Yes, These Gorgeous Google Street View Captures Are Photographs

Photographer Doug Rickard‘s work has been recently selected for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art‘s permanent collection, and cue an avalanche of hate. One particular olde-school fancy-pants award-winning photographer recently skewered him in a rant about how the Google Street View car driver should have gotten an exhibit instead. Sit down. Take a breath. Open your mind a crack, won’t you? Please look at Doug Rickard’s series A New American Picture

We’ve seen this sort of work before, notably in the dynamic, rare, decisive moments captured by Michael Wolf. There’re others.

Rickard’s series is of its own strain. He focuses on poverty-striken areas of New Orleans, Detroit and Baltimore. It takes thousands of hours of clicking through mechanically captured janky street stills automatically generated by a camera on top of a car. The finds are poignant and, naturally, candid. The resulting impressionistic, archival pigment prints are stunning. You don’t think it’s photography? Get your dukes up, buddy.

Rickard also single-handedly runs some of our favorite blogs — ASX and These Americans. His photos are also joined the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery and…. MoMA!