Monday, November 29, 2010

Alexander Gardner “Execution of Conspirators” July 7, 1865

Alexander Gardner  “Execution of Conspirators” July 7, 1865
Collodion Glass-Plate

Alexander Gardner was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1821. His interest in photography began in 1851 after he saw Mathew Brady photography at the Great Exhibition in London. He began working for Brady after he moved to the U.S. in 1856. During the Civil War, he was the staff photographer under General George McClellan. His photograph of President Lincoln was the last ever taken of the President, and he was the only photographer at the execution of the assassination conspirators.

Gardner did well in capturing historical events and people during the civil war. The image of the Execution of Conspirators has good composition, as it follows the rule of thirds and appears balanced. Viewing the deaths of four people by hanging is slightly unsettling, but that feeling is surpassed by surprise as I recognized that only a few in the crowd are looking at the execution. This makes the image feel much more interesting than it would if everyone was looking directly at those hanging.

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