Richard Avedon American West Essay

For my research I have used a mixture of books and the internet (using websites, online interviews, biographies and news articles) which are all secondary sources of information.A brief background of the chosen photographers Avedon was born in New York City, America in 1923.He has won many awards for his photography, including the International Center of Photography Master of Photography Award in 1993 and the Royal Photographic Society 150th Anniversary Medal in 2003.

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In 1946, Avedon had set up his own studio and began providing images for magazines including Vogue and Life.

He soon became the chief photographer for Harper's Bazaar.

In 1991 he left college to go on and form ‘Dazed & Confused’ magazine with his friend Jefferson Hack. Fashion Avedon always had an interest in Fashion and this was no surprise given that his Father owned a department store in Manhattan and he regularly had magazines such as Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and Vanity Fair delivered to their family home.

Reading through magazines such as these gave Avedon the desire to try to recreate these images which were taken by photographers such as Steichen, Man Ray and Munkasci.

Richard Avedon and John Rankin Waddell (more commonly known as Rankin) have many similarities in their work and have also done many of the same things during their careers; this is not to say that there are no differences though.

During this essay I am going to try to compare and contrast both the photographic work and the careers of two photographers.

His large-format portrait work of drifters, miners, cowboys and others from the western United States became a best-selling book and traveling exhibit entitled In the American West, and is regarded as an important hallmark in 20th Century portrait photography.

Avedon was married in 1944 to Dorcas Nowell, a model known professionally as Doe Avedon.

He did not conform to the standard technique of taking fashion photographs, where models stood emotionless and seemingly indifferent to the camera.

Instead, Avedon showed models full of emotion, smiling, laughing, and, many times, in action.


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