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“Photography can help to define our understanding of cities, which are too complex to be grasped in their totality. Archival photographs capture the city at a particular moment in its development.”
Allan Shulman – Architect, Urban Designer & Writer

The photograph which “captured the city at a particular moment” is the staple of an archival photograph collection. It allows researchers and the generally curious to “see” their city, or a particular building, event or person, change over time.

Photographs also capture the spirit of the city, or an individual photographer, as witnessed by what is photographed, in what manner and for what purpose. Some of what is in these photographs tell us more about their creator, Chris Bruun. He sees a city which is full of humour and unexpected surprises. He sees people that we may overlook or look away from. His focus is diverse and inclusive. 

Many photographs are snapshots of things that caught the photographer’s interest or that they wanted to remember in the moment. Professional photographers, art clubs, social scientists, and urban geographers also create pictures to document something of importance to themselves or their work. The range of what constitutes a documentary photograph is huge.

Looking at the photo gallery, what has been captured, and what does it say about our city? What would you document to represent your Edmonton today?

Chris Bruun, our featured photographer, looks through his camera lens at things in our city which most people overlook. This excerpt from a sequence of photographs shows the demolition of the Molson Brewery site in 2012-2013.
Weather itself is one of Chris Bruun’s favorite subjects. With the modern camera’s automatic shutters and digital capture, a photographer can collect a detailed series of images which depict rapid changes and convey motion.

For More Information

City of Edmonton Archives

Prince of Wales Armouries, 2nd floor
10440 108 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta

Email cms.archives@edmonton.ca
Website http://archivesphotos.edmonton.ca/

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