Transition from straight landscape photography with large-format camera to the large-scale, digitally altered imagery
A striking panoramic photograph of Lake Garda in Italy by photographer Andreas Gursky has provided another example of the escalating value of photography as art form. The picture fetched $125000 (about R1.17million) at Sotheby’s annual sale of contemporary photography in New York recently.
The work reflects the German photographer’s transition from straight landscape photography with large-format camera to the large-scale, digitally altered imagery he is now renowned for.
While the negatives for this image were made in 1986 – when Gursky made several three-frame city views – it was not until 1993, after he had started to alter his pictures in the computer that the present sweeping panoramic view of the lake was created
Gursky’s detailed panorama calls for careful observation. It at first seems almost a minimalist composition, with the central horizon bisecting the picture, and the mountains symmetrically positioned on each side of the image. A closer look, however, reveals a substantial depth of field with many windsurfers dotting the horizon, the whole rendered in crystalline detail.