Photography Tip Thursday #6 ~ Straight Photograpy

This week were are on spring break so I had no class last evening. Thankfully this allows me to take the opportunity to get you caught up since I know I am a little behind with my weekly photography tips.

In last week's class we talked about straight photography. By definition straight photography is...

" Pure photography is defined as possessing no qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form."

Photo by William Parker Little 1850-1937

Straight photography is considered to be photography in its most purest form, unmanipulated by cropping, retouching or any type of editing. In straight photography the final image is exactly the way the photograph was framed and with the precise technique of which it was shot.

Straight Photography was an extreme departure of the dominant international style of photography of the late 19th early 20th century called Pictorialism. In the Pictorialism style the photographer can manipulate what otherwise may be a straight forward photo to create images rather than just recording them. This style was promoting picture taking as an art form, it's purpose was to evoke an emotional response when viewed. One technique used in the early days was to smear a Vaseline like gel over the lens of the camera in an effort to soften an image. Some of the many techniques used at the time rendered a photograph to look rather like a drawing or even a lithograph.

Straight photography took a different path in depicting a scene or image. It incorporates repetitive patterns and used light as a controlling influence of the medium. Below is a photo from the Ansel Adams Museum. You can see how the use of light is the key component in creating this image. The light streams down from the sky and highlights the landscape...this becomes art to the viewer.

Photography by Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

My next assignment for this class is to shoot 20 photographs using this technique and then choose  5 of the best ones to submit for class review. This is going to be very hard many of the students in the class including myself since I am an admitted "cropaholic". But we must take time to shoot our photos using light, framing and composition...we will see how I do!

Until next week my friends...

P.S....I did get an "A" on my first assignment ~ Depth of Field and photographing motion! Yay me!!! Our mid-term was due last week too...I will be sure to let you know how I did on it. I hope I passed because it wasn't exactly an easy exam!!!

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