Unaware: Robert Frank

Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1924.  Frank began an apprenticeship with photographer Hermann Segesser at the age of 18 then worked for a commercial photographer then hired to work for Harper’s Bazaar in the US where he studied with a Russian born innovator called Allexey Brodvitch.

Frank preferred “things that move” he say, therefore he started photographing people in Peru.  Frank used a 2 1/4 inch camera and a 35mm Leica.  He published his first photography book “The Americans” in France in 1958 then in the US in 1959.

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Robert Frank and his Leica

The book consisted of 83 photograph one per page.  In the book Frank wanted to highlight the darker side of America.  Prints in “The American” were criticised by being flawed by muddy exposure, meaningless blur grain and general sloppiness. At that time sharp   photographs with technical perfection was the tradition and Frank’s photographs were the opposite.  He used to  experience  with different techniques such as printing with extreme contrast and extensive cropping.

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Ranch Market, Hollywood, 1955-56. © Robert Frank

Frank’s style of photography challenged the rules, it evokes emotions and conveys feelings.  He  doesn’t speak to his subjects, just shoots and carries on.

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“The Americans” © Robert Frank

He explains his work:

“The photograph must be the result of a head to head, a confrontation with a power, a force that one interrogates or questions”.


 

Bibliography / References:

Faded and Blurred. Peeling Back The Veneer: Robert Frank [online]. Available from: http://fadedandblurred.com/robert-frank/ [Accessed 05 September, 2016].

Eric Kim.  Robert Frank’s “The Americans”: Timeless Lessons Street Photographers Can Learn [online]. Available from:  http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/01/07/timeless-lessons-street-photographers-can-learn-from-robert-franks-the-americans/ [Accessed 05 September, 2016].

 

 

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