To form a series and on seeing your good support on our previous post we bring you this yet another post on analyzing the great pictures from our masters of photography. Analyzing some iconic photographs would be one of interesting aspects of photography, for it provides an in-depth analysis and idea to all the aspirants in this field. It helps us to know what made this particular picture a sensation besides it is a great opportunity for all amateurs to learn from a picture which has already a winning one.
Here in this part 2 of this chapter, I have handpicked some of the most strongest pictures of this century from the grand masters. To add more on this, if you would like any great picture to be analyzed please add it in the message section to see it featured in Part 3.
From the editors point of view, it feels great to speak about the aesthetic and appealing factors in these iconic photographs. Please check the Part 1 Here.
Vietnam – The Battle for Saigon by Philip Jones Griffiths
A very strong scene of sorrow scene from the vietnam war. The Battle of Saigon has seen a far too many casualities and this picture clearly shows us the state of being. A young woman is seen lying on a strecher while a vietnam soldier is seen guarding her or looking for more help around. The strength in his eyes, a look of vengeance and aggression clearly depicts the situation. His stature and his weapon on the other arm makes us want to know more of the story. The flames in the background and the commuters around, their streched legs adds a great amount of drama to this scenario.
© Philip Jones Griffiths
Wake of Juan Carra Trujillo by W. Eugene Smith
The Dark Reality of the living conditions in Deleitosa. This was during 1950, when Eugine Smith went on to report the agricultural state of affairs in Spain. This image shows the stark lives of these people against the political dictatorship of general Franciso Frano. An elderly man’s corpse is surrounded by a group of women who are believed to be his family members. The dependance of women in context to the aged man, the role he must have played in supporting this family all becomes very much clear here. The Man is the nucleus in this picture, overall this picture shows a very different culture their lifestyle and how death to the dear ones affects a family. The light on the mans face and some ambiance inside the room provides a much gloomy environment adding to the sorrow.
© W. Eugene Smith
Conversation by Josef Koudelka
A very intact picture of a man and his horse. Indeed a Master and his horse, the posture of loyalty and the patterns of black/white on its saddle creates a wonderful balance to our vision. The drama is very much intact, making the conversation between these two much louder. The Hat, his hand gesture and a rough wall at the back provides a fantastic feel to this beautiful picture.
© Josef Koudelka
Fontenelle family by Gordon Parks
Questions of survival written in every single character in this picture. The mother in the middle shows how much of a bearer she has been to this family, subtle and sorrowful emotions from the kids and the officer with spectacles rubs more sadness into the picture. Were they answered, did they find a solution to their ailing problems. The faces read a rather sinful sad story.
© Gordon Parks
Winston Churchill – Portrait by Yousuf Karsh
This is a well known fact about the portraits of Yousuf Karsh. Much liveliness, true character and the factors of dominance. Here in this picture Winston Churchill is seen at his admiring best, the toughness in his character, the posture with his hand on hip and the other resting creates a great balance within the picture. A sharp and warm eye contact creates a definite stir within anyone. Back-light adds more atmosphere and increases the patronage on the subject itself.
© Yousuf Karsh
Photo by Pedro Luis Raota
Scintillating stuff from Pedro Luis Raoto, arguably one of his strongest portraits. Although this is highly debatable that most of his street photographs are staged and performed, it is impossible for one to not admire and appreciate the vision behind his pictures. In this picture, everything seems to reveal itself before us, how heartbreaking must it be to a kid who has had her puppy go apart in front of her, the emotions of the girl, the black umbrella, the wetness on the road. Overall a brilliant melancholy, sadness and one of the picture which can actually bring tears to any human.
© Pedro Luis Raota
Gouyave Bar by Alex Webb
One of the greatest photographer in color, Alex webb doesn’t need much of an introduction when it comes to colors and street mood. His Pictures usually depict a brilliant balance between light and shadow. In this picture too, there is this Alex stamp all over the frame, brilliant mood between three characters, the ambiance of the bar, the lights and darkness. And then the strong eye contact with smoke flowing away from him evokes a brilliant mood to the picture. When noticed, the fist position of the man pressing hard on the table adds a tremendous weight-age to the screen left, it acts as if he is pushing the frame itself. Overall a grand picture depicting the lives of people there inside Gouyave Bar.
© Alex Webb
Taxi, 1957 by Saul Leiter
Saul Leiter known for his master craft color photographs. He is one of early color photographers who will remain an inspiration for generations to follow. Saul always known for his delicate artistic touch of warmer shades in his picture proves yet again his brilliance here. This Picture is warm and shows a subtle shadow play on a man’s hand inside the car. The shades of red and yellow dominates the picture. This is a mere indication of how brilliantly Saul has played with colors inside a frame. The balance he maintains is phenomenal and the pitch within red is grand in every aspect.
© Saul Leiter
Pavement mirror shop by Raghubir Singh
Raghubir Singh is the frontrunner and pioneer in regards to color photography in India. His street photographs are built with ultimate layers of lives and character interconnecting to each other. In this picture he has captured the true essence of a market scene, lives reflecting on the mirrors and the tinge of red on the surface gives a beautiful feel to this picture. Numerous object cluttered and the faces of people shows the diversity india has to offer.
© Raghubir Singh
Divided Soul by David Alan Harvey
To finish with a masterpiece from David Alan Harvey. Brilliantly lit subject is seen sitting against the wall where the photographer has visualized it from an altitude makes all the difference. There may not be any drama or a factor of interest if shot this from an eye-level, it shows the vision of the photographer. A Brilliant minimal composition surrounded by utter darkness. Adding to that his choice of composition to have it on the screen left creates more interestingness to the picture.
© David Alan Harvey
You may be interested in the following related topics:
- Analyzing the Iconic Pictures – Part 1
- 15 Books from the Masters of Photography – Part 1
- Photography Books from the Masters – Part 2
- Photography Books from the Masters – Part 3
- Inspiring Video Talks of Steve McCurry