Postcards from Earth: World Photography

A photoessay of scenes from around the world.

| March/April 1990

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    A procession is like a dance, even while, as here, it is actually work. Niger, 1986.
    PHOTO: MAGNUM PHOTOS/STEVE MCCURRY
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    We talk, see, and listen with large dishes. Earth station, U.K., 1982.
    H. MARK WEIDMAN
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    Where there is coal there is also steel and steam to move engines. China, 1983.
    MAGNUM PHOTOS/HIROJI KUBOTA
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    Does the wolf reflect on whether the ice will hold? Ellesmere Island, Canada, 1986.
    JIM BRANDENBURG
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    We have grasses for carpets, and trees for umbrellas. Kagoshima, Japan, 1960.
    MAGNUM PHOTOS/HIROSHI HAMAYA
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    The gulls pick and choose through refuse at city's edge. Jamica Bay, NY, 1987.
    ARTHUR TRESS
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    A racing fire, no matter where, makes us recall something ancient. California, 1985.
    FOTOMANN, INC./RICHARD MISRACH
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    Floods are less delicate, making ordinary life oddly collapsible. California, 1979.
    PAGE MACGILL GALLERY/JOEL STERNFELD
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    The petrochemical refineries decorate our rivers, like shrines. New Orleans, 1986.
    ARTHUR TRESS
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    The eyes visible from above are blind, but surrounded by fury. Hurricane Gladys, 1968.
    NASA
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    Rivers are sculptors, putting wavy lines into what is seen from afar. Utah, 1962.
    MAGNUM PHOTOS/ERNST HAAS
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    We are in love with waves, though not when driven by Gale Force 10. Atlantic City, NJ, 1968.
    WOODFIN CAMP/DAN MILLER

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Electronic images have radiated into space since the invention of television. But, as in picture books, the images are for our eyes only. Any extraterrestrial reception amounts to eavesdropping. Not this time. For by deliberately beaming these “postcards,” it is we earthlings who eavesdrop. 

Please click on the "image gallery" link, above, for the series of photos displaying scenes from around the world, including Niger, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, and even outer space.






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