Thursday, May 25, 2006

Character Shots

Photoshoot: Amber: In Character
Date: around May 24th

Last night, Amber and I decided to try to do different character shots. The original idea was for the above shot of Amber dressed up as Catherine from the french movie Jules et Jim. When finished with the shoot, we ended up with 6 different characters: The Catherine, The Mademoiselle, The Aristocrat, The Beatnik, The Criminal, and the Fashion Snob. A shot of each was submitted to (links at top of the page). Here you will find alternates for all the shots. Hope you enjoy them!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The "Indecisive Moment," Erwitt, New York, and the 1950's

Elliott Erwitt was born in France in 1928. He is known for his absurd black and white candid shots. If Henri Cartier-Bresson was the master of the "decisive moment" then perhaps Erwitt was the master of the "indecisive moment." His shots are very random and often a little strange. The photo to the right was taken in 1956 in New York City and is one of his most famous. It depicts a chihuahua in a sweater compared in size to a woman's feet; a scene which is a bit out of the ordinary. Erwitt has a deep passion for dogs and children and both are featured frequently in his photos.

Erwitt moved to America when he was 10. He initially lived in New York and then his family moved to Los Angeles. Erwitt eventually moved back to New York and settled there. As a freelance photojournalist and he took photos for many different publications including Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday. He was asked to join Magnum photos in 1953 (a photo agency Bresson is also a member of). Joining Magnum allowed Erwitt to take photos all over the world. Other credits to his name include the production of 17 comedy/satire televison programs for HBO and being the author of 18 photography books. To this day he is still involved in projects for various publications.

Elliott Erwitt's absurd look at life and his eye for catching moments even many photojournalists might miss has made him a very important character in the development of photography as a "fine art." Erwitt has also been a key photographer in the development of the more creative style of photojournalism today and daily life photography.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Room Full of Streamers

Photoshoot: A Room Full of Streamers
Date: around May 10th

These are pictures from my most recent photoshoot. In the future, I hope to update everytime I do a photoshoot with special pictures and information about the shoot.

This shoot in particular took place in my dorm room where I attached streamers to the ceiling. The streamers made the room seems sort of surreal and created a lot of interesting pictures. I had mark model for me and ended up taking about 150 photos. There are 3 new ones uploaded in (links at the top of this page) and a few more featured in this post.

As you can see, the set-up was sort of interesting here. the only problem was that there was so much going on in the background that many of the photos look cluttered. It would be interesting to try this again in a more plain/empty room.

Bresson and France, 1932

Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art. ~Ambrose Bierce

My name is Ryan, I'm a photography student who is interested in both studio photography and photojournalism. This blog is both a means to expose my work as well as a place to learn about other photographers. I will be posting photos from a variety of sources with (hopefully) interesting information.

The photo to the left is a Henri Cartier-Bresson. It was taken from a series he did in France in 1932. What is most important about Bresson is his style as well as his eye for caputuring people in a particular way which has been defined as the "decisive moment." In 1952, 126 of his photos were compiled in a book with a Matisse-drawn cover entitled "The Decisive Moment." Bresson wrote in the preface of this book:

"There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment...To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms that give that event its proper expression"

The decisive moment is such an important aspect of photojournalism and Bresson's use and definition of this concept birthed the style of photojournalism. His love of photographing people and "street photography" is what inspires me as a photographer and photojournalist. The thrill of capturing such a special moment is what seems to drive most photojournalists. These are the moments in life which, when made permanent, are special and cherished forever. Photography provides a way for people to not only reflect upon themselves but also preserve the world and their history in one of the most honest and vivid mediums. This is why I love photography and this is why I am starting this blog. I hope you enjoy it.

And here are a few more Cartier-Bresson's for your enjoyment. These also come from the series he did in France in 1932:

*the information used on this blog is, unless otherwise stated, taken from wikipedia and my own personal knowledge.