Next up…read ‘In the American East’ by Richard Bolton (in Bolton, 1992, pp.262–83) and write a 200-word reflective commentary on its relevance to documentary practice.
Then look at the work of Charlotte Oestervang in Appalachia (Foto8, V6N1, June 2006, pp.58–9)
To understand the significance of the essay you have to be familiar with the work of Richard Avedon and in this particular instance his body of work In the American West.
Immediately below is a selection of his portraiture.
I’ve worked out of a series of no’s…No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no’s force me to the ‘yes.’ I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us.
I often asked myself why he included the black frame of the edge of the negative, apparently the answer is to make it clear ‘that the only crop had been in his mind’s eye’. As you can see his style of portrait photography did not alter.