Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother
Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’ was a symbol of the Great Depression, an impactful sight of a struggling family. Its effectiveness of showing the vulnerable children and the single parent showed the strength of the mother in desperate times. The description of the situation by Lange regards it as not a constructed photo but purely documentary. Later on it was discovered to have been manipulated to remove a distracting thumb from the foreground post.
Comparing the two I’d agree with this alteration, it’s very obvious and drags attention away from the subjects. As this photo was intended as part of a documentary, this removes the authenticity of it due to this manipulation. Having the whole truth is part of a photograph, I feel removing it removes a part of a photo.
Noemie Goudal – Les Amants (Cascade)
A different approach from altering photos, to altering the landscape with Noemie Goudal’s Les Amants depicting a waterfall made out of plastic in the woods. Though there are no alterations in post production of the photo, I believe the alteration of the physical landscape to be a different form of photography.
Combining the inorganic with the organic to “invade” in this way suggests the threat to waterfalls. At this current time with our seas filling with plastic, it isn’t a far sight to see inland water become threatened by plastic. Through researching other photographers who single out plastic such as Mandy Barker, Goudal’s process of highlighting future issues is a refreshing aesthetic view.
Where there are many other ways of creating a truthful photograph about pollutants, that current photographic genre is flooded with similar photos. Creating a wider view of an ecosystem, one third of the photo plastic divides the two ecosystems by only a small log. I interpret this as how fragile ecosystems are, one connection in the line could drastically impact the whole ecosystem.
Andreas Gursky – Rhein 2
Looking at the extreme in constructed image I head towards Andreas Gursky’s Rhein 2 which is almost completely manipulated. Being clear that Gursky is not a journalist doing documentary work, Gursky embodies digital photography to make images rather than capture. The idea of how the photos were created relate more to paintings than photographs. I interpret ‘Rhein 2’ as a symbol of what the river could have been or had been. At a time of expansion a year before the new millennium, this came at the perfect time to show what has been lost to humanity.