Photography Essay

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Essay Title: The Female – Challenging the Convention
Name: Amy Mundey:
Candidate Number:
Analysis of Photographer Helmut Newton and Image Analysis
Analysis of Photographer Corrine Day and Image Analysis
Analysis of Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and Image Analysis Analysis of conventional photography of women and the female body, what women have been used for within photography and their relationship with the audience? Conclusion of how the three photographers have challenged the image of women within fashion and photography.

I want to look at and research ‘The female’ and how women have been used within photography. I also want to look at photographers that have pushed and challenged boundaries within their photography by using women. How they have done this is of particular interest to me and also why women and the female body have been at the heart of their campaigns. Helmut Newton, Corrine Day and Robert Mapplethorpe have all challenged the conventions of their time by their images of women and this has caused a variety of responses from the public and changed the way women are viewed.

Helmut Newton - ‘Bad Boy of Photography’

The photographer that marked a turning point in photography and the image of woman, it was of course provocative but captured all our collective passions and desires.

Helmut Newton created images for his own sake, and didn’t dwell on the thoughts of the public, he said ‘No, I do only what pleases me’ this was a good thing as if he had listened to the first comments of the public too much he wouldn’t have produced another picture. His images were controversial, at this point in time moral boundaries were narrow but his images created change and new beginnings were starting to emerge, not only his effect of the photographic world, but the role and status of women. What particularly interests me about Newton’s work is that many look upon it as pornographic and turn their nose up because they either find the nude images too intimidating and pretend not to be interested, however much it was disapproved of his images became so well known and famous because underneath this disapproval by some people the images actually held desires, wishes and dreams. Newton translated into pictures what many only dare to fantasise about, but with those who did, they loved the images as it touched the publics collective longings.

Newton was a fashion photographer, he did photograph fashion collections, but he generally used fashion as an excuse for something else. ‘Fashion was a theatre curtain that must be pulled aside and he was fascinated by the idea that under the clothing of women was a well-formed body. He showed us what was underneath the clothes and went from fashion to exploit his own passions and fantasies. He explored constantly and pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable and unacceptable in photography. In the images where he photographed girls stark naked under fur coats in the Paris Metro he admitted ‘You can land in jail for something like that , because the metro has very strict rules’ this showed he loved to test these boundaries. Newton liked to stage his images, they were all arranged and controlled by himself. He said ‘they reflect what I see in life with my own eyes’ he loved to achieve absolute control over his picture. From reading particular books I have seen that this control was an ongoing tendency in Newton’s life.

Helmut Newton was without a doubt one of the biggest witnesses of the dramatically changing role of women, you can thank him for some of the changes since 1970 as he pushed boundaries of what was seen as acceptable and forbidden. He taught us about ‘the woman’ through his images and captured not only what was in the image itself but the desires and wishes of the public and their changing attitudes to sexuality.

Image Analysis

Title: They’re coming!
Date: First Publication 1981, French Vogue

The image...
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