Portrait. Photographers Someone I don’t know Research

This led me onto the photographers I had come to mind who focused on fashion. So mainly I looked at Bruce Gilden’s and Garry Winogrand’s work. Which also sent me on to Paul Graham’s and Lee Friedlander’s work. These created the basis for how I wanted to create my work. The idea of anonymity was something I thought would be interesting to capture.

Bruce Gilden

Gilden was a street photography that is based on portraiture, which is formed into Fashion photography.  He gained fame through his style.  This is based on capturing close up images quick intervals so people don’t realize their image is being captured. Like with this image New York. Fashion Shoot 2005.


In this image “USA. Queensway, New York, 2005. Fashion shoot. Mafia Funeral” which is focused on a simple gesture of the man giving the woman a light for her cigarette at the end of the funeral. However, with the woman being dressed in a ball gown style outfit and the man in a suit and tie. It is formed into a fashion statement instead of being a gesture of respect that it was intended to be.

From this I looked at how he created his work, where I found a street photographers meeting with him…

“Imagine getting into a stranger’s face (mere inches away) and firing a flash. He does that, over and over again. The most interesting part? No one seems to care. Gilden even thanks people afterward more often than not. So much for the old saying about never making eye contact. He not only looks at people, he speaks to them… Use a flash when you don’t need one… It adds effortless drama to the photograph, especially in black and white. You get some background defocus too. Overall it just adds a layer of ‘wow’ to your street photos with little effort”.

I like this work due to the way in which the imagery is captured. Plus how the people still hold their identity even though the imagery is captured in spontaneous bursts. Showing the high impact of preparation. This is the style of imagery that I want to capture for my unknown portrait.

Garry Winogrand

Another person who focuses on this type of photography is Garry Winogrand. He is also a street photographer however he focuses on capturing imagery that depict people in a comical yet at times sinister way. Like this piece “El Morocco, 1955” where the woman is the main focus! Due to her being shown as having an outlook of a vampire about to bite the man’s neck, this is from the expression on her face and her teeth.  Although the person is simply dancing with her partner and enforced to create the expression for what could be a simple reason. Due to Winogrand’s imagination and sharp eye he sees differently.

This humorous yet sinister outlook is what captures my interest in the work as I find it interesting to view. Although this is created in the same way as Gilden’s work it has a different outlook due to what the photographer sees and the use of spontaneous moments. Even though I’m not setting out to create these spontaneous moments in my work I will keep this in mind so to capture some if the chance comes about while shooting.

Paul Graham

Here in Graham’s work he focuses on capturing moments that arise when he’s out and about. Although he keeps his distance the same as Winogrand he captures people without them even noticing. This is the same with this image “A Shimmer of Possibility” where a person is captured sitting at the bus stop, eating etc. Living a typical life yet the possibilities in what their life holds is endless of what they could be doing yet no one knows.

This work I feel is the best level of capturing imagery for me, as I am able to keep a distance plus people will be less unsuspecting with their image being captured. So as a starting point I may try and capture imagery like this so to show the unknown possibility.

Lee Friedlander

Alongside this I looked at Lee Friedlander’s work, which made me consider taking someone’s portrait differently so that instead of capture the person I focus on the unknown.  Instead capture the person’s shadow something that is an honest depiction of the person yet it doesn’t tells you much about them so they are still unknown.

I like this work as it shows a person yet it also removes the identity. It also looks at capturing an image in more of an experimental way. I feel that if my original idea does not work I may try this way as as it is interesting to capture.

However, while also looking at Friedlander’s work I also came across this image that she had captured. This was of a person on a television. This made me think of how celebrities/fame is all around society though social media like twitter. Otherwise on television, on the radio in news papers, magazines. So much so that the people’s lives are taken over by it. Yet the people portrayed aren’t really known just their faces are and what .you depict them to be like from how you see them in the media.

I find this interesting to view and would be another route to take if I decide to change the angle of which I am facing for looking at my imagery. However,for now this is just something that I can use as future reference to influence me on projects.


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