Saturday, October 4, 2008

Robert Frank and Nan Goldin Response

Picture by Nan Goldin

I didn't know anything about either Nan Goldin or Robert Frank, and I thought these two videos did a good job at portraying their life styles. Robert Frank, was a photographer who took pictures of people who lacked touch and were isolated from the main stream public. His vision was entirely new and no one could replicate his photos. He took steps in documenting controversial topics of his time, such as African Americans when they were not considered equal to Caucasians.
Nan Goldin also documented controversial subject matters hers however, seem to be more sensual and raw. She shows the vivid truth through here photography. Frustration/tension between two lovers, addiction, trans genders and drags were some subjects of her pictures. Privately she took pictures of nature and put her own twist to the photos to create something original and eventually desired by the public.
After watching these two movies, I wonder how artists find a balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting involved emotionally and physically with their work.

-Laura LaVergne

Friday, October 3, 2008

Robert Frank

I rather enjoy Robert Frank's work for the fact that it is not perfect. Most of his work, in fact, was far from it. Sometimes blurry and out of focus, I think it actually represents reality better than most of the "artistically correct" photographs that I have seen.
While Frank's subjects are sometimes considered bleak and depressing, I actually find them to be realistic. Life is not always peaches and cream. Robert Frank was able to portray the reality that was there instead of the reality that people would prefer. In fact, as far as heartache goes, Robert Frank had more than his fair share.
Do you think that being a glass "half-full" or a "half-empty" has a large impact on an artists work?

Robert Frank and Nan Goldin Video Response

As you can see, the style of Robert Frank(top picture) and Nan Goldin(bottom picture) were very different but still captured the raw essence of life.

I thought the video was very interesting in the sense that Robert Frank was a simple photographer. His pictures captured the essence of what life was like for people. He didn't just show the upper class citizens of America, he showed all types and that's why I think his photos were so powerful. He also displayed the talent of how influential photography was because it said in the movie, "he didn't mean to present political messages with his book, but did." This was in reference to his book The Americans. Frank was very good at using pictures to document his life. The other half of the movie about Nan Goldin was a little more interesting. She definitely had a different approach to her photos. But similar to Robert Frank, she also used what was happening in her actual life to tell her story. Her style was more aimed at sexuality and love. Both Robert Frank and Nan Goldin are greatly talented and successful in my eye because they both execute the style of still images so well. The pictures are simple yet tell such a story. Do you think the power of still images has been smothered by the bombardment of digital mediums?

Chad Miltenberger

Robert Frank Video Response

I really liked Robert Frank's work because he wasn't distorting the lens or make his subjects look 'artistic', he was just taking pictures of people. I've always liked looking at pictures of people and imagining what they're life might be like. 

There was a part in the video that said that the way Frank photographed, made things seem more pessimistic and that his work made people uncomfortable. Perhaps these feelings only happened to people who were seeing them for the first time when he first brought them out. For me, however, they're more like a peak into the history of America. Again, I think they're interesting to look at. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Photo Blogs, Internet Sensations, Etc.

I'm not going to tell you how to blog, you already know that because you're doing it for this class.  But I want to refer you to some well respected photo blogs (and some ramblers) that photographers/artists refer to (often for their own blogs).

APE (a photo editor).  Primarily for editorial/commercial photographers from the perspective of an industry pro.

Conscientious- a photo blog for those interested in what is happening in photography along with the artists that make photographs.

I heart photograph, the name says it all.  Links to contemporary artists working in photography. books, the low income collectors of photography

Shane Lavalette....young photographer who keeps a steady flow rolling on the blog

Cara Phillips.  The everyday trials of making art and staying in the market, as written by an artist.

Shoot the Blog.  Okay, the blog is over....example of how fragile the business of photography is. But you can access the new blog here, by Rachel Hulin

40 Watt...local folk, written by Shawn Records...making a name for the Portland photo scene. Especially nice when wondering what kind of images come up on google when using the search term "awesome" or "shame spiral".    He's also one of the people responsible for the Photolucida blog

Magnum...not just a blog but probably one of the best websites for photography in terms of listening and seeing why photographers do what they do.  Take some time and watch the magnum in motion photo essays.  

and then just to show how blogs and websites make this world very small....a former DTC student of mine has found internet fame with a project she did for my class, which is causing a big debate.  Go Nina!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Robert Frank : Hmm.....

One of the things in the video on Robert Frank that I found interesting, was the short clip where he was asked if he wanted to go site-seeing while he was in Paris. His response was to say "That's not my style".

So, lets talk about his style.

His photography was, to put it kindly, not exactly the best when it came to quality of print / lighting. A good portion of them seem to be a bit fuzzy, possibly out of focus, and in a lot of cases, the exact subject of the image isn't quickly discernible. The subject was often to the side and oddly lit and almost seemingly an accident.

And yet the work that he did for "The Americans" is renowned as some of his best work.
Makes you wonder WHY doesn't it?

Robert Frank.

Robert Frank has captured in the tremendous photographs taken as he traveled on the road around practically forty-eig ht states in an old used car (on Guggenhiem Fellowship) and with the agility, mystery, genius, sadness, and strange secrecy of a shadow photographed scenes that have never been seen before on film. All this was show to us in the film about how his life come to be very popular. I saw from his work that he was showing the people the way we should be shown to everyone. Robert Frank’s photographic manifesto, The Americans, torched the national myth. This myth is odd in the fact that the American has always been painted as this prefect people who live these great problem free lives. Robert Frank show us the true American through his photos of really working people and their problems.

By Sarah

Monday, September 29, 2008

Robert Frank

Robert Frank wanted to "make Americans see America." This is the very reason why Robert Frank is the source for so many photographs taken at times where segregation was a normal subject. Blacks were known as second class citizens all while taking care of children of whites as they had to sit in the back of the bus and drink out of "blacks only" water fountains. For the Americans who had not witnessed such occurrences, Frank showed a blunt depiction to what is actually going on in America. How would you react if you had seen segregation at those times? Since a young kid, I've often imagined how it would feel to be sitting in the back of the bus with a frown expression on my face. This is the depiction that I sense from many of Robert Frank's pieces. Times have changed, but it has not changed completely, since there are tons of racial injustices that takes place in other countries... of course this is not the only subject matter Frank seems to photograph, but I'm sure I'll get to see more in this blog!

Sanjana Pahalad

Susan Sontag: On photography

I enjoyed the section mentioning polaroids being used as a form of note-taking. Though, most advanced digital SLRs are as big as an old polaroid camera and are easier to use. To suggest that a polaroid camera is a note-taking device, taking into consideration the bulky nature of that camera, and their annoying loading method, and the length of time it takes for the image to emerge, what could be said about the cameras of today which are unnoticeably carried in our pockets, produce clear images instantly, and can take almost as many pictures as we can?

Cell phone pictures are even less than a form of note taking. Sometimes i don't even realize i'm taking a photo until i'm looking at it. It brings up an interesting question, what kind of art could one make with a low res camera?