested in its architecture and in the lives its people have chosen to lead. There is a lonely basketball goal in the desert, framed by gorgeous cliffs, a wet suburb under brooding skies, a pool littered with identical round floating objects beside which a man stands, his back to the camera, looking out over the desert beyond his house. There is a moose knee-deep in a marsh next to a virgin pine forest being photographed and admired by a dozen brightly dressed tourists, a pale woman posing in front of a trailer park with scrub-brush in the background. There are rocket ships at noon surrounded by acres of sand, and the wreckage left by disasters.
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And not inferior really, just different: Sternfeld is more of an "event" photographer than Stephen Shore. Whereas Shore takes a view of nothing -- that is to say, a view invisible to most -- and makes it beautiful and poignant, Sternfeld starts with something -- a house on fire, a mudslide, an escaped elephant -- and forces you to see them in context.
This makes their strangeness and beauty all the more striking, since it represents such a sharp break from the way we normally consume these images -- usually in a magazine, or on a website, or on TV -- where the focus is so narrow, the view so tight, we rarely get a chance to fit them into our lives.
Seeing the U. I recommend this book to anyone, not just photographers or travelers. You will find something interesting in each of his photographs. I imagine this book will continue to reveal itself after more viewings over the years.
I believe the merit in this book is that there is a lot of detail in each photo, each quadrant of a particular photo may have a different story if you look closely. Other photos just juxtapose colors or capture an interesting scene. Aug 20, Joe Lombardi rated it it was amazing One of my favourite photographers and this book doesnt disappoint. Simply designed with plenty of large images; one on every other page.
The quality of photography shown is superb. Really love this work. I keep comparing any other photographic work to his and this series in particular. Sternfeld rules, period. Dec 03, Elaine Meszaros rated it really liked it American Prospects is a nifty collection of photos from the 70s and 80s by a master photographer. Sternfeld focuses on contrasts of human objects placed existing in nature - a huge rock obstructing the view of a business office, towns dotting empty prairies, a rotting refinery in the desert.
Some images are peaceful - nature retaking human creations, other amusing - a woman sunbathing on the beach with a line of battleships behind her, and still others are shocking - a firefighter choosing a American Prospects is a nifty collection of photos from the 70s and 80s by a master photographer. Some images are peaceful - nature retaking human creations, other amusing - a woman sunbathing on the beach with a line of battleships behind her, and still others are shocking - a firefighter choosing a pumpkin from a farm stand as the house behind him burns.
Beautiful and eerie.
Why this drive to swallow the country whole-to know it as one knows a lover, to reveal its innermost essence—when it was born of many parts, a federation of different states place and mind? Perhaps it is the vastness of the undertaking that draws us in, the immensity of the task. Or perhaps it is because America is really a mirror, and in the process of describing it we cannot help but describe ourselves. If this is the case, what is at issue in books about America is not just the quality of observation, but the construction of history. When Tocqueville disembarked in New York in May , he was by no means the first foreigner to come to America seeking to discern its meaning through direct observation. He was merely more perceptive than his predecessors, and in the nine months that he and his companion, Gustave de Beaumont, journeyed across the breadth of the adolescent United States, he observed its character and prospects with an uncanny prescience. So keen, detailed, and balanced is his report, ambitiously titled Democracy in America, that it seems at times almost photographic.
Joel Sternfeld: American Prospects
Related readings The influence of Joel Sternfeld In , President Reagan was elected president and Joel Sternfeld had embarked on a road trip across America that would allow him to capture life in America as it was in the s. His photographs from the American Prospects series helped to usher in a new breed of modern photographers, which is why Sternfeld has always been characterized as one of the most influential photographers of his generation. What inspired him Sternfeld was inspired by Robert Frank 1 , who at the time was well known for influencing countless numbers of aspiring artists and photographers across a series of genres. With the money from the Guggenheim Grant, Sternfeld then traveled to various parts of America managing to capture normal Americans living their day to day life from his Volkswagen camper van. Unlike other photographers of this age, Sternfeld wanted to break away from the generic street photography that he had been doing in New York in exchange for a more complex vision of his country. He pursued this vision through large-scale color prints that appeared to be more detailed than the traditional black and white photos that he had gotten used to. American Prospects was different because it exposed the indescribable ills and patterns of daily life that individuals try so hard to forget.
Joel Sternfeld – ‘American Prospects’ (2012)
Joel Sternfeld is one of the most important and influential photographers of this generation. Inspired by Robert Frank , Sternfeld hit the road in a small Volkswagon van for 3 years and traveled across America— seeking to capture the American landscape. Leave your photos up to interpretation Joel Sternfeld. It closed them out.