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Marking time in September 2007

Thursday 27 September 2007

Roger Fenton in the Crimea: quizzing the evidence

Just published in the New York Times​—​an article by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris about two photographs taken by Roger Fenton on the same day in April 1855. Both are entitled Valley of the shadow of death and show a road curving through a valley outside of Sebastopol. The landscape in both is littered with cannon balls.

In one version the balls are spread over the road; in the other there are no balls on the road. Scholars have read this evidence in different ways, nicely analysed by Errol Morris in the article. Morris promises to visit the site of the photograph, and to come back with the true story in a second article.

Valley of the shadow of death (with no cannon balls on the road), photograph in the collection of the Science Museum, London [wikipedia].

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Roger Fenton in the Crimea: quizzing the evidence

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