Vintage photograph of the day

Today’s image of the day is called Hand on Door from the Som­nam­bu­list series by mas­ter fine art Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Ralph Gib­son;  it was shot in 1968. Many of Gibson’s most famous pho­tographs are high con­trast images, and this high con­trast has become part of his sig­na­ture style. Gibson’s pho­tographs were cre­ated through metic­u­lous film devel­op­ing (by Gib­son him­self) and printing.

What attracts me to this and many other Gib­son images is the strong sense of story and the very strik­ing graphic qual­ity of the image.

Hand on Door from the Somnambulist series by Ralph Gibson - 1968

Hand on Door from the Som­nam­bu­list series by Ralph Gib­son — 1968


  1. Wayne Burke says:

    I have to agree with Marko. This image cer­tainly por­trays a sense of a big­ger story going on in the back­ground. I love the glow­ing light effect around the hand that the pho­tog­ra­pher has captured.

    I recently came across a book that gives detailed instruc­tion on how to use light and motion to give incred­i­ble effects. Check it Out

  2. John Prince says:

    This is great. I love this.

  3. admin says:

    No prob KB — This is per­sonal stuff but I fail to see how this image is ANYTHING but fine art. (Not that that was even part of this post, but I do like to spar from time to time :) )

    This image is OOOOOOOOz­ing fine art from every pore.…in my opin­ion. The level of dif­fi­culty in cre­at­ing this image is HIGH (try and repro­duce it if you think it’s sim­ple — but be pre­pared to invest a bunch of hours imo). The intent of the artist is clear for me and the story is way way strong. I also do not find tech­ni­cal fault with this image. Keep in mind we are look­ing at a web image that’s 50 years old and only 30k. I’d expect the actual print to look supe­rior. I’ve seen this image in books and it looks supe­rior to this web image.

    The fact that a mod­ern app can repro­duce this effect, is mean­ing­less to me and does not dimin­ish the image for me in any way.

    We’ve had the what is art (fine art) debate count­less times on our site…and it’s per­sonal as to what any one per­son will call art. I 100% accept that you find this image poor. I hope you’ll accept that I 100% dis­agree with you :) When peo­ple dis­agree with me that just makes me look/work harder — so feel free to call me out on any­thing at any­time.
    Thx! Marko

  4. Kawarthabob says:

    Hi Marko. why is this con­sid­ered “fine art”? If a pic like this was done today with tech­nol­ogy and all , it would be crit­i­cized as poor qual­ity. I under­stand that a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words but, c’mon! I appre­ci­ate every­one has their own tastes but I fail to see what makes fine art “fine art”. these days with the “apps” on so much soft­ware there is a resur­gence of mak­ing a pic look old school. Are we bound in the pho­tog­ra­phy feild des­tined to copy like the movie indus­rty has done over the past few years? is fine art clas­si­fied as such to a select few in the indus­try and we fol­low like lambs?
    What makes fine art? I’m not pick­ing on your choice of art , I just need some insight on oth­ers thoughts.

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