Recently, friend and fellow photographer Daniel Milnor posted photographs on his blog from last summer, when he was on assignment in DC. One of the pictures gave me a deja vu moment. I had been in DC last February and I, too, had photographed the White House.
No surprise – it’s not unusual for photographers to photograph one of the most photographed buildings in the USA. But I thought it was interesting that our framing had been eerily similar in an unconventional way: The White House takes up very little space, there’s a bunch of stuff in the foreground. (Some might even argue that they’re really bad photographs.) Why does that happen? Years ago I read “Art and Physics,” a book by Leonard Shlain. The subtitle was, “Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light.” Shlain says he was moved to write the book because he was at a loss to explain art to his then 12-year-old daughter. “…though I knew the intellectual context of each modern movement, I too didn’t really ‘get it.’” His book notes how, through the centuries, artists of the same era who didn’t know of each other were creating similar styles of work. Shlain also showed how art and science seemed connected in strange and parallel ways. For example, at nearly the same time physicist Albert Einstein was turning the science world inside out with his theories, the Futurist and Surrealist painters (like Picasso) were creating paintings that “fit perfectly if superimposed on Einstein’s theories.”
The book does provide some history on art and science. Subjects you know you want to know about but are too busy reading twitter feeds to actually read about. But this book is an interesting and a fairly quick read. Plus you can quote from it and sound really smart at parties.All this because I wanted to post some of MY pictures on MY blog and not be accused of copying Dan Milnor’s photographs!You can see his version here.