About this book
Photographer Uwe Ommer shares with us his four-year project, a Family Album of Planet Earth. Overwhelming in its magnitude, this project is truly extraordinary. Stopping in over 150 countries in all corners of the world, Ommer carefully selected the families which best reflected each society's traditions and social conditions. Many of the portraits have appeared in exhibitions and magazines during the course of the project; now that the work is finished, TASCHEN brings it all to you in one volume. Ommer chose to photograph each family in the same way, against a white background and with identical lighting. All of the traditional elements of a documentary photograph are removed, leaving only the people themselves. The result is astonishing.382282335X The passing of every old man or woman means the passing of some tradition, some knowledge of sacred rites possessed by no other; consequently the information that is to be gathered, for the benefit of future generations, respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost for all time. At the turn of the century the American photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) started on his thirty year project to produce a monumental study of North American Indians. Using an approach that was both artistically and scientifically ambitious he recorded, in words and pictures, the traces of the traditional Indian way of life that was already beginning to die out. With tireless personal commitment Curtis visited American Indian tribes from the Mexican border to the Bering Straits, gaining their confidence by his patience and sensitivity. This, his photographiclife's work, was printed in 20 volumes between 1907 and 1930 as The North American Indian. The quality of reproduction of the photographs was excellent. There were only 272 copies in total. Now all his photographs are fully reproduced in this one book, together with a selection of pictures from Curtis' texts.
The idea seemed good, but the book was based on and only confirmed the stereotypes