Styles

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Petraio Prime, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    It seems to me there are regional and generational 'styles' of photography. I can always spot the 'typical American' style of wide-angle lens usage, for instance, in which there is an attempt to include a lot in the frame. I seldom use wide-angle lenses in that way, and I use long lenses a lot more than others do (it seems). The American 'baby boomers' and 'hippies' seem to dominate the B&W large-format landscape 'zone-system' crowd. I am not aware of much large-format zs work by Europeans. In other words, there seems to be much less individuality or variation than expected in styles of work; a lot depends on your generation and nationality.

    In other words, I can recognize 'typical American' and 'typical European' photography in several genres. I can also tell 'baby boomer' work from that of younger photographers.

    Also, many American photographers seem to delight in front-on, full-length (or nearly so) 'portraits' in which the subject is growling or staring with a blank expression. A couple of examples by Leibovitz, typically 'American':

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Photographically speaking, very little is going on in these photographs. No great feats of composition or timing or lighting. The only value they have is because of the subjects, being celebrities.

    I just noticed there's a link to a video on this site, an ad, apparently, for the lights Annie uses, showing her working. The ad is so typically American...complete with the new age music and shaky camera....unbelievably hokey...
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, I'd have to agree; the vast majority of Liebovitz's celebrity photography is pretty minimalist, and it's very difficult for many people to separate the subjects from the photographic techniques used in the pictures. Like the first photo: I think that's Iggy Pop, fairly recently, after he'd been on his health and fitness and working out craze. And the last shot...if that wasn't related to HBO's hugely successful series The Sopranos, the photo would have a much different significance, but Tony Soprano's prolific womanizing and his underworld boss status both sort of come to the forefront of the minds of viewers who are already pre-disposed to read into the photos some type of meaning. But....if the subjects were not famous people, these photos would be relegated to blase status quite easily.

    Of course, in the realm of "celebrity portraiture", these types of photos are kind of what many people expect. But how would the first and second photos be if say, we substituted a fat, grossly overweight 60 year old father-in-law of somebody from Queens, New York??? What significance,culturally, would those photos have if that change were made? But then again, is that even a fair comparison? The photos are, originally, for the celebrity-worshiping fans of mass-market American magazines.
     
  3. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    I have never been impressed by her work. Not in the least. But the point I'm making here is that this is typically 'American' style, as much as is say John Sexton's stuff:

    Again, the right-angle view:

    [​IMG]

    Just as with the Leibovitz shots, no creativity here to speak of. It is a pretty scene, of course, but there is nothing photographically challenging about it. Symmetrical, right-angle composition is very common:

    [​IMG]

    And not only are the photographs usually all in the same style, these guys all look and dress alike. There is the 'American landscape zone dude' 'look':

    [​IMG]

    The 'residual hippie' characteristics (the wry smile, beard, denim shirt, jeans etc.).

    You don't have to look at these guy's pictures. You know what they look like, and they all look the same. LOL Tall, Northern European ancestry, bearded, etc. etc. etc. And of course, their photo has to include their left hand resting on a camera on a tripod...after all, if you're a serious photographer you must use a tripod (Gitzo, preferably).

    These guys crack me up.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I was wondering if you had ever seen this from the TPF Rules and Regs:

    The Photo Forum - Photography Discussion Forum - FAQ

    Annie could sure use some extra cash. ;)

    I was also wondering what style of clothing you would expect landscape photographers to wear, instead of a durable shirt and jeans.

    Do you do landscape photography? If you do. What do you wear? :lmao:

    You have a prejudicial viewpoint.

    http://www.usu.edu/psy3510/prejudice.html
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  6. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    This is both funny and pathetic. Why should European and American photogs shoot the same? Of course they will shoot differently. They come from different cultures. Not only that but European photogs from different countries also show differences in their styles, all somewhat related to their cultures.

    As far as Annie Leibowitz is concerned, let's see your portraits of stars. I don't like her photos for the technique (her portrait of the Obama family is pretty atrocious, imho) but for the image. Let's see you get Whoopi Goldberg in a tub full of milk or John Lennon nude on top of Yoko... By the way, Yoko would only take off her shirt, so Leibowitz decided to keep her dressed.

    And to be honest, I only pay attention to the technical side of a photo when I'm teaching, when I'm on a forum, or when the photo is not that interesting. What the image tells me is more important than any technical thing.
     
  8. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    I was not singling out Leibovitz as being good or bad, just showing 'typical American style'. I am aware of those images you mentioned, but they don't really do much for me; they say to me that she is pretentious and easily impressed by 'celebrity'. Her photographs appeal to the people who watch television, and who read Rolling Stone and think it's important.

    This thread is about generational and cultural effects on photographic style. Are you unaware of the popularity of 'nature' as subject matter in the US? Where are the new Willy Ronises?
     
  9. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    No, I don't do 'landscapes'. Nachschlag of Romanticism that refuses to die. I think the nature and landscape people are all aliens from another world.

    :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I'm sorry but this says a lot more about you than it does about her.

    So you have a problem with Annie Lebowitz. That's ok. Most of us have a problem with a photog or two. But it is quite obvious you have no idea what it is like to shoot celebrities with the access that she has.

    I do (have an idea) because I do. Have access. Yet, I am quite jealous of her images.

    Guess what: I think you are the alien and you feel better by attacking people who are obviously not going to defend themselves here.

    Let's see you stuff.
     
  12. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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