Framing The World Through My Photographs

Library Task

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When I went back to the library to find other books for this task, I couldn’t find the one I had looked at in class, therefore I decided to just find my own book to use as a starting points.

For this task I started with ‘Native Americans’ by Edward Sheriff Curtis. Most of the photos in the book were taken between 1907-1930. The book features mostly portrait of native americans living on the Seattle waterfront as well as images of them working in their surroundings , Curtis is considered a society photographer even though his photographs are staged they give an ‘of the moment feel. The lighting in these photos look to be all natural, the lighting in all the photos all light the face whether it be in a portraits or a location shot this draws me into the lives of the people living in the settlement. In some ways this reminds me of Robert Franks collection ‘The Americans’.

Like Curtis, Robert Frank photographs the American community, however Frank doesn’t look at the native american community. Like Curtis’ work Franks images images all look as though they use natural lighting which draws the eye to what Franks wants the viewer to see. Frank photographs different social classes much like Walker Evans, who is influenced by Robert Frank.

Evans also photographs the American community like Frank does, looking at all social classes. Evans is best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) where he documents the great depression. Evans includes many portraits swell as the group portraits which allows the viewer to see how the group reacts with one another. This reminds me of Larry Finks book ‘Social Graces’.

In 1974 Fink began to photograph society benefits in New York, which he said was ruled by “curiosity and rage against the privileged classes- it abuses, voluptuous folds, and unfulfilled lives. I wanted to illuminate and lose myself in the dark spectrum of glitter.Unlike the other books I have previously talked about Fink uses artificial light to bring out the subjects from the rest of the image which in my opinion makes for a more interesting outcome. The images featured in this book are very contrasty, meaning that the difference in the light and dark tones are very clear.

I enjoyed researching in this way usually I stick to the internet as my main source of research  as libraries and me don’t usually mix, however to start to build a greater knowledge of photographers and their work looking at there books and previous books help to do this.

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This entry was posted on May 19, 2013 by in Working With Light and tagged , , .
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