Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Long Exposure: Looking Back on the Civil War in Photographs

It’s not easy to imagine today in our world of high-speed photography and camera phones what it was like to have your photograph taken in the 19th century. The still very new technology required sitters to remain motionless for long periods—sometimes several minutes—for the image to be captured by the plate. Any movement would blur the image. This year marks the sesquicentennial of the beginning in April 1861 of the American Civil War, the first American armed conflict to be caught on camera. A new exhibition of Civil War photos at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, opens up a family album of sorts to show us the forgotten figures of that conflict—the everyday people unheralded by history books, but who look much more like us today than the larger-than-life leaders we all know by name. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Long Exposure."

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