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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Bradford Washburn

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Bradford Washburn 
  

Spanning a period of six decades, Bradford Washburn photographed mountains from the vantage point of an open door aircraft fuselage. Anchored to the inside of the plane and equipped with an 8x10 Fairchild aerial camera with a roll film magazine that was also tied in, he captured majestic traditional black and white landscapes. The image resolution and tonality of Washburn‘s images rivals - if not exceeds - those of the great masters.
 
Bradford Washburn was one of Boston’s truly great figures. His resume´ was as long as it was diverse: founding director of Boston’s Museum of Science, major fund raiser for that organization, geologist, cartographer, mountaineer, explorer, and photographer.
 
Washburn’s legacy of accomplishments begs the question: how does one person accomplish so much? I heard Washburn quote Goethe on several occasions: "If there is something that you think you can do, or even dream that you can, begin it! Boldness has mystery and power and magic in it." Washburn practiced what he preached.
 
"Doing it" was the key to Washburn’s success. Once he set out on a path, whether a professional responsibility or on a mountain, it was one step at a time with no looking back until the task was accomplished. Determination and the desire to get things done were Washburn’s trademark. One joined him in his quest or one got out of the way.
 
Sharing information was the driving force behind most of Washburn‘s accomplishments. His Museum of Science was one of the first of its kind to provide hands on teaching displays and exhibitions. It was clear that when visiting the museum, one learned from the experience of the visit. The same principle exists in his photographs. The aerial perspective was unique and inaccessible to many. His knowledge about mountains, the quality of light, the chemical science of photography, and his eye for composition are the ingredients of his photographs.
 
Tony Decaneas
Panopticon Gallery 
  

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