This is one of the photos that started this little experiment. I had been talking about this photo one week when I saw a small video on a movie that was being made about it. Then at dinner the photo appeared on the wall to my left. Well it didn’t appear, but I finally noticed it. When I started looking into this photo for the feature I found out that the photographer is not really known. The photographer who has been credited for many years with making the photo may in fact not be the photographer. The person responsible is almost as hard to figure out as the eleven men on the beam. The story goes that a couple of photographers were photographing that day, but even that information is not too accurate. It is funny how the image was the focus here, and the elements in it as well as the photographer did not really matter to the people at the time. It was just supposed to be a publicity shot for the building. I don’t think that anyone ever really thought that this photo would take off the way that it did, and that it would become an iconic American image.
A photo taken on the same day as this one shows some of the men taking an apparent nap on the beam. That helps clue you in to the fact that this was a staged photo. The fact that it was staged does not take away from the fact that it is striking. As someone who is afraid of heights I can say that you really get a sense of danger looking at this photo. No matter who made the photo they did a great job of conveying the ease of the workers with the height that they worked at.
A movie has been made about the photo. With little data to go on it really might be a bit long for what it tells you. Here is the trailer, and from here you get the idea of what the movie is about. It would be a good rental from iTunes if you have a free night.
Over at my SmugMug site I have cut the price on all of my photos for the summer. If you visit my site at pinolaphotography.com you can order any item that I sell for 50% off from now until Labor Day. Just use the coupon code ‘summer’ at the checkout.