Having just viewed examples of photographs of the Nazca lines taken by Edward Ranney I wanted to include a comment here in admiration of his work. As a former professional photography myself, I had little interest in taking photographs but rather in creating and designing images. But having studied photography, I am open to an interest in photographic images in general and like coming across occasions when in straight photographs, with content well selected and framed etc. it is instantly apparent that their content is not only of a very captivating choice of subject, but also when they have a very credible purpose. This I find is instantly recognisable in the images produced by Edward Ranney of the Nazca lines, judging by the few I have seen in an article published by the Smithonian which reproduced in part, and directed to on this site. (Stunning Black-and-White Photos of the Nazca Lines)
As mentioned in that listing of the Smithonian article which serves to introduced Ranney’s photos, I hope he will forgive me for using one of his pictures here with which to draw attention to his work as it appeared in the original article in Smithonian.com. Such an example of the merit of his work is necessary to make the point. The photos remind me of the style of work by the topographic group of photographers, also shooting during the 1980s in America. These were very accurate, detailed and objective photos, taken with the robotic vision of a cctv camera but with greater clarity. It provides some of the finest views from a ground level perspective with which to relate the area to someone who has not be able to visit it in person. This low level perspective is key to enjoying the images as most images otherwise of the Nazca lines are seen from the air. Perhaps this image and the article will encourage people to purchase a copy of the book in which his images of the Nazca lines appear – The Lines (Yale University Art Gallery
Here are the details of the book cited on Amazon:
Edward Ranney (b. 1942) is one of the most distinguished photographers of the Peruvian landscape. In 1985 Ranney began photographing the Nazca lines, a series of monumental geoglyphs that stretch across an arid plateau in southern Peru. Created by the Nazca culture more than 2,000 years ago, the lines have perplexed archeologists and inspired scores of visual artists. While most clearly seen from the air in a plane or helicopter, these lines offer an even more awe-inspiring experience when viewed from the ground—Ranney’s chosen vantage for his large-format photographs.
Two decades of work on these lines in Peru and on similar glyphs found in northern Chile are brought together for the first time in this handsome volume, revealing the enigmatic beauty of these ancient manmade landforms. An illuminating essay by esteemed critic Lucy R. Lippard situates Ranney’s work within the context of landscape photography and contemporary art.