75 Years of Photography
About the Book
Immersed in the flourishing Greenwich Village arts scene of the 1950s, Spencer Ross studied photography with some of the most famous mentors of that period. Soon his own work received accolades. U.S. Camera magazine named him one of “the young lions of photography.” His photograph “Street Scene in Siena” is considered by some to be one of the finest street photographs of that era. For the next six decades, Ross traveled the world on business to 130 countries and he always took his camera along. His street scenes and nature photographs from those travels have hung in over 100 museums and galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the IBM Gallery.
In this volume, you can see over 250 of Ross’s arresting images: stunning street photography, memorable portraits of men, women, and children, extraordinary photographs of our natural world, haunting landscapes, and memorable abstracts, accompanied by Ross’s observations about the images, his travels, and the creative process. Ross reflects on the increasing sophistication of cameras from their earliest days to 35mm technology, along with the ubiquity of today’s smartphones and their effect on the photography world. He reminisces about his mentors and significant influences and muses about photography as a fine art. “Though hardly reality itself,” says Ross, “the still photograph has an uncanny ability to preserve an image with an intensity which can equal or even surpass the experience of the moment. A photograph can mystify, elevate, transmute, imbue, and influence. All these possibilities and more are available to those practitioners who maintain an appropriate respect for the potential of this medium and a sufficient knowledge of the craft.” The photographs in this collection do indeed reflect Ross’s aspiration: to create works of lasting value.
As you’ll see in this book, Spencer Ross can tackle a sunset, explore flowers in the field, and come up with beautiful beach scenes, but where do I think he really shines? As a street photographer myself, I cannot help being wowed by many of his street photographs: the kids playing in the streets of Belgium, or his photo of a portrait photographer on the streets of Athens, like a mirror of his eye-to-eye view of the world. An interested and interesting world traveler, he roamed around with his camera in hand before street photography even had a name. This worthy book is filled with Ross's life’s work and it serves photographic history well.
- Ken Farrell