Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Photograph

Today I have finished the book that accompanied the OCA Course The Art of Photography, aptly titled The Photograph by Graham Clarke.

I found this book quite facinating, but at the same time very hard going. At first I was unsure where this book was taking me but I persivierred and am glad that I did as this book has given me insight into a world I had not appreciated. The use of traditional photographs from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries was quite an eye opener, many of the photographers here were clearly way ahead of thier time and preduced remarkable images with the technology available.

I found the chapter on The Body quite revealing as a photographic art form, quite challenging really. I was intrigued by some of Diane Arbus' images, I found these  of great interest and will need to looking into more of her work.

This book has helped me to hone into the areas of photography that I am interested which is predominantly Documentary, whether that be in landscapes or people. I found a lot of the photographs in the Documentary section really compelling and inspiring. Robert Haeberle's 'People about to be shot' [1969] in particular as well as Dorothea Lange 'Migrant Mother' [1936], I found to be particularly strong images?

The fine art section also opened my eyes. In this section I tried to image the photograph as a painting and whether or not people would want to place it in a frame and mount it on a prominent wall in their house? I think that all of the images in this section fit this criteria. One image I was really taken with was Edward Weston 'Nude' [1936] shown left. The way in which the body is constructed with the curves, lines and shadows, with the models face out of shot really does make a work of art from the human body. I have looked at other images Norton has done and think that this is by far the best I have seen.

One thing that struck me is that most classic images are still in black and white, which I like, using colour only to emphasise an element in the photograph.

In all a fine book which I will keep and revisit. 

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