I was always intrigued by the image entitled “View from the Window at La Gras” by Nicéphore Niépce.
Partially because of the history of the image, being so old, but also because I’ve taken photos from my window too – from my office window, from my hotel window, from a window at home – as I’m sure many others have done. But I thought of these images as “not so good”, or “not appealing”, because I didn’t have to hike 10 miles, or travel to the other side of the globe to capture them. They were, in some ways, “easy”, photos.
I guess Niépce’s photo always reminds me that, in a technical sense, images don’t have to be breathtaking, earth-shattering or even uniquely distinct. There’s an aspect of photography by which we simply “create”, even if it’s an image of what’s right outside our window.
With that in mind, here’s a couple of my favorite “window” photos.
First, a view from my window at work. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, with dark blue skies. My favorite kind of day! (OM-2, 24mm, Portra 400)
And a view of sunrise from my hotel, last January, when it was -25 F on a very frosty Chicago morning. (EOS R, 24mm)
I recently found out that the original copy of Niépce’s photograph is displayed in the Harry Ransom Center Museum at The University of Texas, right here in Austin! Sounds like I need to visit – and then record my impressions here!