Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Heart The Library

Yesterday's trip to the library had a specific agenda; travel guides of Southeast Asia.  The selection was limited and outdated, perhaps the result of budget cuts or the popularity of the region.  I didn't resist the pull of the aisles, something I've enjoyed my entire life.  When I was eight, a new library in my neighborhood opened.  The prevalent new carpet smell was powerful as I lingered amongst the shelved, procession of books, selecting the ones which would come home with me.  When I lived in Manhattan the libraries were well-endowed. I indulged weekly in the overabundant offering of recently published novels.  Yesterday I scored when I extracted "On The Art of Fixing a Shadow - One Hundred and Fifty Years in Photography" from the racks of the library in Los Feliz.  Published in collaboration with an exhibit at The National Gallery of Art in 1989 the book is a wealth of information about photography's cultural impact and technical evolution.  Cocktail party tidbit of the week:  At the turn of the 20th century, the introduction of The Brownie camera made photography available to the masses and forever changed the photographer's relationship to the subject. These "newer images were called "snapshots," after the hunting term for a hurried shot taken without deliberate aim at a rapidly moving animal."

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