(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘photographs

Long ago and not so far away…

Dear Photograph has the simplest of m.o.’s: “take a picture of a picture from the past in the present.”

Dear Photograph,
Where did all my super powers go?
Emily Yaung

Dear Photograph,
Thank you for everything we had.

Dear Photograph,
Dad always had the comfiest shoulder.

Many more time-spanning treasures at Dear Photograph.

As we wax nostalgic, we might recall that it was on this date in 1864 that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Valley Grant Act (Senate Bill 203), giving California the Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Big Tree Grove “upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation.”

Mirror Lake, Yosemite
Carleton E. Watkins, photographer, circa 1860.
source: Library of Congress

Getting the picture…

“AmStar 7,” by Wollex

Your correspondent makes lots of use of Wikimedia Commons, “a database of 8,052,028 [as of January 2, 2011] freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.”  Most (Roughly) Daily use is in the almanac section, memorializing each date’s honoree.  But the Commons contains a wealth of other, less archival photos as well…

The Commons Picture of the Year is a competition that was first run in 2006. It aims to identify the best freely-licensed images from those that during the year have been awarded Featured picture status.”

See the photo above, and 2010’s 22 other winners at Web Urbanist.

As we adjust out f-stops, we might recall that it was on this date in 1841 that Herman Melville shipped out to the South Seas on the whaler Acushnet.  The ship anchored near Tahiti, where Melville was jailed for his part in a mutiny; he escaped, and wandered around the South Sea islands for two years. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, based on his Polynesian adventures. His second book, Omoo (1847), also dealt with the region. Those two novels were popular successes, but his third, Mardi (1849), more experimental in nature, failed to catch on with the public.  In 1851, Harper & Brothers published Moby-Dick— at first another flop… it wasn’t recognized as the classic it’s become for many years.

The Acushnet, hunting (source: Columbia University)


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