Modernism in Photography? – Assignment 1

Researching into different photographers, I noticed that some are influenced by different art movements. Henri Cartier Bresson was influenced by cubism as an unstated theme in his work. It is evident that Bresson chooses his locations carefully to show different lines and shapes to counter balance the image, and create more interest for the viewer.

moderism2 modernism3

Because Bresson was capturing ‘decisive moments’ for society, I felt he fitted well into my project which comments on society about isolation, so using visual devices that he uses seemed like a fair inspiration.

Through my photography I could use similar visual devices to make the images more interesting. To show people walking past each other doesn’t provoke a stimulus that would be attractive in my work. I could find locations and compose my images to show modernist lines and patterns which, like the work of artist Piet Mondrian, has a rectilinear geometry that is trying to embrace a collective will of society. I could also use slower shutter speeds to create an abstract image that makes the viewer look more into it. But I’ve got to make sure that the message of isolation is still strong in the images.

Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937-42 by Piet Mondrian 1872-1944


Photographers that use modernism that I’ve looked at:

– Alan Cohen –

– Alexander Rodchenko –

– Lewis Baltz –

All of these photographer use objects and buildings to their advantage to create straight lines and shapes that give the look of Piet Mondrian’s paintings, showing how photography can challenge paintings and other fine art. These photographers along with Mondrian’s paintings have inspired my to use modernism in my photography to make it stronger and show togetherness in an image thats feel shows isolation, yet feels together (with the lines and the two people placed in the same frame)


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