History of Photography

I chose for my term paper three extremely different photographers, who lived in the same era, yet they had contrary set of ideas. As I was analyzing which photographers I was going to write my term paper on, I ran into Robert Mapplethorpe. The reason why I wanted to analyze him was because I realized that such a talented photographer began experimenting hisfirst photographs in the early 1970s with a Polaroid camera, by that time this camera was novelty and was being mass-marketed. I also realized how he becomes a product of his own time, ignoring what he called a photograph, yet becoming a well-known photographer.He did not feel a strong ideological commitment to photography; rather it simply became the medium that could best convey his statement. But he realized that photography had a history, and he set out to educate himself about it.
Mapplethorpe began mastering his technique, which made him different from all of the other photographers. Mapplethorpe did not consider himself a photographer, and did not aspire in any way to become one. Ironically, he became well known, although his idea was to take his own pictures rather than use someone else’s from magazines. The Polaroid was popular, unfussy and reasonably priced that appealed to him. In addition, it had been embraced by a number of trendy people, such as Andy Warhol, and it had a contemporary edge.
My second photographer was more of a popular choice. I know half of the class will be writing their papers on Diane Arbus, but there is something magnetic about her eccentric pictures that made me want to analyze her. She seemed cynical when she photographed what society thought to be strange. Seeing uniqueness that up to this day we have not been able to decipher in her pictures. What made her different is that she will not photograph beauty according to society. As I was analyzing her pictures, I felt that her concept of beauty is completely different from ours. When you s…

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