Monday, December 6, 2010

"Drink Coca Cola," Weegee

“Drink Coca Cola”

Weegee was a very smart photographer, especially for what he was interested in, crime scenes. He had a police radio and would always listen in on what was going on in the community. As soon as he heard a murder happened, he would go straight to the scene of the crime and take pictures, before the police arrived, and before they started taking evidence and other photographs.

This picture makes me laugh because it is titled “drink coca cola,” so it represents what happens when you do drink coca cola, or take it. But really by the looks of his clothes and shows, he looks well taken care of or wealthy, so I am sure he’s not homeless and really didn’t die of a drug over dose, cocaine or “cola,” from the title. He may have gotten murdered from standing there or walking by, so he’s just trying to tell us that it was drugs, when it may have not been.  

Adams, The Tetons-Snake River, 1942

Adams, The Tetons-Snake River, 1942

Ansel Adams is very significant in the history of photography.  Ansel developed the Zone system for photography.  I’m sure if he hadn’t discovered this many photographers would not be where they are today.  The Zone System is a method of determining the difference between how you actually visualize your picture and how it looks once the photographer has taken it.  Helping the photographer choose proper exposure and contrast as well. 

The picture I have chosen is “The Tetons-Snake River”.  This picture instantly blew me away because you can see so much depth.  The contrast in this picture brings out all of the small bumps, and turns in the land.  It is a black and white photo but it seems like so much more than that when you look at it.  It seems as though there are several colors in it, the snow, the clouds, the river, and the trees are all different shades showing major contrast.

Symbolic Mutation, Jerry N. Uelsmann, Print, 1961.

Symbolic Mutation, Jerry N. Uelsmann, Print, 1961.

Born in DetroitMichigan and developed an interest in photography as a high school student. Graduated in photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1957.  He studied under Henry Holmes Smith, a professor at Indiana University.  His most important teacher and influence in his life. He later became a photography professor at the University of Florida in 1960 and was a graduate research professor of art at the University of Florida.  He is retired.  His work is well known worldwide. Displayed in museums and art galleries and shows.  He currently has five books in print.  

His work is significant in photography because of the ways he used the darkroom to create ‘photoshop’ affects. 

I really like his work.  I love ‘photo-shopped’ images and pretty much all of his work is that way. Makes things very dramatic and creates a whole new meaning to photography.  I think it is interesting that he doesn’t title the majority of his work.  It sort of leaves the interpretation up to the viewer.  

Mississippi Delta Children

Mississippi Delta Children
Dorthea Lange
Black and White

Dorthea Lange was an independent portrait photographer around 1917. She took pictures of homeless people during the Great Depression to draw awareness to the crisis that was going on. In 1935 she joined the Farm Security Administration and took pictures of the hopelessness (as well as the pride) of the people during those hard times. One picture, the Migrant Mother, was the iconic picture that really made her famous.

Personally, this picture seems very solemn and the kids seem like they don’t have a family because it’s just showing the kids; there are no adults. The two kids in the center seem like they are the oldest because of all the younger children encircled around them and the girl looks like she’s keeping an eye out on someone outside of the picture.

Josef Albers
Trees Covered in Snow, 1950s
Black and White Photograph

            Josef Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany on March 19, 1888. He taught design courses in Germany from 1922 to 1933 when he moved to the U.S. At this point he was the head of the painting program at Black Mountain College, before becoming the head of the design program at Yale. Albers used his knowledge of other arts in his photography, which helped to instill photography as an art form.
            This photograph is by no means a masterpiece, but is still pleasing to the eye. There is almost a perfect balance between the white snow and the dark trees, and the viewer’s eyes are drawn into the distance as if they are looking for something hidden among the trees. I personally like the feeling of solitude that comes across from the picture, as the trees block out any possible piece of society.

London, Robert Frank

Robert Frank

Robert Frank often showed images like this that were controversial. Many of his well known images showed unfavorable areas of American lifestyle or habits. With his pattern of dampening reputation I feel like he may be trying to convey a similar message in this photograph.  

This picture shows London, England as a dim and macabre place. The main subject is a man wearing a jet black suit and is focused and contrasted nicely. The rest of the image is dull and hazy but it enhances the man the closest man to the subject has bad posture, he is leaning his head forwards a little with his collar up, this helps enhance the main subjects posture. It almost seems like he is fearlessly charging because his arms are folded behind him, exposing his frontside to the haze and uncertainty the London fog emits. He could also be seen with a relaxed or comfortable posture heading into a dark era with a positive feeling. 

Coal Miner, West Virginia

Eddie Adams was born June 12 1933, and died at the age of 71 on September 19, 2004.
He won a Pulitzer Prize and was noted for his photographs of politicians, celebrities, and of the thirteen wars that he photographed. Eddie was served in the Marine Corps as a combat photographer. He also won the George Polk Award in 1967, 1977, and 1978 for News Photography.

This picture looks a little sad. There is a guy who has been working in the mines all day, who looks beat, and all he has is his little horse. There is no one else around which makes it look like he is all alone, which makes me feel bad for him. And on top of him being alone, his horse doesn’t look to healthy either.

Jane Bown: Photo Brassai 1982

Jane Bown is a British photographer who takes portraits. She works for the Observer in the United Kingdom and has made her portraits of the 20th and 21st century famous and had been set up in London in 1980 for viewing. Her photos are always black and white and of people.

Her photograph of Brassi in 1982 really stood out to me. I like the look of this old man because he looked as if he has forgotten something or is confused and he is dressed as if he is at a wedding. His tie is black but his head is shinny and almost white which really stands out. The contrast looks amazing. I’m drawn to looking at his eyes since they are sticking out and his pupils are very dark. His facial expressions also stand out very well. I think this is a great portrait.  

Ernst Haas: “Misty Heights”

 I was initially attracted to this image because it made me think of A_____’s Symbol project. I remember our group brainstorming how to symbolize a cross without using the cross itself. This image is a great example of how this idea could be carried out as a beautiful image. While this image has the cross symbol, it is also a great image despite the symbolism. The mist adds an element of mystery and the angle is slightly misleading because at first I thought it was looking down from above the skyscrapers, but the lines of the buildings made me realize it was looking up at the skyscrapers from the streets below. From the first interpretation, it is mysterious because I wondered how high the buildings must be to be so high above the mist, triggering a slight fear from feeling to high above the ground. From the second interpretation, it is difficult to imagine how high the buildings tower over the viewer due to the interruption caused by the mist, making it feel as if the mist is encroaching on viewer, coming to surround them in a terrifying manner.

Ernst Haas immigrated to New York City in 1951, where he worked for Life magazine on a project called “Images of Magic City”. He photographed mostly documentary style and had an overwhelming influence on generations of photographers through essays as well as his photographs. While the image I chose is black and white, he also photographed beautifully in color. Before he found photography he attempted medical school before becoming a painter and discovering photography. He was a man with appreciation for all art forms and believed photography went beyond taking pictures and into a form of poetic expression.