The Essence of the Medium: Modernity and Straight Photography

In todays lecture we discussed Modernism, Formalism, Pictorialism and Straight Photography.
The era in which Modernism was most apparent was between 1850 – 1965 and can be grouped into three different category’s; modernisation, modernity and Modernism, all three which mean different aspects of this era. Modernisation is concerned with scientific and technological advances such as the steam train, cars, camera etc… modernity is a form of experience and an awareness that things are changing and adapting, one example of this was the ‘Flapper’ which was a group of women in the 1920’s who decided that they were not going to conform to the expectations of women at that time and cut their long hair into a bob and wore loose fitting dresses (which were easier to get into cars). Lastly is Modernism which is cultural movements and the experience of the new.
Formalism, which was important to modernist art was working with pure or significant forms that possess their own unique qualities and so they would often sign their work in order to make the art even more significant and unique.
Pictorialism was inspired by paintings and would often be either nude or still life. They thought that Straight Photography, which is purely concerned with photography in a scientific form and not at all interested in making it look like a painting was too mechanical. In the 1920’s many turned away from Pictorialism and looked at Straight Photography instead. I think that both Pictorialism and Straight Photography both have different aspects that I think are intriguing, as I think that you should experiment with photography and try new techniques, but no matter what you do to the image, if you created it using a camera, it is photography no matter whether it is sharp or out of focus.
Over all I found the lecture very fascinating and I enjoyed looking into these different times in history and how they shaped what photography is today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s