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© Estate of Harry Callahan

Harry Callahan
American, 1941
Gelatin silver print
3 3/16 x 4 1/2 in.

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Callahan referred to this photograph, made shortly after an inspiring encounter with Ansel Adams, as "my first good picture." Unlike Adams's dramatic landscapes, Callahan's composition focuses on an overlooked pedestrian setting in his native Detroit. Raising the horizon line, the artist achieved a delicate, calligraphic interplay among the reeds and telephone poles and their reflections across the surface of a bog.