Posts Tagged ‘#blackandwhite’

We people are consumers, from the space we take from nature, too building on these spaces for survival. Over time we have created societies, through each era society has grown, mainly thanks to consumerism. All this came to me as i was looking at a contact sheet of the images i shot, from some street photography i shot last weekend. I realized that it wasn’t just the people in my images that really fascinated me, but the image as a whole. As i was looking through my contacts, i thought, if these buildings where not here then neither would these coffee, food and clothes shops. We people are always a sucker for something new, and with technology getting more advanced, we are always after the latest gadget that can bring some change to our life’s. If these shops that contains these materialistic possessions where not here, then there would not be as many people, for these places/cities/towns form societies and because of the consumers that we are society has grown. But over these past few years society has now changed, mainly due to immigration which is now made society bigger than ever. This has now resulted as a  mixed cultural society, especially in Leicester which is filled with many diverse cultures. To me this is just the changing times, some people find it hard to accept, but this is how it is. I for one embrace multiculturalism, for a photographer it makes great documentation.

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Dorothea Lange

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Dorothea Lange is an important icon in the photography world, she is very influential to the world of documentary, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, she captured some of the most iconographic photos of that era.

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I would describe many of lange’s photographs of the depression are honest and humane, just looking at the woman above by looking at her eyes life is tough, her thin figure is most likely down to the harsh times. She traveled 35 miles each way to pick peas, and for five hours work would only make $2.25 and that is with children to feed as well.

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Every time i look at Lange’s portraits i am drawn to the eyes of the poor, looking at these children’s eyes shows the struggles of these times, instead of children laughing and playing these children have a look of boredom and hopelessness.

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I would say her most powerful images are the ones with the mothers and there children, survival and nurturing was not easy at that time, Her photographs were a voice for the poor that where struggling. The image above called ‘Migrant Mother’ always reminds me of the importance of a mothers love and the struggles she would go through for the survival of her children.

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Gary Winogrand

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Gary Winogrand is considered one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century, his most renowned works where taken during the 1950’s to the early 80’s . What you have to know about Winogrand is that he preferred taking pictures rather than developing them, making photo books and doing exhibitions apparently did not bother him.

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Whenever i look at the photo above shot in 1955, i feel like i am there rubbing shoulders with the couple wondering what he told her to make her laugh hysterically. You can see that she is infatuated with him by her eye contact, and it appears they are at a dance, what gives this away for me is the positioning of the hands in the foreground and the couple in the background with the mans hand clasped around the womans.

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If you look at many of Winogrands street photographs he loved photographing women that he found beautiful, The image above shot in 1965 is one of his street examples. He was never afraid to point and shoot at any subject in the street, you can see that he had to be quick which shows a sudden passing moment. Out of his many photographs of beautiful women in the streets There is one photograph that is his most famous in my opinion, that caused a lot of controversy for its time shown below.

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I would say there are many readings into this photograph, if you glanced at this image quickly you probably would not notice anything wrong with this scene. As you can see instead of children the couple are holding chimps In children s clothing. Seeing the chimp clinging onto the woman as a baby would gives it’s controversy right there. Some have also wondered if it is a comment on biracial couples, but whatever peoples views and opinions it’s all about how they  read the image based on it’s context within the frame.

Whilst going through my old film camera photos i could not help but admire the look of film, it has a quality and look that digital cannot replicate.

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Sometimes whenever i go through discussion forums on the net, some people assume that film is dead ? in my opinion that is just not true, just because the digital camera is global and has made photography more accessible, does not mean that an old skill has died out.

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The film camera to me is a symbol of history in the photography world, it is completely different to a digital camera. The film camera is a magical experience especially if you have a dark room, Looking at the roll of developed film to Seeing the image appear on the photographic paper in the developer, is a very rewarding experience.( A feeling of satisfaction that you cannot get with digital). It is not just about developing the images that i enjoyed, but having to think more before i shoot betters my  composition. So overall Your ideas  and perspective can change and it can make you a more thought provoking photographer.

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To say that film is dead is an insult to the greats of film photography, Cartier Bresson one of the greats of street photography, changed photography by establishing photography as an art form, and he referred to his Leica camera as “master of the instant”.

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We now live in an age where we need digital and film, instant digital photography is important, especially for photojournalism. With mass media camera phones we connect our images with people in seconds and stay in touch more than ever. To respect photography you have to respect the past of photography and to shoot film whenever you get the chance, it is an image making experience that you will not get with digital, so go on people go out and buy a film camera you wont regret it.

Whenever i choose to do some street photography, i never go for my compact camera. These days i choose my camera phone, okay, i’m sure there are many photographers who frown upon the camera phone, but i do have my reasons. My camera phone is non obtrusive, it does not stand out like a sore thumb like a compact camera, it allows me to get closer to the subjects without even disturbing the moment. For me in street photography it’s always about being an observer and shooting in a voyeuristic style.

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Street photography is documentation of society, the reason why i enjoy street photography, is because i can relate to the actions of my subjects. Everyday we all walk in each others footsteps, we all sit and stand in each others shadows, but the only escapism we get from one another, is the stories we read in the newspapers  television or whispers of gossip that travel from person to person. That is society, but in photography you cannot capture those whispers of gossip or know what is going on in a persons head. 

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The purpose of street photography is to accept that this is society, we live in an ever changing fast paced world with new technology coming out weekly, so we never really stop and look to see how far we have come or where we are heading.

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With my camera phone i can shoot,edit, and upload to my website in seconds. It’s important for me to keep up with society with mass communication i.e twitter, WordPress  because it is natural to communicate with people weather it is a written letter or verbally in person.A photograph is a language itself, and is one of the most wildly used languages today, but is unique because it is not written but a representation, a memory of what, once, was.The camera phone is the most wildly used camera today, all you have to do is look at the statistics on Flickr to see, but is only popular because of it’s convenience of mass media. Don’t get me wrong i love shooting film and using my D700, but my camera phone is something i have on me at all times.

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