I think that Annie Leibovitz is regarded as America’s greatest portrait photographer because of her commitment. She was always willing to travel the globe for her next assignment. She stayed consistent and never presumed anything about a story or person until she got there.
In her career she covered political campaigns and scandals including a photo essay of Richard Nixon leaving the White House. Her subjects claimed her style was simple yet affected. She was fortunate enough to get portraits of several famous musicians in their personal space providing a unique look into their lives. Leibovitz spent time with John Lennon and traveled with the Rolling Stones. She captured the relationship between Lennon and Yoko Ono in its initial stages. Keith Richards claimed she wasn’t intrusive when she was around, but always seemed to capture the subtle moments. She is focused and demanding with her subjects. Leibovitz although not known for being a fashion photographer, dove into that area of worth with her provocative style. She became so caught up in her work that she began to forget to live her own. As she became more famous she began to incorporate more elusive backgrounds into her photographs such as airplanes and fancy cars. Overall Leibovitz is influential to aspiring photographers everywhere.
The name of the photographer who created this photo essay was Johanna-Maria Fritz. The name of the article was “An Inside Look at the Unique Lives of Circus Performers.” I found this article/photo essay on nationalgeographic.com The photo essay consisted on portraits of circus performers in their attire. Some of the photos showed them performing their crafts. In all of the photos beautiful backgrounds were used to enhance the images overall.
I found the story interesting because the photographer is just 23 years of age and started photographing the circus at the age of 17. She has traveled the world and learned about different cultures and the crafts that they incorporate into the circus. What stood out to me was Fritzes dedication to her craft and her realizations of the sincerity of the circus community which she elaborated on with her quotes.
Visually Fritz used gorgeous landscapes that could only be found in certain areas of the countries that she explored. She incorporated basic photography skills by using leading lines, depth of field, shadows, and light which created surreal images. I think her framing by positioning of the camera and her subjects helped her capture them in their environments. I think the intro shot was great because it showed two acrobats in front of a mountain that caught my attention and made me want to look at her other photos. After going through her slideshow I realized that Fritz traveled all over because all of the circus participants had different attire and different backdrops. The last photo was another one of acrobats forming a pyramid. The photo had a foggy aesthetic to it and further proved the photographer’s ability to adapt to her surroundings, capture her subjects in the moment, and eye for her art form as a whole.
The inspiration for this project was to capture a scenic view in Orange County with the appropriate amount of sunlight. The lighting in the scene was bright natural sunlight but I was taking the photo from a shady viewpoint so I had to adjust my settings. My exposure was 1/50 seconds, my aperture was f5.6, my ISO was 200 and I was on manual mode in 55 mm focal length. The light was facing me and the shade was behind me. I took the photo from an elevated viewpoint. I decided not to make any edits to this photo because the highlights and shading seem to work so well with the gravestones and the tree branch creates an interesting aesthetic of division. I’m not sure how I would describe the mood of the photo. I think the gravestones provide a silhouette in a way. The location of this photo was a graveyard for former members of a monastery in Warwick N.Y. I think the strongest part of the image ironically is the lighting. The tombstones really absorbed and reflected the light, which were some of the goals of this assignment. I think the framing could have been better but I wanted to make sure I incorporated the tree on the left and the statue on the right. I think this was a helpful assignment, because you really had to think what your exposure and aperture were to get the shot you were looking for. I am still trying to learn how to balance those two setting so they work to their optimal potential.
The inspiration for this composition photo was to incorporate an over the shoulder shot of my friend while he was looking at this building. I wanted him to stand behind the car as it brought more color and layers to the frame. I think I finally accomplished some depth of field as he and the car appear to be in focus and the background is blurrier.
The camera settings were manual mode, f 5.6, focal length 55 mm, ISO 800, and exposure was 1/1328 per second. The mood of this photo is curiosity as it was the first time he saw this building. You don’t see his expression but I think his stance says a lot. The light was natural and the picture was taken in the evening about 7 p.m. as the sun was starting to go down so it was gloomy.
In terms of editing I didn’t want to do too much to change the image. I brought up the saturation a minimum amount but raised the contrast in the colors to acuentuate the green in the trees, the grass, and the car. I tried to use the compositional elements of depth of field, layering, leading lines, and color contrast. I did think about the placement of the camera angle and the subject to get all of the elements within the frame. I think this image has nice layers and a depth of field that says a lot about the image in its entirety. I think the weak part might be the framing. I would have liked to get a lower view of the car and make the top of the building visible. Perhaps I should have taken a step back. Even still I enjoy this photo on a personal level.
Vanished Trust – Ethics #1
I think that digital manipulation has in a sense altered people’s sense of reality. Between the news and social media the lines between authentic and false are narrower than ever before. There is a major difference between fixing the exposure/saturation of a photo and manipulating the image by moving anything that is in the frame of the camera. Of course there are exceptions to the rule such as cropping if something such as a tree branch interferes with the subject or the focal point.
There should be a code ethics for photographers and digital artists should follow. I think if there is a situation where danger is in play and a photographer has an opportunity to help rather than take a photo that they should. The consequences for not abiding to those rules should be enforced as criminal charges in certain scenarios. In terms of digital artists, I think that ethics courses should be incorporated and required for students to take in their college curriculum.
As an artist, a photographer must have integrity. By staging a photo they are being false and a liar. With all of the technology and resources available ethics is more important now than ever.