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Science or Art? The Evolution of Photography as an Art Form.

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Presentation on theme: "Science or Art? The Evolution of Photography as an Art Form."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science or Art? The Evolution of Photography as an Art Form

2 Scientific Beginnings Early photography was developed as an instrument to aid scientific discovery or as a purely documentary device. This image of a leaf, an early photogenic drawing, was thought to have been created by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, but may have been created by Thomas Wedgewood in Early Calotype by Fox Talbot or Thomas Wedgewood(?) Photograph of Mental Patient by Dr. Hugh Diamond

3 Pioneers of Artistic Photography William Henry Fox Talbot’s paper negative images were not very good for portraiture, but they were excellent for conveying an artistic mood to an otherwise mundane subject. Talbot’s research and artistic use of the photographic process laid the groundwork for photography to be seen as an art form equal to painting or drawing. Fox Talbot calotype c. 1835

4 Early Artistic Uses Painters used photographs of models as a substitute for live models. David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson created scenes of character types that were used as drawing models in the 1840s.

5 Gustav Le Gray One of the first calotype artists, Le Gray proclaimed that the future of photography was on paper. Le Gray’s work focused on landscapes and seascapes. Gustave Le Gray. (French, ). The Great Wave, Sète Albumen silver print from collodion glass-plate negatives, 13 1/4 x 16 1/4" (33.6 x 41.3 cm).

6 The Pictorialist Style Pictorialists sought to distinguish “artistic” art from amateur snapshots. Pictorialists were heavily influenced by Renaissance and Pre- Raphaelite Painters H.P. Robinson, He Never Told His Love. 1884

7 Renaissance and Pre- Raphaelite Influences Henry Peach Robinson’s photographic interpretation (left) of Ophelia, painted by John Millais (right) in 1850

8 Henry Peach Robinson Robinson (along with Rejlander) was a master of the montage technique. The Pictorialists had no qualms about using tricks to create complicated allegorical images. They viewed the photographic process as another means to the same ends a painting has- the depiction of a creative statement. H.P. Robinson. Fading Away. Combination Print using five different negatives. 1858

9 Oscar Gustav Rejlander Oscar Gustav Rejlander was considered by many to be the Father of Fine Art Photography. He was very outspoken about the artistic value of photography. Oscar Gustav Rejlander. Two Ways of Life. Combination Print using 30 different negatives. 1858

10 Julia Margaret Cameron Julia Margaret Cameron was one of the few women photographers of her time. She was heavily influenced by Renaissance and Pre- Raphaelite painting, which draws from mythological and allegorical subjects. Vivien and Merlin, 1875 John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shallot. 1888

11 Julia Margaret Cameron Beatrice Cenci, 1866 Call I Follow, I Follow, Let Me Die, 1867

12 PH Emerson and Naturalistic Photography Peter Henry Emerson, fourth cousin of American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, Reacted against the Pictorialist photographers use of tricks and dramatic subject matter. He thought that nature was the only proper source for photo- graphic images. His ideas heavily influenced future generations of American photographers. His approach was called Naturalistic or Purist photography.

13 Peter Henry Emerson Pictures of East Anglian Life, 1888 Gathering Water Lilies, 1886

14 Other Naturalistic Photographers William B. Post, Summer Days, 1895 Frances S. and Mary E. Allen, Louise Rogers pulling Mable Brown's hair, Church and Old Town Landing, Annisquam, Massachusetts, 1900

15 Modernism Modernism is a term used to refer to a new philosophy and approach to visual and performing arts as well as science and technology. During the first half of the 20 th Century, artists and scientists made a concerted effort to throw off traditional ways of thinking. Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending A Staircase. 1912

16 Photo- Secessionists The Photo- Secessionist Movement was started by Alfred Stieglitz and inspired by the writings of PH Emerson. Their approach was more reality- based, with emphasis on interesting subject matter in everyday life. The Secessionists also were among the first photographers to attempt abstracted views. The use of abstraction and the cameras ability to capture things unseen by the naked eye were major influences on subsequent movements throughout the visual arts, including surrealism, futurism, cubism and others. Alfred Stieiglitz, by Edward Weston

17 Alfred Stieglitz Street Design For A Poster, 1903Equivalent, 1929

18 Alfred Stieglitz Georgia O’Keefe, 1933The Steerage, 1907

19 Edward Steichen

20 Clarence White

21 Laura Gilpin

22 Alvin Langdon Coburn

23 Surrealism

24 Phillipe Halsman

25 Man Ray

26 Laszlo Moholy- Nagy

27 Andre Kertesz

28 Florence Henri

29 f/64 f/64 was a modernist group of photographers whose ideals for photographic art included images with extremely sharp detail. This group of photographers sought to replicate human vision as closely as possible to evoke the same kinds of feelings looking at the photograph as were felt by the photographer seeing the scene in person. Point Lobos, Edward Weston

30 Edward Weston

31 Tina Modotti

32 Ansel Adams

33 Imogen Cunningham

34 Journalistic Photography The World Wars introduced the stereotypical hard-nosed, do- anything- to- get- the- shot photographer portrayed in many movies. They had to be just as tough as the soldiers they were documenting. Journalistic photography differs from documentary photography because the journalistic photographer puts an editorial twist on the imagery. James Nachtwey in action

35 Nadar Aerial photograph of Paris 1858

36 American Civil War Dead Federal Soldier during the American Civil War Petersburg, Virginia, April 1865 Source Library of congress Photo attributed to Timothy O’Sullivan

37 Aerial Photography in WWI Aerial photographs taken by cameras mounted on carrier pigeons

38 The Farm Security Administration Photograph by Ben Shahn

39 Dorothea Lange Migrant Mother, 1936White Angel Breadline, 1933

40 Walker Evans Kitchen Corner in Floyd Burroughs‘ Home, Hale County, Alabama, 1936 "Farmer’s Kitchen, Hale County, Alabama," 1936

41 Arthur Rothstein "Fleeing a Dust Storm Cimmaron County, Oklahoma”, April, “Sharecropper’s Daughter”, 1935

42 Gordon Parks “American Gothic”, 1942 “Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple”, 1985

43 Robert Capa Capa’s photographs from the D-Day invasion of France during WWII powerfully capture the frenzy and confusion of war. The original publisher noted that these images were, “slightly out of focus”, due to the photographer’s hands shaking in fear as he held the camera. Capa was the founder of the journalistic photographer’s group, Magnum. He was an extremely influential figure in journalistic photography.

44 Joe Rosenthal Marines Raising the American Flag Over Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima

45 Horst Faas

46 Don McCullin Don McCullin Ghaziveram, Cyprus, April A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, victim of the Greek-Turkish civil war.

47 Larry Burrows

48 Eddie Adams

49 James Nachtwey Afghanistan, 1996Sudan, 1999

50 Setting the Stage For Now The techniques and philosophies of the Pictorialists, Purists and modernist groups solidified photography’s role as a creative artistic process with the same formal concerns as painting. Through its raw portrayal of the human condition, photo- journalism proved photography’s power as an instrument for social change.


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