John Szarkowski’s book, the Photographer’s Eye, is principally an examination of the various impressions often given by photographs. In particular, the investigation entails the study of both photographic styles and traditions. The origination of photography predominantly provided a completely new picture-making technique. However, the unique realm of photography has considerably changed from what it was in the mid-1960s (Marien 417). Today, the field is characterized by galleries, museums, college and university programs, as well as the rapidly increasing market values. All the pictures reproduced in the Photographer’s Eye were made for a number of reasons within a century and a quarter by different men with varying concerns and talents. In the book, John Szarkowski also addresses five codependent features of the photographic images. Specifically, these include: The Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, and Vantage Point (Grange 4). These features are believed to have contributed to the establishment of various vocabularies and critical perceptions more often associated with the world of photography.
Meanwhile, photography as a commodity in the industrial world at that time, its status in galleries and museums is determined by the price it sells, which means the higher the price is, the higher position it stands. This situation increases the gap between this photography and another type of photography, which works simply for exposing abuses caused by jobs, races, sex, social classes and etc. that people are unfamiliar to accept and consume.
While the pictoralism movement dominated photography for majority of the eighteenth century, by the 1880’s another group of photographers were ready to captivate the world with a new medium of photography. This medium was meant to not only convey information, but to also awake public conscience to injustices around the world. This medium is what is known as documentary photography. In America, documentary photographers captured images ranging from poverty, unemployment, and hungry families. In The History of Photography, art historian and author Beaumont Newhall claims that, “The importance of these photographs lies in their power not only to inform us, to move us. They are at once interpretations and records; although they are no longer topical, they contain qualities which will last long as man is concerned with his brother.”1 Documentary photography not only poses as a record of recent universal events but also as valuable evidence of societal issues for centuries to come.
Through endless hours of photographing came revelation upon revelation; it truly was a radical departure from what my eyes perceived through the sketches of my youth. Creativity to me no longer represented just originality, it was also a conduit for instilling an appreciation in what can’t be seen. Mastering the camera’s effects to manipulate photos illustrated this beauty of perspective diversity—leaving shots overexposed, oversaturated, too wide and too narrow revealed life in different lights.
The question that I have chosen is ‘how have photographers used formal elements to objectify their subjects?’. In this essay I will try to answer that question while including some relevant history of photography and formalism, and examples of photographers which I think have used formal elements well in producing images that are aesthetically pleasing because of their visual qualities, by having good use of composition and colour manipulation, and that are not only good artworks because of their history or meaning behind them.
NYC-based photographer Lucea Spinelli’s latest series titled Phōtosgraphé explores the movement of light in photography and the perception of reality. Spinelli reminds us instantly of photography’s purpose and origin. It is defined as a process of drawing with light. Its etymology implies a compound of the greek words φωτός (phōtos) “light” and γραφή (graphé) which is defined as “drawing”. The fleeting movement of the illumination becomes the paintbrush on its canvas, the film. “Like a human eye, the camera receives impressions of light reflected off the world around us. “
The essay written by Charles Baudelaire, titled “The Modern Public Photography”, is not only very clear to be negative towards the pursuing arts of photography, but also very controversial due to the independent and diverse views on this specific subject matter. Baudelaire makes it very clear in his writings that his opinion is firm on photography and its evolving approach to appease the various spectators of the fine arts. In this essay, Charles Baudelaire illustrates his opinion by insulting multiple previous photographic known ‘art pieces’ and breaking them down into literal meanings, insulting the modern idea of literal duplicates of reality as being defined as “art”, and also persuading those interested in category of photography to seek ‘out-of-the-box’.
When photography is used to explain or show anything it is done as to be open to discussion and questions. In Katherine Brickell’s “Home interiors, national identity and curatorial practice in the art photography of Simryn Gill” “home has become
An unknown author once said, “[T]he question is not whether photography is fine art per se – neither painting not sculpture can make that claim – but whether it is capable of artistic expression; whether in the hands of a true artist its productions become works of art.” This quote, published in 1862, in the Photographic Journal; although quoted over 150 years ago, during a time when artistry was taking different forms and evolving, this statement is no less true today. During these early years, photographers were in the infant stage; first crawling, experimenting with the camera, film, and subject matter, followed by the teenage grouping. Seen by groups of artist who followed similar paths and doubts, ‘What would the finished piece look like
Since the invention of the camera at the beginning of the 19th century, we human beings have felt the need to capture all of those objects, people, landscapes or situations that make a certain impact on us. The objective of photography has changed from documentation of events, such as the first war photojournalism records from Crimea in 1855 , to nowadays’ “casual, improvised, fast” photographs –usually selfies– taken “to be seen here, now, by other people, most of them unknown, in social networks” . Capturing a picture of what surrounds us is not only aimed at reaching popularity –like most of today’s celebrities– but also aimed at keeping a record of what could be relevant for us in the future. This is exactly what Martín Chambi does with
In the modern era, the development of photography is mature than ever before. They can be easily found on various devices and forms, smartphones, video game consoles, magazines, newspapers, and much more. We, human beings are used to it, It’s been part of our lives for decades. However, during the early stages of photography, when the general public were still adapting to this brand new technology, there were a lot of challenges and struggles that photographers at that time need to face. As Galassi
She also discusses the social importance of photography. “In becoming a marker in an elite status, fine art photography has created aesthetic boundaries that separate it from popular forms of symbolic communication.”(Schwartz,
Photographs, are moments forever captured. They are mirrors of reality, ghosts of lives and events told through particles of ink and paper. From photography’s birth in 1839, to its most recent incarnation into selfies, photographs have been telling and retelling the stories of humanity. In On Photography, and Reading American Photographs, both Sontag, and Trachtenberg critically examine the nature of photography, and its impact on the past, present, and future world. Though Sontag, and Trachtenberg diverge stylistically in their exploration of photographs, both authors are united in their ideas of the influence of photographs on our understanding of history, as well as the power that one exercises when looking through a lense.
In examining the methodology of Butler and Azouly to delineate the current practice of photography, one must incorporate their amendments of this tradition. Azoulay opens with the corresponding statements of “citizenship comes to resemble the photographic relation,” in disregarding the prevailing structures of authority, and in alignment to this metaphor, she continues “Exactly like citizenship, photography, is no one’s property”(85). A foundation established only by kinetic integrants, which entail of: “a camera, a photographer, a photographed environment, object, person, or spectator”(85).... Intrinsical to this
Photography is an art form that plays with the mind. Photographs are perhaps one of the most layered and contradictory objects we can see around us. They represent reality, but yet somehow they don’t - they don’t capture the whole of reality, rather just a snapshot of it. There is always a constant battle going on between the two photographic considerations: make the photographed object look as beautiful as possible or tell the truth. What a picture finally really shows is never the exact situation as it really was, but it proves to somehow represent it. This treacherous and ambiguous relationship with reality is what makes photography interesting, yet so astounding; it raises questions about the