"FIDDLE LOVER" - this is a self-portrait of me holding my fiddle. I took this picture for an assignment on Pictorialism my first year in the photography program at Colorado Mountain College. Pictorialism was an artistic style and aesthetic movement in photography that became popular in the late 1800s. It’s definitely one of my favorite styles of photography. Back then, every photo was turned into a work of art in the dark room in an effort to elevate photography to the status of fine art.
Why should not the camera artist break away from the worn out conventions ... and claim the freedom of expression which any art must have to be alive
. - Alvin Langdon Coburn .
Photo by Alvin Langdon Coburn ( 1882 - 1966 )
The Octopus , Madison Square Park , 1909
#alvinlangdoncoburn . .
. “The Octopus” is a photo of New York’s Madison Square from the top of the Metropolitan Tower. This photo is interesting because of its high vantage point. Most photos of the time were taken from eye level but Coburn was one of the first to shoot form a high elevation looking down. Because Coburn was part of the Pictorialist movement it was easy of him to take this photo not in a strait forward fashion like most of the photos of the time. This photo wasn’t taken for documentary purposes. Because of this fact he was also able to incorporate soft focus. The sky scraper that he has taken the photo from cast a large shadow over the white snow covered park. The photo gets its name from the pattern created by the sidewalks cutting through the park.
Coburn is a very important player in early twentieth century photography because he was one of the first to use abstraction. “The Octopus” is an early example of an abstracted photo but some of his later work dives even deeper into abstraction when he starts working with his kaleidoscope lenses called vortographs. One thing that made it so easy for Coburn to break the rules of photography and go into abstraction when such things were so taboo was that photography was such a new medium. When something has been around for so long like painting there rules are harder to break but since photography had only been around for a short time it was easy for Coburn to create his abstractions.
Lucus Landers .