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Modern Photography

Modern Photography Collage

Started: 1910

Ended: 1960

"Photographers must learn not to be ashamed to have their photographs look like photographs."

Alfred Stieglitz Signature

Summary of Modern Photography

The birth of Modern Photography heralded a significant aesthetic change in photographic output as well as a shift in the way in which photography was produced, utilized and appreciated. Modern Photography encompassed trends in the medium from the early 1900s through to the 1960s. The move from early photography to Modern Photography is distinguished by a departure from the language and constraints of traditional art, such as painting, and this change in attitude was mirrored by changes in practice. Photographers started using the camera as a direct tool rather than manipulating images to conform to traditional notions of artistic beauty (a custom particularly associated with Pictorialism). In pioneering this move, modern photographers eventually disrupted the wider conventions of the art world by expanding both what was considered art and what was deemed an acceptable subject matter for it.

Although Modern Photography does not start until the beginning of the 20th century, earlier photographic innovations provide a technological and contextual framework for later developments and are important in understanding the stylistic changes of the period. Some of the key approaches of Modern Photography are unique to the medium whilst others align with wider art movements such as Dada and Surrealism. In contrast to earlier relationships between photography and artistic groups, which tended to be imitative, Modern Photography became fully embedded in these movements and provided a new and powerful medium for experimentation and expression.

Modern Photography Image

As Ansel Adams said "Photography, as a powerful medium ... offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution." Many were of similar mindset, from the earliest photographers to the innovators of Pictorialism, Straight Photography, and Abstract Photography. Here is the progression of Photography; the top tendencies and most-celebrated photo-makers.

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