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Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography

By the time color photography came into the public spotlight, black and white images had already become rooted in our daily lives. The black and white photo actually seemed more “real” than a world published in color. Although color was something photographers had dreamed of from the beginning, color photography itself was not welcomed with open arms. In fact, it was looked down upon by many professional photographic artists, seen as something limited to amateurs and commercial usage.

Ansel Adams once stated he could gain “a far greater sense of ‘color’ through a well-planned and executed black and white image than ever achieved with color photography”. Adams, father of the Zone System, was a master of the black and white photograph. While not acquiring the same level of notoriety for his color work, Adams did spend some time exploring the world of color.

In our modern society, color photography dominates our perception of the world around us. While many professional photographers still recognize the value of the photographic black and white, the general acceptance seems to be limited primarily to cell phone novelties and social media postings.

professional color printing

Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography In America covers the evolution of color through the first seven decades of the 20th century. The exhibition charts the history of color photography in the United States from 1907 to 1981. Through framed photographs, publications, slide shows and film clips, the Color Rush exhibition presents the story of color photography in America and shows us how we got to where we are today.

Among the artists represented in the exhibition: Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Nan Goldin, Jan Groover, Barbara Kasten, Saul Leiter, Susan Meiselas, Joel Meyerowitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Nickolas Muray, Paul Outerbridge, Eliot Porter, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Joel Sternfeld, and Edward Weston.

The Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography exhibition can be found at the Milwaukee Art Museum February 22–May 19, 2013.

Looking to get your own works of art printed in color? Take a look at the professional photo printing options offered by Lifephoto.

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10 Comments

  • by Daniel C. Miller Attorney
    Posted April 22, 2013 5:45 pm 0Likes

    That is pretty crazy that color photography wasn’t welcomed with open arms. I can’t imagine images of nature without color, can’t truly appreciate how beautiful it is without seeing all of the beautiful colors!

  • by Rizzen
    Posted April 23, 2013 11:05 am 0Likes

    This is a very interesting post. I love colored photos but it is always cool to see certain moments in black and white!

  • by Voice & Data Systems, Inc.
    Posted April 24, 2013 10:47 am 0Likes

    I like how you illustrated this information through a timeline. It really helped me put it into perspective. The picture displayed in this blog is a great example of how to utilize the colors.

  • by TITLE Boxing Club Blue Springs
    Posted April 24, 2013 8:20 pm 0Likes

    I can’t imagine a time where there was no color photos. I really like the black and white shots but I think we all take colored photos for granted.

  • by TITLE Boxing Club Corporate Headquarters
    Posted April 25, 2013 11:08 am 0Likes

    Great shot. It captures a lot of different textures and the colors really stand out at the same time.

  • by Rabbit Creek
    Posted April 25, 2013 4:45 pm 0Likes

    Even though I really appreciate what color photos have brought to the photography world, I still like the look and artistic perspective that black and white photos bring.

  • by ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville
    Posted April 26, 2013 9:01 am 0Likes

    Very good picture you posted in this blog. Love it!

  • by TITLE Boxing Club of Tampa
    Posted April 26, 2013 11:48 am 0Likes

    This post is not only insightful but it is interesting. Thanks.

  • by TITLE Boxing Club Overland Park
    Posted April 29, 2013 11:11 am 0Likes

    It’s great to look back and see older photos. Very cool.

  • by Associates Solutions, Inc.
    Posted April 30, 2013 3:46 pm 0Likes

    Wow, it is great to see how far we’ve come. Fascinating post.

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