Monday, November 8, 2010
*Octopus, *Coburn, Alvin Langdon, 1912 (Platinum print)
Coburn is a key figure in the development of American pictorialism because he took photos that had elevated viewpoints. He started out very young. He was given a kodak camera from an uncle in his early teens and his talent grew quickly. His cousin was already known for his photography and he had taken a few of Coburn’s prints for an exhibition in London and that’s how his career got started.
To be one of the first to take a photo from a different prospective is definitely a highlight. It would start a whole new realm of ideas and perspectives for what is right and wrong to do in a photo. It questions people’s expectations for specific interpretations. (like the rule of thirds for example… does it make a photo inadequate to have it centered?) What’s interesting about this piece is that its lines bring your eyes to look at the whole picture. The circle in the middle of the paths is intriguing, but yet the spokes of the wheels/ or paths draw me to look at the outskirts of the photo. The shadow makes me think about what it might be a shadow of, then it is interesting to see the comparison of it vs the small trees in the park. Compositionally there is a lot going on in the photo, yet it is so simple.