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Discuss the similarities and differences between Peter Henry Emerson’s Naturalism and Group f/64’s straight, modernistic approach to photography.
Be specific and clear.
WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE
Give examples to defend your position. Make sure to cite your sources for your opinions and ideas.
500 words minimum
Using MLA format (http://olympus.sandhills.edu/english/wordguide/mlaformat.html (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)) *Site all reference material and sources and include a bibliography. You will be docked a whole grade if this information is omitted. Three sources must be sited.
All papers must be typed, spell checked and submitted to the link that will be provided in Canvas.
THIS ASSIGNMENT IS WORTH 50 POINTS
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Discipline: PHOTO 107 HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Comparing Peter Henry Emerson’s Naturalism and Group f/64’s Straight, Modernistic Approach to Photography
Photography has a long history spanning back to the advent of the camera in 1839, which enabled photographers to document everyday scenes, objects, nature, and cultural artefacts. Henry Fox Talbot’s invention, calotype, was the basis of photography as it is known today. Calotype was a paper negative which photographers produced when they exposed a silver chloride-coated sheet of paper to light. Although the history of photography has been characterized by numerous developments and works of various photographers, Peter Henry Emerson’s Naturalism and Group f/64’s straight, modernistic approach to photography are the most critical movements in history. While the two approaches were similar in their focus on nature in all its purity, they also differed in many ways that made each unique, such as ethnographic interests in naturalism and the stylistic form in the straight, modernistic approach.
The two approaches to photography focused on the beauty and purity of nature as could be captured by the camera perfectly. Peter Henry Emerson’s Naturalism related to a pure communion between the photographer and nature and photographed land in its forms and seasons (Baltasar-Feyen et al.). Having lived adjacent to rural areas, Emerson could capture nature, such as individuals who farmed and fed the land in its natural form. Besides, when he focused the camera on taking the photograph, he captured the natural nature of the subject as evident in the Pond in Winter, which he photographed in 1888 (Peter Henry Emerson).
Pond in Winter, photograph by Peter Henry Emerson, 1888
Similarly, Group f/64 focused on what they referred to as “pure” photography achievable through the “innate honesty” of the camera (The Art Story). The proponents of straight photography used their cameras to record life, including its substance and epitome. An example of the photograph belonging to the straight is Ansel Adams’s Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite taken in 1933 (Group f.64). The two examples reveal a similarity in focus on nature in its natural and pure form.
Ansel Adams: Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite
Regardless of the similarities, Naturalism and Group f/64’s straight, modernistic approach have some differences. One of the differences is the strong ethnographic interests in naturalism, such as Emerson’s interest in traditional coastal inhabitants of England. Unlike the straight, modernistic approach, naturalism, focused not just on the quality of the photo, but on the natural aspect of the subject, including their cultural and social reality. For example, Doris Ulmann and Edward S. Curtis, some of the photographers of the naturalistic era, recorded New England religious groups through photography (Peter Henry Emerson).). Emerson and others within the movement recorded the picture as well as the social and cultural aspects of the subjects, which differed from the straight, modernistic approach, which concentrated on the “innate honesty” of the camera (The Art Story) as opposed to the ethnography of the subject. Besides, the modernist view of photography introduced the stylistic boldness, which viewed the object in terms of form, texture, and light.
Peter Henry Emerson’s Naturalism and Group f/64’s straight, modernistic approach to photography are some of the eras in photography that introduced major changes to the way people recorded nature. The two had similar characteristics, such as the focus on nature in all its purity, but they were also different and unique, such as ethnographic interests in naturalism and the stylistic form in the straight, modernistic approach.
Baltasar-Feyen, Michaela. PETER HENRY EMERSON AND AMERICAN NATURALISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY, 2008. https://new.artsmia.org/press/peter-henry-emerson-and-american-naturalistic-photography/. Accessed 22 July, 2020
Group f.64: American photography group, Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ansel-Adams-American-photographer. Accessed 22 July, 2020
Peter Henry Emerson: British photographer, Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Peter-Henry-Emerson. Accessed 22 July, 2020
The Art Story, Straight Photography, https://www.theartstory.org/movement/straight-photography/history-and-concepts/. Accessed 22 July, 2020