I have not done much photography in the past. I’m not much of a photographer, but my sister is very into the art, so I’ve learned quite a bit about the techniques from her. I still don’t know much about the technical process in which you can control an image with the actual camera, but I still try to capture photos that could be considered visually significant.
I think of photography as an art in the sense that it is left very much to the viewer’s interpretation. As Jason Eskenazi explains in his video, there is an element of mystery in a photo. You’re never quite certain what a photographer is trying to get across in an image. One person can read one story from a photo, while another may focus on another aspect of it. One aspect of photography that nearly all the readings touched upon is the importance of framing. This may seem obvious considering medium, but I feel that it can be so inherent to the photography process that people forget to carefully control it. What you choose to include in an image can change everything about it. A photographer can choose to focus on one very specific thing, like a person’s face. Or the photographer can show more, such as the environment surrounding that person’s face. In the example of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, the image is very focused. All we can see is the mother with her two children closely huddled together. This is a very different image from a zoomed out version that shows the migrant family’s tent and surroundings.
Noir has a specific aesthetic attached to it. In film, this aesthetic is often portrayed by its lighting. Film noir almost always low key lighting with dark backgrounds. By having characters’ faces be illuminated from below or to the side, and having the sets have deep, striking shadows, this lighting creates the moody atmosphere with which noir is usually recognized. Since cinematography is derived from photography, you can draw from the techniques used in film noirs and insert them into photos. Using these examples from the films I watched this week, I will try to inject these staples of noir into the photos I take. I especially want to replicate the use of lighting so often seen in film noir to create the right atmosphere.