For no rational reason, I stumbled upon this particular Robert Frank photograph from his famous 1955 book, The Americans. Ordinary Americans drinking soda at a Detroit drugstore soda fountain in the mid-1950s. But I was struck by the incredible display of advertising overkill going on for a drink called “Orange Whip” — only ten cents a glass! The air is thick with Orange Whip signs, and the man in the foreground seems to be enjoying a glass of this marvelous elixir.
Saul Leiter, perhaps the most famous non-famous New York street photographer, has just passed away at age 89. A pioneer who worked mostly in color in an age when street photography was still a predominantly black and white medium, Leiter captured the ineffable details than can only be seen and appreciated if you slow down and pay attention. Notes the obituary in today’s New York Times:
Artist Lauren Orchowski created a very cool photographic series of Cold War era rocket-theme playground structures, named, naturally enough, Rocket Science. The photographs were taken with an 8 x 10 inch view camera between 2005 and 2008, all over the United States.
Kids: such structures come from a bygone era before playgrounds were scientifically designed and tested until they became impossible to hurt yourself on. In other words, they were dangerous, just like Cold War geopolitics. Duck and cover.
Click the image to enlarge. It is an excerpt from the 1966 Ed Ruscha book of photographs, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, a continuous folded print of exactly what the title says it is, over 296 inches long when unfolded (seen here in a slideshow).
From the Modernism 101 page for the book: