Monday, August 2, 2010

Berenice Abbott [Historical Photographer]

Berenice Abbott became interested in photography after taking a job as a darkroom assistant for a photographer in Paris. Born in America in 1898, Abbott went to study literature in Europe when she was 23. Upon returning to New York with her new found love of photography Abbott immediately saw the potential for architectural pictures of the city. She worked independently for years until she saved up enough money to financial support from organizations. Abbott sought to photograph three things in the city:
1. The diverse people of the city
2. The places they live, play, work
3. Their daily activities
Her goal was to show people that the environment was a consequence of their behavior and their behavior was a consequence of their environment. She also used various angles to show her opinion on things. A good angle if she approved and a skewed angle if she didn't.

Berenice Abbott had a well thought out concept for her project. This is much like what we are asked to do for our projects. She knew what she was going to take pictures of, why she wanted to take them, and the effect she wanted them to have on people. She also considered the technical aspect of taking the pictures.
City Arabesque; from roof of 60 Wall Tower. June 9, 1938
Rockefeller Center Parking Space; 40 West 49th Street, from Museum of Modern Art, 10th floor.
Tempo of the City: I; 5th Avenue and 44th Street. May 13, 1938.
Blossom Restaurant; 103 Bowery. October 3, 1935.

John Watts Statue; from Trinity Church yard looking toward One Wall Street. March 1, 1938.

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