Friday, January 25, 2008

The Beauty Of Photography

With all the glitzy, special edition cards out there today, it's hard to remember sometimes the simple art of photography on cards. Granted, these scans of cards don't begin to give the actual card justice, but at least there is some idea of the beauty that lies in the card.

In today's world of Photoshopped cards and cut-outs, it's refreshing to see a simple, well balanced photograph. Topps had a lot of them in the 1991 and 1992 sets. I think it was timed to go with their glossier image. 1992 was the first year that Topps cards didn't have the brownish card back.
Maybe it's all the art classes I took in high school, but something strikes me about these cards. They are beautiful, in their own way. Forget about the borders and focus on the photograph. While I was scouring my collection for "Oh" face cards last night, thanks Mario, I was struck by the sheer beauty of some of these cards.
I had noticed them before, but after Wax Heaven's interview with Jerry Hale, they jumped out at me more than ever before. I chose a few cards from these sets to represent them. Posed shots and action shots alike were in full glory here. Sure, there's a few bad photos in every set, but the ones that stand out are a true work of art. The Roger Clemens card stands out to this day, in my mind. So does the Wade Boggs card.
These are nothing like the homoerotic Score Dream Team cards of shirtless men showing off their muscles. No, these cards can be appreciated by all. If they didn't land on a card, I'm sure they would be in a photography show for all to admire. They don't seem to shoot photos like this anymore.


Fleerfan said...

Great post on the 1991 & 1992 sets. I have always thought these was a great set in terms of the photographs. You can tell that Topps put a lot of extra effort in trying to use great images for many of the cards to celebrate their 40th anniversary as well as the year after.

Looking through it, you realize how good a card set can look if you make the effort to use great photos. Shots like Clemens in front of the Green Monster and Ripken by the Lou Gehrig monument in Yankee Stadium are classics.

morineko said...

I agree with you. I've been really disappointed with the recent card photography on the core card lines. I was going through my 1993 UD set looking for interesting pictures, and I found no shortage of them. Not so in the 2007 set. If any of the companies decided to go back to that standard of photography in at least one of their sets, I'd definitely be building that one.

Wax Heaven said...

Wow. I remember and loved these cards. I would have featured them myself but I no longer have any.

Great post, thanks for the memories.

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