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Ashley Workman

What accounted for the fact that portraiture became such a staple of
commercial photography in the middle of the nineteenth century?

During the 19th century, media was a relatively new idea. Illustrations in the
newspaper were mostly engravings and drawings. Once the negative was invented
in 1839 by William Henry Fox Talbot, photography began to improve rapidly for the
next 50-60 years. Prior to the 1850’s, portraits were only available to the wealthy.
As it began to grow, it quickly became available to mostly everyone, whether there
were rich or poor. Being able to use photography means they could capture
moments and keep them. With the amount of awe that portraits and photography
were receiving, studios began opening. Photographers used various methods to
attract more clientele, such as costumes, props, drapery and other techniques. By
using these techniques, they could create strong feelings and emotions in their
work. During Civil War, around 1850-1860, that photo journalism began to make its
way into the public about the hardships of the war. Images were captures of the
intensities of fighting and the battles that were faced, capturing raw emotions of
soldiers. It wasn’t until portraitures were released that people could feel a more
realistic connection with what was in the images.

In terms of concept and visual design, compare Joe Rosenthal’s
photograph of Marines raising an American flag on the Japanese island of
Iwo Jima and Thomas E. Franklin’s photograph of firefighters raising the
American flag at Ground Zero. In what ways are the two photos different?
In what ways are the two photos similar? Discuss the special
circumstances surrounding the Rosenthal photograph.

Both photographs are similar and iconic, and both do an excellent job of evoking
emotions of pride and unity. They both show courage of small groups of individuals
protecting our country, by raising the American flog during a catastrophic event.
The way that Joe Rosenthal’s photograph was shot in black and white with low
contrast gives the feeling of dark, dramatic and sorrow. The soldier in this photo is
placing an emphasis that bravery is not just based around a solo person but as a
collective effort. Some of the details I noticed were that the the flag in this photo
was being blow which gives it a feeling of life and continuation while in Franklin’s
photo there is desolation and the movement of the flag is so forceful. When in
contrast, Thomas E. Franklin’s photograph was in color, and seemed to be less
dramatic than Rosenthal’s photo based on the positioning of the fire fighters.
Although, with the backdrop used in Franklin’s photo also has a feeling of sorrow
and defeat, as felt in Rosenthal’s. They both used different styles, props, and
backgrounds but ultimately were pertaining similar ideas. I felt that both
photographs set a strong feeling of heroism and hope.

Difference between photojournalism and propaganda photography?
Propaganda is designed to sway a targeted audience in a specific direction,
influence someone’s feelings or actions, and to often manipulate images into
something better/worse. (See example below)

In this photo, you can see a thin woman dressed as a mermaid and then two larger
ladies walking on the beach. I assumed from this photo that the two larger ladies
are not mermaids because they are heavier than the girl who is a mermaid. This
photo has a forced feeling to it.

Photojournalism is an images or images that tell a story, by using real emotions
portrayed in the photo. It’s used to share a moment or feeling that is associated
with an event/story.

In this photo, in front of everyone on their feet is a man in a wheelchair ahead of
everyone else. This photo shows that even with disabilities, that doesn’t stop you
from doing whatever you want. I felt a lot of emotion in this photo by see a
handicapped individual completing and doing activities just as well, or better than
others without handicaps. This photo shows emotions and portrays a meaning
without forcing, the viewer can create this feeling by how the photographer
portrayed this photo.

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