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The Photographs in the High's 'Picturing the South' Series Were Not Taken By A Phone

[All photographs by Martin Parr from the High Museum's 'Picturing the South' series. Images courtesy of the artist and the High Museum. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Janet Borden, Inc.]

While Instagram seems have turned everyone with an iPhone into a wannabe art photographer, there are those out there with considerably more skill and training than the average camera phone-wielder. Perhaps to remind us of this, the High Museum commissioned three artists to participate in their Picturing the South series (on display until September 2), in conjunction with a collection on loan from MoMA, Picturing New York. The photographs- no mere family photo album- run the gamut of buildings, objects, people, spaces, and events. Walking through the quiet rooms of the exhibition, one gets a distinct sense of time and place. You may feel as though you are walking the streets alongside millions of people from multiple generations, a feat as of yet uncaptured by any of the tiny square pictures seen in a Twitter feed. One of the High’s objectives was for the photographers to “engage deeply with our region,” and reading the artists’ statements shows you just how entrenched they each became as they shot their subjects. Kael Alford explored her family’s roots in the disappearing bayoulands of southern Louisiana. Shane Lavalette traveled around to explore the history of southern music. And finally, Martin Parr focused entirely on Atlanta, capturing scenes sure to be familiar. If you see anyone you know, please be sure to tag them. - Laura Lindeman