Max Dupain vs. Anne Zahalka

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Dupain vs. Zahalka

Max Dupain’s photo ‘Sunbaker’ taken in 1937 is a black and white photo of a young, fit, tanned male lying on the sand at the beach. It shows the head and shoulders of the man, who is lying flat on his stomach in the bright sunlight. His head is laid to one side on one arm so you cannot see his face. His other arm is lying out in front. You can see drops of seawater on his body that glistens in the sun. This photo is taken head on and very low down. The sun is coming from behind, almost overhead. The composition is in two halves; the man’s body is filling up most of the upper section and the empty area of sand in the lower half. The male figure is the focal point and the main subject of the photo.

Dupain’s image ‘Sunbaker’ reflects an architectural style through visual elements shown in this image. The architectural style seen in the image ‘Sunbaker’ is very symbolic and modern. Its simple and plain but has great meaning behind it. The body shape of the man creates form and shape. The shape made from his arms looks like a large rock, reflecting what Australia’s scenery is like. This shape of the rock similarly looks like one of Australia’s iconic landscapes ‘Uluru’. Dupain’s use of the low angle shot transforms the simple shapes of the man’s oval head and triangular torso into a mountain-like shape set against the horizon. The similar tones in the image create large open space; the lack of detail and the slight blurring of the background make you focus more on the main subject, the man. The close cropping and foreshortening of the figure creates flat space. The sky and the ground being almost inseparable also force your attention more towards the man. The shadows created by the man’s body create form and help contrast the man against the background. The lack of background detail also hides all reference to a specific location making the image more peaceful and relaxed.

Dupain’s use of photographic techniques such as a wide aperture

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