(b Detroit, 22 Oct 1912; d Atlanta, GA, 15 March 1999).
American photographer. He took up photography in 1938, at the relatively
late age of 26. Ansel Adams visited the Detroit Photo Guild in 1941 and
Callahan was inspired by his emphasis on craftsmanship and his majestic
images. Callahan’s earliest works focused on the calligraphic details of
landscape, such as the patterns of grass against snow or telephone wires
against the sky, or explored the effects of multiple exposures. Later
subjects included studies of his wife Eleanor, a series of portraits made on
Chicago’s State Street in 1950, a series of houses at Providence, RI, and
Cape Cod beachscapes begun in the 1960s. Whether working in black and white
or, later, in colour, as in Harry Callahan: Color (New York, 1980),
Callahan was committed in all his work to what he called ‘the moment that
people can’t always see’.
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