Photos the have had a personal impact

August 22, 1956. Chicago, IL
August 22, 1956. Chicago, IL

Vivian Maier worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago during the 50s and 60s. Her street photos capture the essence of city life at the middle of the century. This photo, of a man passed out on the shore of Lake Michigan, makes an an impression on me. Maier took many photos of “drunks,” but this photo is an interesting juxtaposition. Usually we associate a beach scene with relaxation and tranquility, and those feelings do come to mind when viewing this photo. Yet, we can also get a sense that… although this man is at rest, he has troubles. There is a darkness beneath the restfulness of this photo. I believe this photo says something about the nature of escapism.


This is an iconic photo of the 1895 Montparnasse derailment in Pairs. This photo clearly makes impression. The idea that a train crashed through a second story window is horrifying. The accident happened at a time when the locomotive was a relatively new technology. The words that come to mind when I look at this photo are, “accidents happen.”


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