Masters of Photography – Diane Arbus

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“Lately I’ve been struck with how I really love what you can’t seen in a photograph.”

I really liked this line fromĀ Masters of Photography: Diane Arbus. I think it’s so interesting, especially paired with some of the photographs shown in the documentary. I especially like Arbus’s portraits of people; I think that portraits can be the most challenging types of photographs to take, because you’re working with a live subject (obviously), and it can be hard to find a moment in time or a person that warrants a photograph that can tell a story – or inspire you to make up your own kind of story. Arbus’s portraits, to me, are a bit haunting – such as the one of the guy in the mask – and this kind of theme or mood that they carry with them is what draws the viewer’s eye: that mystery of the subject of the photo.

Arbus also quotes her teacher saying, “The more specific you are, the more general it will be.” I wasn’t sure how to take this – but for me it made me think of how trying to force a photo, trying to make the subject emote or demonstrate something that’s not natural to them in the name of creating an artful photograph, will give your photo that same air of forced emotion that is common in so many posed pictures.

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