Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chigau? or are they not Chigauing?...

     One of the interesting things I noticed when I saw these two films was that when I started the second film, the first thing that struck me was how different the films were. I was mesmerized as to why we would compared these two  photographers. Funny enough, as the movie went on the feeling kept on changing and changing. The fact that the two photographers decide to take incredibly different paths, doesn't divert them from the challenge that emerges out of reactions, out of their subject, and out of their personal life.
     Both of them are used to opposite settings in their fieldwork, but both of them challenge morality of the human standard. Why? Where as Leibovitz challenges exposure to the human body, Natchwey challenges exposure to human cruelty. Furthermore, in both films both photographers also utilize in a certain level what the other does as well. That is to say that Leibovitz also had experience in the war and human cruelty area, while Natchwey also exposes parts of the human body. The difference is that the main theme the photographers portray is not the same.
Leibovitz's Moral Challenge
     Subjects are also very important to the picture, since they are the main focus in both of their pictures. Leibovitz's fame brought many famous people into her doorway, and because she kept emerging out of a topic area and moving on to the next, she always had to adapt to her new environment. Following the fact that she herself says the troubles of change she had in her career, one would assume that the subjects and agency also had to adapt to her standards (especially since many people opposed her radical photography). On the other hand, Natchwey has even a harder time I believed. He takes pictures of people during their saddest or hardest moments. He confesses that if the subjects do not comply with his pictures, then the picture loses their meaning. The pictures of the weeping women, the Malaysian guy without a leg or an arm, and the Middle-eastern soldiers, show just how much of their feelings can be obtained from the pictures.
    Lastly, both of these photographers also probably found problems within their personal lives. While Leibovitz's life received so much criticism, her family was very important to her. Her daughter shows in the film just how much she loved taking her family portrair; she really liked having all of her family making poses. It must have been hard for her to receive criticism that surely affected her family as well. In Natchwey's life, I think that the most obvious problem he might have had was keeping his life. During the time that he pleaded for the person's life, he could have lost his life; during the time that he was taking pictures in the grenade throwing, he could have lost his life. Having the thought that one might die at any moment, is probably very difficult to process at times.
Natchwey's Human Cruelty Challenge
   In the end both photographers face very similar challenges in diverse situations. Even if they both have many difference the similarities are as abundant.


  1. Interesting reaction to and discussion of the films.What can you learn from these two photographers that will make you a better photographer and visual anthropologist?

    Please provide the sources/URLs for the photos you borrowed.

  2.,r:11,s:0 --is Leibovitz,363&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=406&vpy=293&dur=380&hovh=164&hovw=246&tx=207&ty=132&ei=mDLOTKCrOIiKvgO8_fDPDw&oei=CzHOTO7BK4jKcYyvvIMO&esq=14&page=2&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:16&biw=1333&bih=645-- is Natchwey's picture

    I think that Natchwey's portrayal of people's willingness being necessary in the picture is important. I take a lot of "surprise pictures," but lately I've been trying to also balance it out with pictures of people that let me take them. It's interesting to notice that both ways bring out some sort of satisfaction. Both of these photographers brought out a lot out of people through different methods (both out of willing people), which is what we're learning in the ethics of photography in the class. I think far shots and "natural" pictures have their worth as well, but I noticed as well the worth of consent in pictures. This is because of the approval the subjects in the pictures have given me, and because of the image that results not only because of the photographer but also the subject

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