Artist Analysis #1
Julia Margaret Cameron, one of photography’s greatest portraitists of all time, is still known today for her talent in capturing the soul of her subjects in her photographs. Her vivid portraits brought to life the personality within the people, contrary to all of the other portraitists of this time. Born in June of 1815 in Calcutta, British India, Julia Margaret Cameron would not pick up her knack for photography until 1863, at the age of 48. Cameron was given her first camera as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law, along with the equipment for processing wet collodion glass plates. Her studio began as a chicken coop and her darkroom as a coal store. She was to use what she could and made the best of it. As an amateur photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron began with no knowledge of art. She was determined to learn and applied herself in her beliefs to contributing to the noble non-commercial arts. Cameron spent the next ten or so years producing approximately 900 images. Cameron’s grand sense of lighting in her portraitures, her long exposures and her less than perfect focus separated her photography work from the rest. She found a way of implementing life into her photos, capturing more than just physical beings. "From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour," she wrote, "and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour" (Daniel, Malcolm). But, her lack of focus and artistic take on portraits was not admired by all. Striving to be a successful woman at this time was hard enough, stepping outside what was of typical qualities of photography at this time brought about even more criticism from outsiders and competitors. Cameron did not falter. Her work was mocked and misunderstood by many fellow photographers, but inspired and sparked interest of many artists of this time. Not until the mid to late 1900's was Cameron's work more renowned and appropriately acknowledged. Cameron was well...
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