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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
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Yankee Mickey Mantle flinging his batting helmet away in disgust during bad day at bat, 1965

Animals (As A Taxonomist Might See Them)

A "portrait" of Santa Gertrudis bull at King Ranch, 1952
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
A "portrait" of Santa Gertrudis bull at King Ranch, 1952

Things Organized Neatly (Before It Was )

An array of pots and pans used for cooking, 1968
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
An array of pots and pans used for cooking, 1968

Portraits (In Really Creative Ways)

Food (Modernist Cuisine, Anyone?)

Argentinian matambre, a slice of beef rolled with vegetables and chilies, 1966
John Dominis / Getty Images/Time & Life Picture
Argentinian matambre, a slice of beef rolled with vegetables and chilies, 1966

War

Helicopter ambulance taking off on a flight to Seoul, Korean War, March 1951
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Helicopter ambulance taking off on a flight to Seoul, Korean War, March 1951

Technology And Innovation (And Interesting Light)

Farmer Bob Chickering at dusk driving lamp-studded lettuce harvester he invented, 1955
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Farmer Bob Chickering at dusk driving lamp-studded lettuce harvester he invented, 1955

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
John Dominis / Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En Lai watching a pingpong match during Nixon's visit to China, 1972

Wildlife (As In, Life And Death)

Leopard about to kill a terrified baboon, South Africa, 1965
John Dominis / Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Leopard about to kill a terrified baboon, South Africa, 1965

Celebrities (And Good Times)

Frank Sinatra singing during a performance in Las Vegas, Nev., April 1965
John Dominis / Time Life & Getty Images
Frank Sinatra singing during a performance in Las Vegas, Nev., April 1965

Not Celebrities (And Hard Times)

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Girl with cala lilies, Mexico, 1951
John Dominis / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Girl with cala lilies, Mexico, 1951