1947, printed 1949
Gelatin silver print
Image: 9 x 11.7 cm (3 9/16 x 4 5/8 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.)
© 1982 Trustees of Princeton University
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1993.12
A leading advocate for the expressive powers of photography, White transformed everyday experiences into sublime statements, even in small images such as this sharply focused contact print. The elevated vantage point and expansive vista greatly reduce the sense of scale, leaving a carefully selected, abstracted detail of a favorite subject—the meeting of tidal waves and rugged cliffs on the California coast. The exquisite tonal values convey the subtly shifting effects of light and atmosphere. A bank of fog rolling in from the ocean both defines and softens the jagged contours of the landscape. The absence of a transition between the surging sea and the towering bluffs leaves little room for human presence, and the image becomes a metaphor for isolation and loneliness. Known for his complex and romantic writing style, White once explained that "the photograph acts as a symbol . . . for something that is beyond the subject photographed."
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.