Skip

Autism Visible
December 8, 2005 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Inside the Spectrum: a hauntingly beautiful and thought provoking little collection of photographs of autistic people by Chris Combs, a fiercely talented photographer in his early 20s who works at the Washington Post. Read Combs' project description here. For more on autism, see here.
posted by digaman (16 comments total)

 
beautiful stuff, thanks digaman
posted by matteo at 9:07 AM on December 8, 2005


Wow - he's an amazing photog.
posted by twsf at 9:13 AM on December 8, 2005


Tried hard to get it- but didn't. Meh.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 9:19 AM on December 8, 2005


Do you mean the link didn't work, or you didn't "get" the photos?
posted by digaman at 9:22 AM on December 8, 2005


I apologize for the possible derail, but these seem overwhelmingly average. In the small sample, I don't come away with anything remotely resembling an appreciation for the world of an autistic, nor is there anything that scarcely shows how these folks mainstream (with the exception of the gentleman and his horse). No offense to the photog [or digaman], but shouldn't we expect something more from a photojournalist with this kind of subject matter?
posted by docpops at 9:37 AM on December 8, 2005


I'm not sure if "showing how these folks mainstream" was Combs' top priority. With a title like "Inside the Spectrum," in fact, I'd expect something else -- little glimpses of a very non-mainstream world. In that, Combs delivered. I also think they're just simply beautiful photographs, as many of the images on Combs' own site are. That's enough for me, for now.
posted by digaman at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2005


that first link is just a preview. presumably the full photo journal will be published elsewhere.

based on the preview, I'm excited to see the full work. I like photography of humans that doesn't feature lots of the human. this stuff is neat like that. it takes me outside of the edges of the photograph and into my imagination. plus, his blurbs are poky in all the right emotional places (or maybe it's just the subject matter).
posted by carsonb at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2005


yeah, I agree.
posted by digaman at 9:47 AM on December 8, 2005


I did not know that autism was a visible affliction
posted by jouke at 10:04 AM on December 8, 2005


I found the anecdotes accompanying the photos to be more interesting, and more insightful.

"It was his mother's first time riding, and Mark surrendered his long-time horse to her, so that she would be sure to have a good one."
posted by manicroom at 10:06 AM on December 8, 2005


I found the anecdotes accompanying the photos to be more interesting, and more insightful.

"It was his mother's first time riding, and Mark surrendered his long-time horse to her, so that she would be sure to have a good one."

Definitely.
posted by docpops at 10:10 AM on December 8, 2005


I did not know that autism was a visible affliction

Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Thus: "spectrum."
posted by digaman at 10:19 AM on December 8, 2005


Anyone who in interested in this subject should also check out the Autistic Adults Picture Project.
posted by DaveSeidel at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2005


ah very cool, thanks Dave!
posted by digaman at 10:42 AM on December 8, 2005


Thanks for the comments. A few supplemental pieces of information -

This is a selection of the work that was edited for a preview show (i.e. a limited amount of physical space on the wall), so we were limited to selecting twelve images. The final thesis, landing in February, will be larger (and presented in book form).

This preview serves as an expository view of autism. The final product will focus on the impact upon siblings and immediate family, in addition to an explanatory depiction of autism itself. (an excellent article that explains the impact on siblings ran A1 in the Grey Lady last December.)

Autism isn't generally visual - certainly not as readily identifiable as Down's syndrome, for example. The challenge is finding behaviors or interactions that bely autism, rather than stark depictions of what each person looks like.

and, as much as I would love to be an employee of the Post, I'm currently an intern in the Multimedia department of washingtonpost.com, which is a discrete entity from the newspaper (but closely-linked, of course).

Thanks, and feel free to ask questions.

Chris Combs
posted by aardvarko at 10:55 AM on December 8, 2005


Thanks for showing up here, Chris. Sorry about the confusion about your job.
posted by digaman at 1:30 PM on December 8, 2005


« Older Bounce Your Load and Get Charged Up   |   Get down, Zelda Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post