Specialisation: Dorothea Lange

The Art of Photography

Photography, a multidimensional and constantly developing art form, has profoundly shaped our perception of the universe and the human experience. Photographs have continued to evolve since the first daguerreotype, providing artists with an ever-expanding repertoire of mediums to express themselves during this period. Using the lens, photographers, in addition to freezing a moment into the frame, have shared feelings, recorded historical events, and initiated thoughts. The decision to study The Art of Photography emanated from my inclination towards aesthetics and the technicalities in photography as a personal interest (Barnbaum, Bruce, pg. 36). This research delves into the works of iconic photographers like Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of visual storytelling.

My investigation into photography’s history, growth, and current trends and techniques included various topics. I explored the photography styles of renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. My research included studying the history of photography, from the daguerreotype to digital photography, an essential element that provided an understanding of how this art has developed over time. I examined the technicalities beneath this art. It helped me understand the photography fundamentals that make up the photographer’s strike, such as exposure, composition, and lighting. For instance, his landscape images have been described as breathtaking. He excelled not only as a photographer of landscapes but also as a specialist in the Zone System that changed how photographers regulated exposure and contrast (Jurgenson, Nathan, pg. 16). Today; the innovations have been tremendous, courtesy of the digital age that allows for the use of good quality cameras and post-production software. As a result, photographers have been able to stretch the limits of their art far beyond whatever they imagined earlier with the ability to capture and manipulate images in several manners ever before imagined.

One of the most important things I learned from my research is that art can be expressed through photography beyond simply capturing moments. Composition, lighting, framing, and post-processing assist photographers in evoking emotions, among others, to tell stories and incite thinking. Much importance should be attached to the technical part of photography, like setting up a camera, the exposure time, and post-production, just as in the artistic side. The decisive moment is highly significant as it leads to robust and powerful imagery that has lasting effects. It was during my journey into photographic art that I learned to relish the many genres and styles employed by photographers to communicate their visions (Wright, Terence, pg. 28). The spectrum spans from documentary photography, as shown in Dorothea Lange’s strong photographs taken during Great Depression over street photography capturing the rawness of everyday life until the fashion photography which focuses on beauty and creating stories through clothes and models.

I learned about the effects of several photographic genres, including street, portrait, and landscape photography. Photographers successfully manipulate the aesthetics of visual representation in each genre, negotiating the specific challenges and conventions of artistic expression that make up such powerful images. Documentary photography became an instrumental tool for social and political commentary, as demonstrated by photographers such as Lange and Cartier-Bresson, whose works contributed to forming public opinion and influencing. My research also looked at how photography has affected society and culture. Capturing important moments in history or the beauty of this world is not something impossible for people who are gifted with the ability to look through the lens of a camera (Barnbaum, Bruce, pg. 24). For instance, when taking pictures of migrant workers in the period of the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange managed to do not just preserve a vivid memory about those hard days but also awaken compassion and initiate numerous actions which led to beneficial changes in society.

My research also expanded my understanding of contemporary trends in photography. Digital technology has brought about equalization in this particular art form, opening up opportunities for multitudes to try out or partake in photography. Today’s Photographs are consumed and shared through social media by millions worldwide, thanks to advancements in mobile photography (Ward, pg. 6). This change has resulted in new styles and trends like mobile photography, selfie culture, and street photography via Instagram. The evolution of photography has been fascinating to watch over this period. As a result, these days, anyone can take pictures, share opinions with others via photos, and represent oneself thanks to high-quality smartphone cameras (Barnbaum, Bruce, pg. 17). In particular, mobile photography is an emerging trend Today, as numerous people use smartphones for recording events and situations of their daily living such as hobbies or environment. Social media has facilitated this trend by allowing instant uploading of pictorials of people and thus making them available to a worldwide audience.

In conclusion, my research on the art of photography has profoundly impacted my knowledge and thought process within this area of study. I now appreciate the complexity of photographic artistry and techniques. Over time, it has been demonstrated that a photograph is an artwork developed with great skill and artistry, depicting the photographer’s imagination. For instance, this knowledge has improved my capacity to critique and analyze photographs as I have comprehended what decisions photographers make while making compositional choices (Jurgenson, Nathan, pg. 15). My research has affected how I undertake photography. Currently, when it comes to photography, my perception has changed considerably; for example, I have started examining various aspects such as composition, shade, and narration. It made me understand the photograph’s power to elicit emotions and tell fascinating stories. In my further work, I have been inspired by the research, which made me try other types of photographs to find the best way to express myself as an artist, e.g., portrait or landscape. My studies in this field of photography have been immenArticle Review, sely beneficial as they have provided me with a deeper insight into the subject. At the same time, it increased my involvement in photography (Barnbaum, Bruce, pg. 16). This instilled in me more admiration for the artfulness in the medium, which had, in turn, made me look ahead eagerly to apply such learning in my future exploits as a photographer or even simply as a spectator.

Works Cited

Barnbaum, Bruce. The art of photography: A personal approach to artistic expression. Rocky Nook, Inc., 2017.

Jurgenson, Nathan. The social photo: On photography and social media. Verso Books, 2019.

Ward, Alison. “Photography and storytelling: Exploring the experiences of people with early-stage dementia.” (2015).

Wright, Terence. The photography handbook. Routledge, 2016.