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american photography...have always admired the way they treated it as

19 replies

HairyIrene · 09/11/2007 10:21

an art form, from the start

FSA admministration commissioned dorathea lange, walker evans, steiglitz too i think and others to record the dust bowl bust years of hungry depression years..

many of my favourites are american
diane arbus joel peter witkin..oh i should got that book....

but love martin parr too a real gem..

anyway, just a thought in the shower..must dash!

OP posts:
paulaplumpbottom · 09/11/2007 10:26

I compltely agree with you ( although didn't realise that it wasn't treated as such here) I think Photography is such a powerful medium. I to have been intrigued by depression photos. Heartbreaking

HairyIrene · 09/11/2007 10:36

i just meant they, the government, had the foresight to engage recognised photographers to actually record a most harrowing event...

all social documentry done here by dint of some poor dedicated soul taking it upon them selves to record it
though was roger fenton hired for crimea? i cant remember
and in ww1 they commissioned paintings though photography was done by for officials really not that much public release..only what they wanted for pr etc
the imperial war museum photo archive is just one of the best
those were the days..

OP posts:
puppydavies · 09/11/2007 10:37

i don't know as much as i'd like to about the history of photography (and as much as i ought to seeing as i used to work in the field ) but i'm picking it up slowly when i have the chance. are you watching the genius of photography (dire title imho) on bbc4? it's very engaging and heartening to see how many of the names and images i recognise.

but what's the story behind those commissions? was it intended as an artistic or a documentary exercise? tbh the idea of state funded art in the us strikes me as an unlikely one - am i wrong? (is very likely i am!)

MaryAnnSingleton · 09/11/2007 10:49

yes,Genius of Photography is an excellent programme - I studied photography as a fairly big part of my degree and loved it - we did some history of,so it was lovely to remind myself of the photographers (Lartigue etc) that I'd admired.
I used to take a lot of photos on a lovely OM1 and develop the films in the cupoard under the stairs at home and print them at college - wonderful experience and I'm still immensley proud of some black and white pictures I took !
Love Martin Parr too and I've always really liked Nan Goldin

HairyIrene · 09/11/2007 10:56

have seen one genius of photography..enjoyed it just dont watch much tellly and miss it security administration was gov agency in depression and commissioned record of what was happening

i miss my darkroom so much mas
my pension plan.... is to teach the art of darkroom alchemy black & white photography toning cyanotypes pin hole cameras etc to anyone who is interested...its a dying art...

OP posts:
KerryMum · 09/11/2007 10:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

puppydavies · 09/11/2007 10:59

martin parr turns out to be one of those people that totally doesn't fit with my mental image. he's more normal than i expected

i was getting geared up to developing films again before having a new baby distracted me a little. i have a new (to me) rolleicord tlr to play with...

MaryAnnSingleton · 09/11/2007 11:00

I suppose people don't learn how to develop films/print anymore ? like life drawing, so vital, but neglected.

MaryAnnSingleton · 09/11/2007 11:02

my dad had a Rolleiflex which (and I can't believe it)he gave away to an ex bf of mine - I'd have loved it. He took amazing photographs (my dad) but then lost interest.

puppydavies · 09/11/2007 11:12

there are still adult education courses in wet process photography but i think the days where schools had darkrooms are long gone. on the up side this means those who are interested can pick up darkroom equipment for a song. i haven't got space for a darkroom, but i figure i can process films at least and then get them scanned/printed at a lab (although debating scanning at home, i'm sure it's possible).

and of course as something becomes less common it gets cool, so i think there are a lot of people still happy to work with film and online resources like flickr puts people in touch with other luddites and they inspire each other. it's the manufacturers discontinuing production that's gonna be the real killer.

HairyIrene · 09/11/2007 16:54

rolleiflex is beautiful camera, i treasure mine!
really great for portraits..

i hope they will still produce b&w film roll and 35mm..i think ilford has gone now..iirc..

mas ..i dont think they do, i should check syllabus of modern photography course it would be interesting as industry will need less darkroom people more digital i suppose... comes in spurts

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HairyIrene · 09/11/2007 16:57

MAS will check out Nan Goldin

this is what i dont know, who is around doing waht today..

richard walmington (?) was good
candid portraits / reportage of his family

i think to take his sort of pictures Martin Parr i mean, you have to look uber normal...
love the document he is making of this country..

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MaryAnnSingleton · 09/11/2007 19:23

yes,do - would be interested to see what you think - they aren't pretty pictures.
What's the name of that American woman who took photographs of her memory is hopeless

MaryAnnSingleton · 09/11/2007 19:30

have just found a portrait I did of my friend when we were in 2nd or 3rd yr at art school - I was very pleased with it at the time ! (see profile)

puppydavies · 10/11/2007 07:20

great portrait nas. i'm not comfortable taking portraits at all, and seeing as the main thing i want to photograph is my family i really need to work on it. at some point i'm going to try my hand at some street portraits and get totally out of my comfort zone. it sounds silly but at a festival over the summer i asked a stranger if i could take his picture for the first time which was a really big step for me. picture came out rubbish though

foto8 has a sale on documentary photography books at the moment, there's a nan goldin one on there. sale finishes on 15th.

MaryAnnSingleton · 10/11/2007 08:38

thank you puppy - it's probably not technically brilliant as it was my first attempt at taking photographs in a studio, but we had huge fun doing it. Thanks too for the link - I think books of photography as so fascinating - I used to work in Waterstones and had responsibility for buying the art books in my branch and probably ordered thin gs that would never sell just so I could look at them - that's where I discovered Nan Goldin. My parents also had old photography annuals which I looked at all the time - one had that famous portrait of Ernest Hemingway which I found amazing.
I only photograph my friends and family now - on a little digital camera, seem to have lost the knack for proper photography.

Marina · 10/11/2007 08:59

My sis helped curate a Doisneau exhibition in Manchester years ago so he remains one of my favourites
Am hoping they will issue Genius of Photography on DVD as have missed all of it so far
Had an ex who developed an obsession with Ansell Adams work...that's not why I left him though
Can take well composed snapshots but relinquished my SLR to sis years ago as am technically stupid with cameras...

puppydavies · 10/11/2007 10:25

there's a book to go with the series marina if that helps at all.

lol @leaving someone over ansell adams.

i think once you get an eye for taking pictures you never lose it. but you can get rusty - i find the more pics i take the happier i am with them. i joined a photo-a-day group on flickr and having to take a picture every day turned out to be a really useful discipline. i put it on hold when dd2 was born but i might just about have time for it again now.

the back issues of the magazine on that site are worth a look too mas, there's some really interesting current documentary work there and only £3.50 an issue. you can browse the back issues here.

MaryAnnSingleton · 10/11/2007 11:57

lovely, thank you puppy !

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