Monday, March 29, 2010

Contemporary staged photographic work

So I came by some great contemporary photographers lately.. Thought I'd share some of those works and also discuss them.

Among those photographers are Philippe Ramette and Gregory Crewdson. They have their own very unique set of trademarks.

Ramette's theme is based on defying gravity and he himself models in the photographs. His positioning, angles and setup are so incredible that they look photoshopped, but they are actually not.

Gregory Crewdson's photographs are largely staged and his use of lighting is mysterious, unnatural and eerie at the same time. They portray scenes of American homes and neighborhoods- scenes which are normal scenes, but through subject and lighting he completely turns the tables.

I love these guys' works and they are among my list of favourite photographers. I just have one question mark on my head.. and wanted to hear what everyone had to say on this.

Both these photographers have a team of 10 to 20 people working on their shots- but they do not hold the camera or press the shutter. I do understand both their sides of the story- for example, Ramette himself is the model in the photographs and is taking the risk of doing his anti-gravitational poses- and Gregory is running around because the amount of effort that his shots takes equals that of a film. There's another renowned photographer- Renee Cox, whose photographs are simple but they have a very powerful context and she tries to add a shock value and tries to be controversial- and she models in the photos- but she also does not hold the camera.
So the question I have is- are these photographers not missing out the whole enjoyment/relation to their work by not holding the camera to take the actual photograph?
Yes, the vision, the artistry and idea is theirs- and one cannot imagine the amount of effort put in to bring their vision into these photographs.
It is just that personally, if I was photographing something, I'd like to see it through the viewfinder myself.. I'd like to select my own aperture and shutter speed.. For me, if I have
someone else press the shutter for me, all the joy and fun of holding the camera would be gone!
Anyone want to say anything on this?
P.S. Please don't misunderstand me for accusing these artists, its just a personal question I had!


  1. ..i think theyv gone beyond enjoying 'holding the camera'....they just want to produce art....and holding the camera keeps them from they can direct that.....wt u think?

  2. well i think.....they do select their own aperture and shutter speed only some one else presses the shutter......on their direction....

    I personally feel that its not the camera
    settings that makes a picture interesting.....its what you capture matters the most

    i still remember when i made a short film during my university time i did the whole job...from lights to makeup...from camera work to editing .......but if i had reources.....i would have hired people to do that for me....

  3. i couldnt have agreed more with photographer d60 actually! these photographers have done their homework many times before they capture the final shot. With all their readings done and noted prior to the final capture, it really does become irrelevant who presses the shutter. With all the precision of the setup lights, subject , etc i think they are aware of how the resluts are going to be.
    their satisfaction lies in the process which leads to the final shot.