Cadiz by Alvin Langdon Coburn (1908)

The photograph titled “Cadiz” was taken by the artist Alvin Langdon Coburn in the year 1908. It’s a striking black and white image that captures a maritime scene, presumably within the historical city of Cádiz in Spain.

This image shows a view of what appears to be a harbor, looking through a darkened foreground that frames the scene. The vantage point might be from within a shelter or under the deck of another boat, as evidenced by the ropes or frayed material hanging from the wooden beams in the top part of the composition. There is a sense of looking out from the shadows into a lighter, more active harbor area.

Two boats are the main focus of the image—closer to the viewer, a smaller rowboat occupies the center of the photograph, with two figures inside, possibly fishermen or workers. Beyond the rowboat, a larger sailing vessel is anchored, its mast and rigging cutting into the softer backdrop of the water. Both boats are on relatively calm water, suggesting a serene or quiet moment. The background features faint outlines of buildings or infrastructure along the shoreline, but these details are subdued, allowing the boats to draw the viewer’s attention. The overall atmosphere of the image is one of tranquility, with the quality of light indicating it might be an overcast day. The photograph beautifully captures the texture and reflections on the water, emphasizing the play between light and shadow which was a characteristic approach of Alvin Langdon Coburn’s work.

Other Photographs from Alvin Langdon Coburn

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