Advanced Figurative Photography: Part 5

   20 November 2009, terribly early in the morning

Since my last class taking nude photographs, I attended two photography classes where we spent time looking at photographs and reviewing each others work. One class focused on street and vernacular photography, the another on nudes and fashion photography.

The street photography section was interesting, but since this is a topic i’m interested in I was fairly familiar with a lot of the work. There were still some new names to learn and photos to see. Sally Mann, Tina Barney, and Larry Sultan all take family photographs, but with a fine-art twist. Tina Barney is interesting in that she uses a large format camera to take what look like snapshots — except there is no way they could be snapshots because of the nature of the camera. I had no idea Larry Clark, the director of Kids, was an accomplished photographer before he became a director. His photos are in the same vein as Nan Goldin. The class covered a whole slew of photographers, ending with a look at Trent Parke’s work.

The following class started with another look at the body. Of particular note was the work by Francesca Woodman. She committed suicide at a young age and came to prominence after her death. Her portraits and self portraits are pretty haunting: long exposures, strange settings, etc. On the fashion side of things, the work by Deborah Tuberville is really interesting; she barely showcases the clothing. It’s interesting watching the evolution of fashion photography: early photographs look and feel like photographs of real live people, while what we have today is so over processed and shiny everything looks so fake.

Last night’s class was once again spent taking photographs of nude models.

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