The Terminal

Alfred Stieglitz

1864 - 1946

The Terminal

1892, printed 1920-1939

Gelatin silver print
3 1/16 x 4 in. (7.8 x 10.2 cm)
Framed: 16 3/4 x 20 3/4 x 1 1/8 in. (42.5 x 52.7 x 2.9 cm)

The Terminal was one of Stieglitz’s first photographs using a portable, hand- held Graflex camera. Traditionally trained with a bulky, large-format camera that required a tripod for stabilization, Stieglitz borrowed the lightweight Graflex from friend and fellow photographer William B. Post. The negatives he was able to produce, regardless of the relatively slow plates, were enough to convince Stieglitz of the benefits provided by the camera. Soon after, he purchased his own Graflex and used it for the majority of his career, notably to produce his Equivalents.

Stieglitz used various printing techniques during his career, but most frequently the photogravure and gelatin silver processes, both seen here. The smaller of the two includes the complete image from the negative, while the larger shows his use of cropping. While each image has a varying sense of intimacy and physical dominance, they also differ in tonal value based on their printing technique.