Discovering Photography
Critical analysis of Julius Shulman

Patrick Gouldsbrough
Shulman has taken an everyday place that
wouldn’t be considered ‘photography
worthy’ and turned it into architectural
phot...
Like most of Shulman’s photographs, this particular image is futuristic and before it’s time. The
architectural structure ...
Instead of been of a building, this image is of an architectural feature. When this picture was taken, it was
very unconve...
Extension Julius Shulman
Extension Julius Shulman
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Extension Julius Shulman

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Extension Julius Shulman

  1. 1. Discovering Photography Critical analysis of Julius Shulman Patrick Gouldsbrough
  2. 2. Shulman has taken an everyday place that wouldn’t be considered ‘photography worthy’ and turned it into architectural photography. Shulman manages to make photographs that haven’t had any post-production techniques added to them, look like they have. The monochrome colour looks like it was added in postproduction, however, when Julius Shulman took this picture, the technology would only allow him to take it in black and white. The foreground of the shot features nothing but the initial building. However, as you move further to the background of the image, it gets busier with cars. Overall, this image looks busy, while everyone doesn’t notice the passiveness of the foreground. As well as architectural photography, this image could also be categorised in the documentary and fine art photography applications. Fine art cannot be defined by anyone, due to the term meaning different things to different people, therefore, this photograph could be described and categorised as fine art. The petrol station been photographed looks near to the camera, which would suggest a wide lens, instead of a telephoto lens, has been used. Due to the on location setting of the photograph, natural light has been used as lighting for this phonograph. Even though flash guns and similar can be used as ambient light in this type of photography, Julius Shulman has decided to stick with natural for this particular photograph. The vantage point of the image is ground level, which is contradictory from the first viewing of the image. This is because on first viewing, the image looks like a low vantage point, along with a high angle has been used, due to the underside of the petrol station garage been in view. However, the way Shulman has captured the photograph, in terms of angle, makes it look this way.
  3. 3. Like most of Shulman’s photographs, this particular image is futuristic and before it’s time. The architectural structure itself looks futuristic, but the composition of this is also the same. In the days when Julius was a photographer, the fellow architectural photographers would take pictures how they were viewed by the human eye. However, Shulman and a handful of others communicated a different approach to the consumer through their photography. For example, the angle in which it’s taken makes it look like it’s hovering, which in those days would have been a revelation. Other photographers may have taken the picture straight on and at ground level, but shulman takes it from a low vantage point instead.
  4. 4. Instead of been of a building, this image is of an architectural feature. When this picture was taken, it was very unconventional in terms of architectural photography, which was due to photographs of the ceiling been few and far between. Architectural images of the ceiling was limited to specially painted and designed ceilings. Instead, Shulman developed, if not invented, the idea that an ordinary looking ceiling can be photograph worthy and be considered a serious architectural photography piece. A fast shutter speed would have been required to take a picture like this. However, like many other technologies, shutter speed alteration wasn’t around when this picture was taken. This image would have been difficult to capture, due to a tripod not been used because the object is at a vertical trajectory from the photographer.

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