Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The truth behind famous photos


I love this story, because I, too, have looked at the pretty nature images that come as computer wallpaper and wondered where they were taken, and I've also idly wondered about this specific yellow-leaf-draped road. I always assumed it was in Vermont, since it screams of Robert Frost, and "two roads diverged in a yellow wood."

A writer for Vanity Fair took on the nigh-impossible task of tracking the exact spot down, and thanks to hard work and, believe it or not, an e-mail from Bill Gates (well, from Bill's people), he figured out it is in Ontario. The article also presents a photo of the same scene in winter. Awesome detective work, and a great little article.


Speaking of stories about famous photos, here's another great one, this one about the famed Dorothea Lange picture of a migrant mother in the Dust Bowl.


Apparently the mom in question, Florence Owens Thompson, wasn't too thrilled about being the subject of the picture, a picture that would eventually influence Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath." She was just in her 30s when that iconic image was snapped, and she lived till 1983.


It's hard to look at her 1936 face and envision her still with us in the 1980s -- she seems such a part of that moment and only that moment, but she did live a long time. Her gravestone reads "Migrant Mother--A Legend of the Strength of American Motherhood." So perhaps she found peace with the photo, at long last.

2 comments:

PJ said...

Love the "Autumn" photo story. The author concluded with, "Nobody with a decent map needs rainbows." A decent map, or the Internet! :-)

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT AMAZING ARTICLE ON FINDING THE EXACT LOCATION OF "AUTUMN", THOUGH I THINK OF IT AS A PIECE OF TIMELESS, BEAUTIFUL ART...LOCATION BEING MORE A STATE OF MIND THAN A SPOT ON THE MAP.