The Incredible Versatility Of Photographer John Dominis

Photographer John Dominis died Monday at age 92 and left behind one of those archives that are hard to comprehend. Over the course of a few decades at Life magazine, Dominis not only worked in just about every photographic genre but also seemed to have mastered them.

The underpinning to his wildly variegated archive (fashion, war, architecture, poverty) is a sensibility: a way of reconciling the gravity of life with its levity in a single frame; an intuitive understanding of light and shadow; an enviable way of adapting to any situation.

Here is a very limited look at those moments, both iconic and quotidian, that Dominis witnessed and preserved:

Sports (But Lyrically)

Yankee Mickey Mantle flinging his batting helmet away in disgust during bad day at bat, 1965

hide captionYankee Mickey Mantle flinging his batting helmet away in disgust during bad day at bat, 1965

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Animals (As A Taxonomist Might See Them)

A "portrait" of Santa Gertrudis bull at King Ranch, 1952

hide captionA "portrait" of Santa Gertrudis bull at King Ranch, 1952

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Things Organized Neatly (Before It Was Cool)

An array of pots and pans used for cooking, 1968

hide captionAn array of pots and pans used for cooking, 1968

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Portraits (In Really Creative Ways)

Butterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954 i i

hide captionButterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Butterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954

Butterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Food (Modernist Cuisine, Anyone?)

Argentinian matambre, a slice of beef rolled with vegetables and chilies, 1966

hide captionArgentinian matambre, a slice of beef rolled with vegetables and chilies, 1966

John Dominis/Getty Images/Time & Life Picture

War

Helicopter ambulance taking off on a flight to Seoul, Korean War, March 1951

hide captionHelicopter ambulance taking off on a flight to Seoul, Korean War, March 1951

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Technology And Innovation (And Interesting Light)

Farmer Bob Chickering at dusk driving lamp-studded lettuce harvester he invented, 1955

hide captionFarmer Bob Chickering at dusk driving lamp-studded lettuce harvester he invented, 1955

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Politics (From Eisenhower To Nixon)

President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En Lai watching a pingpong match during Nixon's visit to China, 1972

hide captionPresident Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En Lai watching a pingpong match during Nixon's visit to China, 1972

John Dominis/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Wildlife (As In, Life And Death)

Leopard about to kill a terrified baboon, South Africa, 1965

hide captionLeopard about to kill a terrified baboon, South Africa, 1965

John Dominis/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Celebrities (And Good Times)

Frank Sinatra singing during a performance in Las Vegas, Nev., April 1965

hide captionFrank Sinatra singing during a performance in Las Vegas, Nev., April 1965

John Dominis/Time Life & Getty Images

Not Celebrities (And Hard Times)

Girl with cala lilies, Mexico, 1951

hide captionGirl with cala lilies, Mexico, 1951

John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

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