Thursday, 14 March 2013


Yesterday it was back to studying photographic movements. 

Unlike pictorialism, modernism is based around taking a "straight photograph" - that is, exactly what the camera sees without adding manipulation to the negative and so forth. Where the pictorialists went for soft focus, the modernists went for sharper images. 

Images were often taken in direct sunlight, as the harsher shadows were able to really reveal the form of the subject. 

This period stretched from 1867 - 1975 and included such movements as Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art

One of my first thoughts was this - last year for our History assignments, I studied Phillipe Halsman. One of Halsman's most famous shots is Dali Atomicus, a shot of surrealist Salvador Dali surrounded by floating objects. This, among a few other surreal works of his, is what drew me to the photographer. Without needing to do further study, I know that I like the surreal. 

Edward Weston
The photographer that I did choose to study for this era was Edward Weston, who I had never heard of before yesterday.  He was considered a master of the "straight photograph" and was a member of the famous Group f/64, along with other greats such as Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham. He is most noted for his nudes and for his famous photograph of a pepper. 

Pepper #30

What I really like about this image is that it doesn't look like a simple pepper - as was discussed in class, it almost looks like a distorted human form. And in a way, it reminds me of another of my favourite photographers (Nikki Sixx, who I will have to do a post on later) in the way that it looks deformed, but it's still so beautiful and so very fascinating. 

I thoroughly enjoyed researching Weston, as his work was absolutely stunning. And it's easy enough to say that I enjoyed modernism a whole lot more than I enjoyed the pictorialist era.

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