Sunday, 3 August 2014

Wk 2 Vantage point Artist:

"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson painter, photographer, artist, film maker
He began as a painter early on focusing on surrealism.  In 1932 he began take photos which began his life-long passion for photography.

He spent over three decades as a photojournalist working for Life and other journals.  He documented great upheavals of the 20th century such as - the Spanish civil war, the liberation of Paris in 1944, the 1968 studen rebellion in Paris, the fall of the Kuomintang in China to the communists, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the Berlin Wall and the deserts of Egypt.  His most renowned photographs are of ordinary daily life such as Behind the Gare St. Lazare as pictured below.
Behind the Gare St Lazare - Henri Cartier-Bresson :1932
This week we have been looking at the photographic elements of vantage points, fore, mid and background.  The photos i've selected from Henri Cartier-Bresson are those which focus on vantage points.
China Shanghai Dec 1948-Jan 1949 - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Photo description:
 As the value of the paper money sank, the Kuomintang decided to distribute 40 grams of gold per person. With the gold rush, in December, thousands came out and waited in line for hours. The policemen, equipped with the remnants of the armies of the International Concession, were not unkind, trying to get the people back. They only splashed them with the dirty water of the puddle.

High angle shot with a wide depth of field.  It captures the whole scene clearly.  From this angle the position of the people depict a highly volatile scene.  Although the description of the photo state that the policemen are trying to control the crowd.  My eye is drawn to the negative space and is moved through the photo by the use of curve lines which are made by the group of people.  This keeps me looking at the photo longer.

China Shanghai General Chey yi 1949 - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Photo description:
General Chen-yi, military commander of Shanghai speaks to party dignitaries at the victory celebrations of August 7. Behind him, a portrait of Chu Teh, commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army. Chen-yi was one of the first to join Mao Tse-tung's revolutionary party in 1921

 This low angle shot portrays a strong, dominating figure.  Although the subject is not that big the poster in the background gives the subject more volume drawing the eye upward.  This is also an example of foreground, middle and background.

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