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Photography Lecture


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Our presentation on Photography for the Modern Literature and the Arts class at the Plymouth Canton Educational Park in 2011.

Our presentation on Photography for the Modern Literature and the Arts class at the Plymouth Canton Educational Park in 2011.

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  • Which you will see a little more as we explain our artists.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Photography
      Sean Fitzpatrick
      Monica Gingell
      Alyssa Engle
    • 2. “I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.”
      Pablo Picasso
    • 3. History of Photography
      Etymology: From the Greek “photos” meaning light and “graphos” meanings writing. To photograph means to write with light.
      The development of photography as we know it today was the result of several technological innovations, ranging from ancient Greece all the way to the 19th century.
    • 4. Daguerreotypes
      The first permanent photographs were the result of complicated chemical processes.
      Louis Daguerre’s daguerreotypes were the first commercially successful pictures taken.
      This was a popular method for middle class families unable to afford oil paintings to have a portrait done.
      This Daguerreotype is believed to be the first picture of a person ever taken.
    • 5. The Brownie
      After a few relatively modest commercial applications, George Eastman’s Kodak Brownie finally introduced the masses to photography.
      It was the first camera to allow nonprofessionals to physically take the pictures.
      The Brownie II
    • 6. Professional Cameras
      As consumer based cameras grew in popularity, the professional cameras that would come to be used by the artistic community developed.
      In 1913, Leica introduced its first 35mm camera.
      SLRs, today’s preferred camera, were not perfected until the middle of the 20th century.
      Leica’s first 35mm camera.
    • 7. Color
      Up until now, everything we’ve talked about has been black and white photography.
      Color photography was much more difficult. The first practical color technology, Autochrome, was developed in 1907, but the process did not gain widespread use until Kodak’s Kodachrome in 1935.
      An Autochrome picture from 1917.
    • 8. The History of Photography: Themes
      Processes started as very limited in their use and then became more and more widespread.
      Professional photographers both reacted against and embraced amateur photography at times.
      The first widely successful 35mm SLR
      represented a huge step forward in
      professional equipment.
    • 9. Art Photography
      The idea of using photography as an art form of itself began with daguerreotypes in the mid 19th century, but it wasn’t until 1927 that an artist actually had a solo exhibition of his photography.
      We now turn to that photographer.
      One of Julia Margaret Cannon’s Victorian
      Era fine art photos.
    • 10. Andre Kertész
      Kertész was born in Hungary around the turn of the century.
      He developed a love for the growing practice of photography at a very young age, and despite his family’s plans for him, pursued the art as an autodidact.
      He bought his first camera, an entry level ICA Aviso, at 18, and abandoned his potential career as a stock broker.
    • 11. Kertész’s Entry
      He was almost immediately successful as a photographer.
      During the First World War, he took pictures in the trenches.
      After returning home to Hungary, he began to pursue photography professionally.
      The Circus, Budapest.
    • 12. Underwater Swimmer, Esztergom
      One of Kertész’s most famous early works.
    • 13. French Period
      In 1925, he left everything for Paris, hoping to integrate himself into the city’s famous art scene.
      He photographed daily, and in 1927 was the first photography to have his own individual art exhibition.
      He was fascinated by Cubism and associated with the Dada movement.
      Meudon, France. 1928
    • 14. French Period
      His work while in Paris was reminiscent of the Impressionists before him: He wandered the streets, looking for photographs waiting to be taken.
      His photos showed a tendency toward unusual vantage points, dramatic use of shadows in still life, and experiments with light.
      Still Life, Paris. 1926
    • 15. The Fork. 1928.
      One of Kertész’s most famous works, The Fork represents his use of still life.
    • 16. Distortion #49. 1933.
      Part of Kertész’s famous Distortion Series, this picture is representative of his use of photography to play with light.
    • 17. Study of People and Shadows, Paris. 1928
      This picture is a take on one of Kertész’s favorite themes: an everyday subject from an unusual angle.
    • 18. Emigration
      Kertész did not feel he was being appreciated in Europe. His pictures were apolitical, and as the Nazi Party rose, this led to a cooler reaction to Kertész’s experimental but fundamentally message-less pictures.
      Seeking a new scene, Kertész moved to New York in 1936, intent on finding fame.
      This proved to be difficult. Kertész struggled to learn his third language, and his insecurities very much impeded his joy of photography.
      He worked with and sometimes against prominent magazines like Life and Vogue.
    • 19. The Lost Cloud, New York. 1937
    • 20. Arm and Ventilator, New York. 1937.
    • 21. International Period
      Following the Second World War, Kertész began to reach critical success in the US.
      He signed a contract with House & Garden magazine, which, while not his dream job, was satisfactory.
      He continued to take many pictures for his own use.
      In 1962 he quit the magazine to pursue fine art photography full time.
      Watchmaker’s Shop, Christopher
      Street, New York. 1950.
    • 22. Washington Square, Winter. 1954.
    • 23. Later Years
      During the ‘50s and ‘60s, Kertész achieved much of the success he wanted to, although it never truly satisfied him.
      In 1979, he was given a Polaroid SX-70 by the Polaroid Corporation, and a new experimental phase of his career began.
    • 24. Polaroid. 1979.
    • 25. Polaroid. 1981.
    • 26. Artistic Vision
      “I write with light,” Kertész said.
      He sought not to comment on his subjects but to simply capture life as it is.
      He experimented with the way he used light, vantage points, and distortions to utilize photography in a way that made it distinct.
    • 27. Ansel Adams
    • 28. Rose and Driftwood
    • 29. Background
      San Francisco, California
      Interesting fact: Adams was in an earthquake and damaged his nose, marking him for life.
      Only child of two elderly parents
      His environment was Victorian, as well as emotionally and socially conservative
      Had problems fitting in school—didn’t finish much
      Shyness, genius, and “earthquaked” nose
    • 30. Found joy in nature ever since he was a child.
      Taught himself to play piano and read music.
      Intended to be a pianist, but gave it up for photography.
      Yosemite National Park
      “colored and modulated by the great earth gesture”
      Joined the Sierra Club
      Began using Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie
      1st photos
    • 31.
    • 32. Yosemite National Park
      Focused on the spiritual-emotional aspects of the park
      Quite the environmentalist
      Appeared before Congress in 1936 and persuaded them to elevate Kings River Canyon to national park status.
      Visited every year for 68 years
      Member of the Sierra Club
    • 33. f/64 Group
      Smallest aperture on a camera
      Formed in reaction to pictoralism
      Their mission: to create photographs of artistic expression using clean and pure photographic techniques without manipulation.
      Founded Photography Dept. in MoMA.
      Photographic realism
    • 34. Ansel Adams, Frozen Lake & Cliffs, Kaweah Gap, Sierra Nevada, California, 1932
      Brett Weston, Bird Dune, Oceano, 1934
    • 35. Contributions to Art
      Impressionist technique: recording of the image at different times of day/ year (Monet)
      Abstraction: photos of natural intersection planes, sharp angles, and reflection of natural light and receding shadow.
      Romantic: liked the beauty and power of nature; not all about the realistic aspect of it
      Zone system: Using different filters to get different picture from one negative.
      Dodging and burning: manipulating exposure time to increase the contrast of either the foreground or background.
      “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
      –Ansel Adams
    • 36. Impressionists
      Autumn Tree Against Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite 1944
      Oak Tree, Snowstorm, Yosemite 1948
    • 37. Romanticism
      Nevada Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 1946
      Moonrise, Hernadez, New Mexico 1941
    • 38. Techniques Used
      Pictoralism: altered images by scratching negative, and brushing on developer.
      Pre-visualization: carefully calculated the effect of a photograph before taking it.
      Photographic realism: very calculated, precise, un-manipulated.
      Toward the end of his career he went back to more contemporary work
    • 39. Merced River, Cliffs of Cathedral Rocks, Autumn, 1939
    • 40. Eliot Porter & Color Photography
      • Began making black-and-white photographs in the 1930s.
      • 41. Promoted the use of color photography from the 1940s until the mid-1970s.
      • 42. Initially took up color photography to get more accurate photographs of birds.
    • Eliot Porter & Color Photography(continued)
      • Began using Kodachrome, a new color transparency film, and taught himself the multi-step process for making color prints.
      • 43. Became committed to the dye transfer process.
      • 44. Fought against the notion that color photography was too literal and unsuitable for artists.
    • American Eider Duck, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, 1937 [Somateria mollissima]
      Beech Branch and Landscape, Tinmouth, Vermont, February 15, 1958
    • 45. Eliot Porter & the Conservation Movement
      • His works were widely published and used as a powerful visual argument for nature conservation.
      • 46. Elevated the medium of landscape photography to a fine art.
      • 47. “Wilderness must be preserved; it is a spiritual necessity.”
    • Eliot Porter & the Conservation Movement(continued)
      • Made photographic books with the Sierra Club in the 1960s.
      • 48. Example: His photographs canyons attempted to prevent the Glen Canyon Dam from being built. They resulted in the Wilderness Act and federal review of reclamation projects.
    • Sunrise, Moon Reflection in Pool, Navajo Creek, Glen Canyon, Utah, August 27, 1961
      Sunset on Colorado at Kane Creek, Glen Canyon, Utah, October 1960
    • 49. Eliot Porter & Birds
      • Began photographing birds when given 1st camera in 1911.
      • 50. Wanted to “raise bird photography…to transform it into an art.”
      • 51. Developed the 1st stop-action system for photographing birds.
    • Barn Swallow, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, August 21, 1954
      Eastern Flicker, Flying, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, July 22, 1968
    • 52. The Impact of Photography
      In a lot of ways, photography turned the artistic world on its head.
      The traditional goal of art, making an accurate representation of a scene, could be done more easily and more perfectly. This had profound impacts on how artists approached their work.
      Photography itself has cemented itself as a fine art, thanks in part to the work of people like Kertész, Adams, and Porter.