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Monthly Masters Discussion ⇒ Monthly Masters' Discussion - August 2020 - Brassai's "Avenue del Observatoire"
A monthly discussion on people who have influenced photography, directly or indirectly.
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- Mentoris Supremus
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Gyula Halasz, better known by his pseudonym Brassai, was born in Transylvania in 1899. He moved to Paris in 1924 to become a journalist but soon became interested in photography as a way to record encounters on his nightly walks through the streets of Paris.The photographs he took during this period were published in 1933 in his world famous book “Paris de Nuit”, a stunning collection of black and white images that juxtaposed luminous, dreamlike nightscapes with contemporary documentary images of the nighttime’s denizens. His work attracted attention as a technical marvel as well, for he was one of the first photographers to shoot extensively at night.
"Night does not show things, it suggests them. It disturbs and surprises us with its strangeness."
Brassai worked commercially for Harpers Bazaar, and collected a variety of honors for his film work and his writing, as well as for his photography. His work is exhibited in galleries worldwide, including MOMA, and he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of fame in 1979.
Review some of the linked information to learn more about Brassai and view his other photographic work, which is quite varied, ranging from portraits to abstracts, nudes to landscapes, and a wide range of street photography. Then share your opinion of the posted photograph. Below are some questions to spur your thinking.
Questions to Consider
1. What is your opinion of this image? Does it have impact? Why or why not? What do you make of the composition? The tonalities? Would you want it in your own art collection? Why or why not?
2. Would this image be more or less interesting without the fog? How does atmosphere contribute to our images? If you’d like, share an image of your own where, in your opinion, atmospherics contributed to its success.
3. It has been said that photography is “all about the light”. Usually when we hear that statement, we assume it refers to natural light. Brassai used a variety of manmade lighting of the urban landscape to advantage in many of his images. What do you think of Brassai’s use of light in this particular image? If you have used urban lighting to help create a night photograph, please share and discuss.
4. In night photography there are often areas of the image that are allowed to lose all detail. For a viewer, how does lack of detail in darkness differ from lack of detail due in unfocused areas? Are the functions of low detail areas similar regardless of the cause? Discuss.
Links to Explore
https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2 ... otographer
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/franc ... rian-soul/
https://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Ph ... ASSAI.html
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