Eliot Porter: In the Realm of Nature

By Paul Martineau

J. Paul Getty Museum, 2012; 144 pages, $39.95

Among my clearest memories of the 1960s (yes, I still have them) are the evocative nature photographs by Eliot Porter that were published in several large-format books by the Sierra Club. One of these, The Place No One Knew, which portrayed the exotic beauty of the soon-to-be-submerged Glen Canyon of the Colorado, spurred the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Now this retrospective from the Getty Museum reviews Porter’s career, from his early days as a black-and-white photographer, in the school of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, to his path-breaking color photography, breathtaking in its attention to subtleties of tone and texture. Paul Martineau, a curator at the Getty Museum, contributes a short biography of Porter, but the ninety-one photos, including a number of Porter’s early black-and-white compositions, are the centerpiece of this book.

Recent Stories

Conspicuous armaments are good visual proxies for fighting ability.

Bats, reservoirs for such viruses as Ebola, are increasingly villainized and require special conservation.

After centuries of moving through the Irish countryside, a group known as Travellers has come to rest.

Algae, plants and humans: three groups of organisms that used chemistry to change the planet.