Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 68,696   Posts: 1,482,509   Online: 975
      
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,512
    Images
    4

    Discuss A Paul Strand Photograph

    Some photographs present the viewer with several levels of complexity and enjoyment. Some ask far more questions then they answer. This image by Paul Strand is one IMHO: The Family, Luzzara, Italy, 1953.

    This was not a "found" image. Strand meticulously arranged the subjects for this composition. I always wonder what Strand saw in this group to take the time and effort and what they thought about his interest in them. Why did he pose everyone they way he did? For my self, even in a book reproduction, it is hard not to spend a great deal of time with this picture, pondering its faces and possible symbolism. I find lyricism and tension both and a dozen other ideas.

    What do others think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails strand 2.jpg  
    Last edited by Jim Chinn; 10-08-2006 at 10:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Kent, United Kingdom
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    2,364
    Images
    36
    As you say, Jim, a masterclass in composition, achieved through communciation with the subjects (possibly across a language barrier). This picture should be printed a million times at postcard size and distributed to every photography student in the world - this might put an end to "documentary" work in which the subject stares blankly and apathetically at the camera and looks bored stiff. Strand seems to have been adept at this type of work - he must have had some kind of zen quality!

    Good choice for posting!

    Regards,

    David

  3. #3
    blansky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Wine country in Northern California
    Posts
    5,029
    I like this picture for the composition and the feel of it but, as someone who has "posed" hundreds of groups I find this has a "you look here, and you look here" kind of feel to it. It seems a bit contrived on where the people are looking.

    To some it may seem "more natural" than everyone looking at the camera but to me it still has that contrived feel, mainly because there is no real reason for the subjects to be looking where they are looking.

    However I do like the compostion, clothes attitudes etc.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    U.K.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,355
    I quite like it but it's not my favourite Strand photograph by any means.
    I agree with Michael it has a contrived feel about it. Contrivance can work, but somehow doesn't quite for me here.

    I can't help thinking of the Gordon Parks photograph we discussed recently of the lads on the street which had people in different sorts of poses, but they were natural and struck by the people themselves, the whole seemed so much more spontaneous and, for me at least, more 'truthful'.

    Cate

  5. #5
    Pastiche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    319
    well.. I'd THINK that PS was familiar w. psychic lines... which we "read" into figures on the picture plane (extending along each person's line of sight to whatever it appears they are looking at)....
    I feel this device plays a great part in what keeps the eye of the viewer bouncing back into and over the image...
    Other than that, sure.. the intelligent use of repetition of forms, of emphasis by location, variety, contrast (the old woman) .. .
    But... I'd feel almost as confident saying that these things did not occur as conscious decisions, but by conditioned reflex... with enough training... composition becomes autonomous for the most part...
    Unfortunately - after having the "directorial" hand exposed in this picture (by Michael) I too feel like it's fairly contrived...
    Last edited by Pastiche; 10-08-2006 at 12:33 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    527
    Images
    11
    The best criticism I've read of this image is that it doesn't show any Italians known to mankind. A family like this sould be talking, shouting, pouting, gesticulating, etc, not looking like they were all drugged or at a funeral. Strand was a dour, taciturn man -- perhaps this is the ultimate example of the addage that the images of great photographers are always of themselves, not of their subject.
    There is a good bit of interesting footage of his time in this village in the biographical DVD "Under the Darkcloth."

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    U.K.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,355
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    Strand was a dour, taciturn man -- perhaps this is the ultimate example of the addage that the images of great photographers are always of themselves, not of their subject.
    Is that an adage? If so, I don't agree with it.

    Cate

  8. #8
    blansky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Wine country in Northern California
    Posts
    5,029
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    Is that an adage? If so, I don't agree with it.

    Cate
    I'm sure it's not an absolute, but do you not think that the personality, psyche, experience, prejudices etc that we all have, are not often present or subconsciously illustrated in the photographs we take.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  9. #9
    Pastiche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    319
    Cate,
    I've read Richard Avedon mentioning specifically that all his images are self portraits .... which is probably where the "adage" comes from....

    If you define self portrait narrowly enough, I'd say, yes, every image we take is a for of self portraiture... but it really depends on how narrowly you are willing to define self portrait...
    Last edited by Pastiche; 10-08-2006 at 04:10 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: itz tha spelin tha's rong....

  10. #10
    Curt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,510
    Images
    15
    I have never seen a bad or poorly seen photograph by Paul Strand. I have noticed after looking at his photographs over the years that there is something about them that seems consistent. It is like he was told about the saying that you should compose then move in closer. Nothing is "clipped" but he seems to fill the frame with only the important image information he was seeing.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin