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The photographs of the glaciers in different parts of the world were beautiful, and shocking. They seem surreal because my eyes don’t see them in every day life. However, the time lapse of the stills observing glaciers was the most powerful part of the exhibit. It showed how much glaciers are changing over a 2-5 year time period. You can watch the ice melt before your eyes. When you think of global warming, its easy to forget how serious it is. These images made me rethink my perspective. It also made me realize how much photography can impact the way we see and understand the world. Creating awareness for climate change is only one of the many ways photography helps change the world.
Every day, I realize more and more how important photography is to our lives. It truly freezes moments in time, like nothing else. It gives us insight to things we may not be able to see with our own eyes either because we aren’t physically there or that we didn’t see it the first time. It seems that the naked eye can be blind. Photography can put our eyes back into focus.
Julia Margaret Cameron 1815-1879
~ photographer known for her Victorian era portraits
~ didn’t use a camera until age 48!
~ eccentric friend of notable Victorian artists, poets, and thinkers
~ some believe she has sloppy craftsmanship, but she did it on purpose used carefully directed light, soft focus, and long exposures while allowing sitter’s slight movement to register in her pictures making it more life like
~three major bodies of work : portraits of men, portraits of women, and staged groupings
~usually used friends, rather than models for her work
~ portraits of women often appeared as representations of a biblical, mythological, or literary figure
Annie Leibovitz — showing the American story.
Annie has most certainly portrayed much of American life in the 20th and 21st century, specifically within popular culture. Her time at Rolling Stone is intriguing as it was described somewhat ambiguously (“Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll”) in the film. It is important to see how many mentors she has had in her life that have led her to the successful women she is today. I don’t think she would be the same photographer without those influences in her life, and it shows that even the most talented artists can use another eye or two to grow their potential in the industry.
"My real photos are inside the magazine."
By the end of the film, I felt as if her sets and design were too flashy for me. I much prefer simple portraits that show a person’s soul, rather than a celebrity in a Wizard of Oz set looking afraid of the oncoming tornado. Annie herself said that photography is family based, and that is why I chose the photo of the Obama family above. I love this photograph because its simple, yet shows the love Michelle and Barack have for their children.
Food for thought…
One of the last things said in the film was about if you can truly see who a person is through a photograph. The answer: if they let you. Many put on an act for the camera, and so that genuine photo of them doesn’t exist. Personally, I think all the glitz and glamour of magazine shoots makes it easy for a person to portray something other than them self. Maybe that is why I like the simplicity of the Obama’s portrait.
Making Ordinary Special: Sally Mann
I can’t believe I never wondered who photographed the young girl with the cigarette in her mouth that every teenage girl who thought she was a rebel posted on myspace or Facebook. Sally Mann’s work is truly breathtaking to me. I love her family portraits because they portray such rich, and sometimes uncomfortable emotion.
"You photograph the things that are most close to you best."
If that isn’t the truth, then I don’t know what is. When I photograph my favorite things (food && my dog), I work until I get the perfect shot. Then I love the photograph to the point where I can’t stop looking at it. That’s what all photographers should do.
"What happens to a landscape when there is a massive amount of death on it?"
This quote made me think. Battlefields are photographed all the time, but I never thought of it in this way. It seems to me that it could be difficult to show the feeling of death through a landscape. There are not always physical signs of a massacre long after its over. Everything may look normal; however, it is possible to still get an omniscient feeling when standing on massacred ground. How can you portray this feeling in a photograph? It is an interesting subject to consider.
I’m glad that Sally Mann isn’t afraid of death. I like her perspective on death, and while I don’t full-heartedly agree with everything she says, I think it sheds light on the life cycle. Our culture has pushed death so far away, that many people don’t even consider the facets of death. Whether we like it or not, death is a part of life, which makes it a part of photography. I hope there are more photographers in the future that break the mold and continue to be unconventional like Sally. These are the artists that will change the perspective of the world.