Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cultural influence

Recently in my various studies mainly for that of my dissertation I've been putting together my own mental study of the cultural effects on photographers. As photography is a creative pursuit it is in no way surprising that the photographers themselves are influenced by their past and cultural background. There are some cases I find particularly interesting. The most recent person I have come across is Mario Testino.
In this picture taken by Testino we see two suited men and another two in their underwear. Testino has discussed the fact when growing up he spent a lot of time in Brazil. He went to a lot of parties and because it was so hot there many people had pools. People would always carry around their bathing suits and often go for a swim. In this case for Testino the image above wouldn't be so unusual however in England such a sight isn't common place (in my opinion).

Another interesting photographer is David Lachapelle. His work, full of colour and excess is a representation of the American world. It's ability to push boundaries in a popular culture formed around the celebrity. In contrast to this we see the subtle workings of someone like Tim Walker.
His work shows a classical look of English refinement. It's dainty, white and filled with English countryside. It was Tim walked who originally drew me to this concept. His images look conventionally English because England is what he knows. He was raised in the countryside and so it is something he can relate to.
I feel in order to develop as a photographer I need to have a clear insight into what it is that effects my work. What is my cultural background? What parts of my upbringing stay in my mind? and I suppose to some degree, how do I view today's social climate? Further posts to follow (at some point...)

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