Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blind Woman, New York 1916

Blind Woman, New York 1916
Paul Strand (1890-1976)

Paul Strand is known as one of the first photographers of modernism and adapted his skills from the teachings of Lewis Hine in the beginning. He later evolved his photography skills after Alfred Stieglitz. Strand first took photos of people as it was not common at the time to take pictures of art and call it art. After a showing of Picasso, Braque and other photographers unique pictures, Strand started to work with shadows and abstract objects. Strand started to work with abstract objects and shadows and in 1916 he took what he learned and photographed people in the same way, using the dark windows of the Morgan building on Wall Street and the shadows of the people waling down the street he was able to create a whole new approach to photography in the United States. Strand was also known for his photos in the the magazine Camera Work, which was published from 1903-1917, with the last publication completely dedicated to Strand. Strand enjoyed taking pictures of culture and this lead to many pictures of his pictures to of urban sites. What I found most interesting about Strand is how he is recognized as one of the first candid photographers.

Paul Strand created a way to take candid photos by using a Ensign reflex lens point straight while having the real lens point at a right angle underneath his left arm. On of the first he made this way is of the Blind Woman who sold newspapers on the corner of a street. What really interest me in this type of photography is about the way people truly act when know one is watching. Creating a scene is almost ten times easier then trying to capture it in the moment, but there is something said about a photo that is of something real than recreated. With the photo of the Blind Woman there is a bit of irony with this candid photo. The whole purpose of taking a candid photo is to capture the "real", Strand went to all the work of concealing his camera to capture people in the moment with out noticing and took a picture of a blind woman who would not have noticed in the first place. Either way her head and attention seem to be focused somewhere else this is a very unique candid photo, I would never of thought about sneaking a picture of someone who is blind, I would just take it.

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