Sunday, September 14, 2008

American Photography

The picture I chose was The Burning Monk by Malcolm Browne. The picture was taken June 11,1963 at an intersection in Saigon. The reason I chose this picture was this is a perfect example of how photography can put us in the moment. The event in this picture took place on the other side of the world, but yet it gives us a sense of actually being there. A person setting himself on fire is something that most people will never see or let alone be able to take a picture of.

I think photographs were and still are the most powerful form of art. The movie series we watched really made me realize how important photography is and how non- existent our past would be without it. Photography is not only art, but a very strong tool of persuasion and social change. I can't even remember how many times I have seen old photographs and they have the ability to tell an entire story. Even in today's society with so many technological advances, there is still no replacement for the unaltered, still photograph.

Photographs are our only evidence of some events that happened around the world and that's our only sense of actually being there. In a way photography was used to boost people's emotions in a time of despair such as WWI and WWII. Once the magazine Life started to run the photo essay this brought a whole new way of circulating and educating people about the world. I think this was definitely a turning point for mass media. The most profound and noticeable time that photography made its mark was during WWII, and the civil rights movement. This was also the time when fashion photography was in its prime. I love the pictures of the pin up girl Betty Grable. Her picture brought joy to the soldiers serving in the war. This is a great example of how photography brought joy to many.

This was a time when photography exposed the public to what was going on behind the scenes. Even in 50's when TV was coming into the limelight, photography was still the best. The reason I think was photography gave people what they wanted to see. Photographs are what showed people the real horror of what was happening during the civil rights movements. The photos are what eventually got people to get involved and acknowledge the problems in the South.

This movie was great! I learned so much about the history of photography and it really makes me want to start taking more pictures. I like to capture the moment and live in the moment and that’s what photography does.

Chad Miltenberger

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