Cooking french food.
Gregory Crewdson’s goal for his photos is to tell a story through his pictures. He takes a lot of inspiration from how movies are made in the sense that when he does a photo shoot he creates a whole set of scenery for the photo’s. He said that he tries to capture a mixture of beauty and sadness in his photos. I really liked that description because I am often drawn to pictures with that combination and I’ve never been able to pinpoint what it was I really liked about them. Looking through his photos I found that his photos really do capture this dynamic of sadness and beauty.
Gregory Crewdson goes through a very complicated and meticulous process in order to get to the final picture. Once he decides in what town or general location he would like to do his photo shoot (he tends to be drawn to small, lonely towns), he drives around through the town over and over until something strikes him and gives him the inspiration he needs to come up with an idea. Sometimes he revisits places dozens of times until he gets his idea. After that he calls in his team and they set up the place where the photo will be taken down to every little detail. He always shoots in twilight because of the lighting; he said there is really only about a twenty minute window that he can get the shot. He puts all of his focus into making the shot exactly how he envisioned it, he isn’t even the one who ends up taking the picture.
When Gregory was a child his father worked in the basement of his house. None of the kids knew what he did as a profession and it was quite a mystery. He used to imagine what was going on and try to listen through the floorboards. “But I could never really hear anything,” he says of his childhood eavesdropping. “All I knew was that it was a secret and that it was forbidden.” He laughs. “And there you have it. There’s my work in a nutshell.” –GC
I think that this photo was one of the ones I particularly liked, however I really liked quite a few. It gives off such a sense of sadness and abandonment and loneliness, the twist to this though is that it’s really a beautiful picture. The lighting is beautiful and the whole set up of the picture does such a good job portraying a strong sense of isolation. When you look at the picture it’s very solemn and it’s like a piece of a story, it makes you wonder about the man and his cart and what he’s doing there.
I really liked this picture as well. The idea of it is so creepy and if someone were to describe the picture to me it would sound really haunting. She doesn’t really look dead to me but the water is so perfectly still I come to the conclusion that she must be dead and that makes the picture even more eerie. Despite all of this I found this picture much happier that the a lot of the others including the one above. The cushy furniture, and the splashes of color in her robe on the stairs and her coat by the door, gives the impression of almost being cozy.
I researched the painter Edward Hopper and found his work to be quite similar to Gregory Crewdson’s in a sense. The scenery and people, and their postures rings quite similar, however they aren’t necessarily creepy like Crewdsons are. The lighting is very similar for both artists as well. It’s a soft light and it feels a bit dream like.
I found that quite a few of Crewdson photo’s remind me of the 50’s. The furniture and appliances are very dated, and the people’s postures remind me of the poses women did in the 50’s in like cleaning commercials. I thought that Crewdsons work was very creative, and his goal of telling a story rang true in every picture I looked at. When I looked at them they drew me in and I found myself becoming part of the story and wanting to know more about these interesting lives he had created.
The backyard was photographed at different times throughout the day. I observed that the photo sessions taken during the sunniest part of the day were much harsher than the ones taken in the morning and the evening. I think this was probably because when the sun was at it’s brightest it was reflecting off of a lot of surfaces which created glare in a lot of the pictures. Contrast was much stronger in the daylight pictures as well. This was due to the camera trying to compensate with the harsh light of the day, the shadows and highlights were much more prominent in the daylight pictures. As it got darker and the sun started to set, the glare went almost completely away, and the colors and contrast softened. The pictures in the evening and morning had much duller colors and were not as bright in general, they had a softness quality that I was not able to achieve with the daylight pictures. In general I favored the evening pictures over the afternoon pictures, once the fog started to come in for the night the pictures started turning out much softer and were much easier to work with in Lightroom. The pictures have been posted so that it gets later in the day as you scroll down.
A question that I have been asked before is, “Is this a beautiful picture or a picture of something beautiful.” Looking through Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work I notice that every picture is ordinary. Most of the photos are of every day scenes, for the most part there are no spectacular costumes or buildings or views. If an amateur person with a camera visited all of the places that Henri Cartier-Bresson visited and took pictures in the same locations that he photographed, they would probably be forgettable. It is truly because of his skill and eye for beauty that his photo’s turned out so amazing. He found beauty in ordinary places and people, and made art, when other people never considered that those places and those people could be interesting. Henri’s style really was very “in the moment.” He knew when to take a picture in order to capture a scene and the feel of the scene. He knew the angles to take pictures from that would make the photo the most interesting. I think that part of the reason his photo’s are so alluring is because he shot places and things that we see in every day life, and this makes it easy to put yourself into the picture and feel as though you are there.
This picture was one that I particularly liked, possibly my favorite of the ones I found. I like it because of the movement and angles of the picture. Also because it represents to me the epitome of being a child. It’s very clear what is happening in the photo and you can tell by the photo what the children in the picture were probably thinking. This picture reminds me of being a kid and climbing fences and that is why it’s so easy for me to feel a part of this picture. I like this picture as well because the kids are doing different things yet are still obviously together and it gives a very strong message of simple fun. It captures a moment.
This photo I felt was a very good example of having strong highlights and shadows yet still keeping detail in a lot of the picture. It’s a good example of a picture that works even though there are spots with no detail. I liked it because there was such a strong contrast of darks and lights whereas the previous picture was a much broader scale of grays. I also liked it because there were so many people who had their bodies subtly contorted into interesting poses. Once again it captures a moment. I really enjoyed looking through Henri Cartier-Bresson’s pictures. If I had to make a guess of his AV and shutter speed I would guess that he used a rather large aperture and a fast shutter speed. I think that his photo’s were so successful because he was able to notice beauty that other people didn’t see.
The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing. —Henri Cartier-Bresson