What I’m Reading: Short Nights of The Shadow Catcher

Kutenai Duck Hunter - Adaptation of Edward Curtis - 2011

Author Timothy Egan has a new book out about the great American photographer Edward Curtis titled “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis“.

Egan is a wonderful writer – having written for the New York Times for many years – and, more recently, also author of the book The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl which was provided some of the background for Ken Burns’ recent file The Dust Bowl. He picks great but somewhat obscure subjects for his writing – and that’s a big part of why his work is so interesting.

I remember first hearing about Edward Curtis from photographer Trey Ratcliff who described Curtis as his “favorite photographer“.

After Trey turned me on to Curtis, I began exploring his images in the Library of Congress just over a year ago – and wrote about it here. I picked two of his images to experiment with – “Kutenai Duck Hunter” (see above) and a lovely Eskimo woman named “Ola”. I described how I did my adjustments for both images here.

I’ve just begun reading Egan’s book on Edward Curtis. So far, it’s another great read. Deborah Solomon recently reviewed the book for the New York Times.

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