Friday, September 12, 2008

American Photography: A Century of Images

American Photography: A Century of Images

I have to admit that I really enjoyed this three part series in regards to how photography can make a major impact on people. I have to admit, I am a slight history buff and love to look at photos from the past and try to interpret the story that they have to tell. Some of the images in the film touched my soul so deeply that I still see them when I close my eyes. I like that a photo can make me feel something that wasn’t there before.

While I admit that we live in an instant gratification society and I am one of the guiltiest of the “I Want It Now” Generation, I look forward to picking up photo prints at the drug store. My daughter and I sit together as we thumb through them, laughing at some of the silly things that we do or remembering how beautiful the house was when covered in ten inches of snow this April. I feel the same way when in a darkroom, developing and printing, even though it has been over a decade since I have smelled the chemicals that made the images appear on paper when I dipped them in. The excitement when the image began to appear was often hard to contain.

I have photos all over my apartment. Some I have taken myself, some are just prints that I enjoy. The majority of the prints date from the 1940’s to the early 1970’s. (So basically, everything from World War II to the end of the Vietnam War fascinates the heck out of me. I think it is because I was named after the actress Spring Byington.) I love how they are not perfectly posed and that most happen spontaneously.That is why I love this photo by Richard Avedon. It was taken in August of 1957 and I think he is brilliant.

There is nothing that drives me crazier than trying to take a shot of my daughter and my friends when they stop whatever adorable thing they are doing and flash peace signs and crooked grins at me. They then run over before I can snap another to "see" the photo. Uggggghhhhhhhhhh!

So my question for you is.....who do you think has the right to define art?

No comments: