Schermafbeelding 2012-07-30 om 15.41.39

People of the West

One of the great photographers of the 20th century, and it’s a shame he hasn’t been mentioned on PforPHOTO before, is Richard Avedon. He was famous for both his fashion as his portrait photography. His photos were published in different magazines. E.g. Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Life. But before I get lost in all of his work for magazines, I like to focus on his portraiture work. And especially his series In the American West.

In the American West came about during 1979 till 1984. He portrayed the working people of the west. Such as miners and oil field workers. But also unemployed drifters and the teenagers who grew up in the West. He photographed each individual on a plain white background. By using a large format camera the details of the photographs are just amazing. You really get to see the people of the American West, up close and personal. This series really shows the power of photography. With only a white background and a camera Avedon shows us a simple yet effective way of portrait photography.

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Portraits of Nature

Portrait photography has been a big hit ever since the invention of photography. The subjects photographed evolved along with the evolution of the camera. From dead people, stationary living people, to spontaneous portraits. Exposure times were just a little longer back then, than we are now accustomed to. Often the eyes of the people photographed in the middle of the 1800s looked weird. Due to the long exposure, people were able to stand still, but blinking and moving your eyes seemed a challenge.

Today we are able to portray anything we like. Some photographers seem to take it on them selves to photograph subjects that are not easily controlled. So long live the short exposure times and the ability to control light. Andrew Zuckerman photographed different animals in his series “Creature”. With his studio approach he photographed elephants, giraffes lions, and many other creatures. And he did this on a white background. Just like Richard Avedon did with people in his series “In the American West” (1985). Zuckerman takes the animal out of its natural habitat to show us just the animal and all its beauty.

Website Andrew Zuckerman: www.andrewzuckerman.com

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