”Brand-New Topographics”

•‘I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can often come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others. Perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also, it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.’ Robert Frank

After refreshing myself with Robert Frank’s work, I wanted to capture a very honest shot. I think that I achieved everything I had wanted to with this image. I really tried to focus on the composition of the subject and bring out a really saturated look to the colours and contrasts. When looking at the final image I think I was successful. I chose to try and reflect the same aspect of behaviour and culture that Robert Frank displayed in his book ‘The Americans’. The only thing that I think lets this image down a little bit is the fact that because I used colour film I had my negatives scanned so I could have access to Jpeg files. The jpeg files came back quite grainy and don’t have that smoothness that would relate to Robert Frank’s work

‘The complete disregard for the camera’s presence indicates it’s complete saturation in their lives. The subject neither notices nor seems to care that someone has been invited into their private moment.’ Nan Goldin

This image was also heavily influenced by Robert Frank and I did try to relate it in the same context and style of image to the first one. I tried to also show my inspiration from Nan Goldin in this image. I tried to really act as a ‘fly on the wall’ and tried to not impose the camera on my subjects to try and achieve that moment of privacy that she usually catches with her subjects. I think with this image I achieved this. Although the subject was aware of the camera he didn’t seem to care for it and I think this really does come across. I think that the composition in this photograph could be a bit better, maybe making more of a frame for the main focus of the image.

‘I wasn’t imposing my presence on anyone,..which is very important for a would-be journalist. I stayed back. Always let people be themselves.’ Eliot Erwitt

I noticed that a certain theme started to develop as I was taking my photographs, and it was that my main focus seemed to be on capturing these honest portrait images. After I had researched some more into Eliot Erwitt and Martin Parr I decided also to produce some images which were less saturated and more bold in colour. Also to really try and capture people quickly when they were really being themselves.

I think overall I was successful in all of my images. I would make improvements to them if I had another chance looking at the composition and the ways in which I could have possibly produced them so they were less grainy. I think that the grainy effect that has been left on these images doesn’t destroy them totally and does work nicely as an effect on the photographs. But I think that I would have liked them to be very smooth and soft looking for me to achieve a good relation to the photographers I have been researching. I think that considering my limitations I worked well and have learnt some things to take in consideration for the future. I have also included a video which I watched in my research which touches on Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’. It explains how he captured society and culture and reflected in his portrait images.

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