Unit 57: Photography and Photographic Practice Research of other photographers work
Yousuf KarshYousuf Karsh born on 23rdDecember 1908 was one of themost famous and accomplishedphotographers of all time.Yousuf Khan died on the 13thJuly 2002 at 93 years old. TheCanadian photographer wasbest known for his uniqueportrait photographs. Karsh waswell known for being a master oflighting his subjects, being asprecise as lighting their handsseparately.
The Roaring Lion.This images captures Churchill andthe Britain of the time perfectly,defiant and unconquerable. Karshentitled this photograph theroaring lion because Churchill saidto Karsh “you could even make aroaring lion stand still and bephotographed”,The photograph was taken in theCanadian Parliament buildingduring the early years of World WarII. It shows Churchill looking at thecamera as he might look at aGerman enemy. He has a deepscowl, his head is thrust forwardbelligerently and his hand is placedon his hip in an attitude of anger.
CompositionThe photographer decided to photograph WinstonChurchill. He lit what looks like a old style woodendoor in the background, this gives the viewer anidea of the era this photo was taken. Karsh lit thehands and face highly contrasted to the rest of theimage this resembles how Churchill was as aperson. Karsh positioned Churchill close to thecamera showing limited background. This givesimpact and expresses to the viewer the importanceof Winston Churchill.“Quote by Yousuf Karsh”“I try to photograph people’s spirits and thoughts.As to the soul-taking by the photographer, I don’tfeel I take away, but rather that the sitter and I giveto each other. It becomes an act of mutualparticipation.”
Techniques usedWhen Karsh photographs hissubjects he was most likely to usea very fast shutter speed toensure he didn’t have any blur inhis shots. Karsh seems to positionhis subjects so that they covermost of the frame, this ensuresthey are the pinnacle of thepicture. In some of Karsh’spictures he uses two or more The style of Yousuf Karsh is solelysubjects to create depth of field portrait photographs and very oftenblurring the subjects furthest of famous people from his era.away, this also added attraction Yousef Karsh stuck mainly to black and white images although he didto a specific part of the picture. produce the odd coloured photograph. He was very much into using artificial light and in fact he was a master of lighting subjects.
Strengths & WeaknessesYousuf Karsh’s photographs are very onedimensional and he only sticks to portraits.Portraits are not the type of photography I favor.However I would use the way Karsh takes somuch time and effort to light the shot ininteresting ways. I like this because the viewercan tell a lot from a picture just from the lighting.Another aspect of why I like Karsh’s way oflighting is because it enables him to adjust thecontrast of his shots without having to edit. Thesedifferent contrasts tell a lot about a picture andcan be manipulated to tell different stories.