• form refers to how the subject matter is presented
  • Ben Shahn ‘form is the shape of context’
  • discriptive statements about a photographers form concern is how its composed, arranged, and constructed visually.
  • photography has inherited formal elements : dot, line, light and value, colour, texture, mass space, and volume.
  • the visible shape or configuration of something
  • one of the seven elements within art – along with line, shape, space, value, texture and colour.
  • Paul Strand ‘geometric backyards’ –2c48511ea89cb153cd6dbfaedfa0c243.jpg                          Cubism – at war with the obvious – going against normality.

This picture was strands view out of his bedroom window and had been for 25 years. It wasn’t until he has made porch shadows in Connecticut in 1916 that he saw the what had been under his nose for all of those years.

  • Picasso – if you want to break the rules you need to know the rules.
  • Paul Strand – ‘wall street’ – people unknown – structure becomes more important.
  • Paul Strand ‘wire wheel’ go into the object and pick pieces out – makes you look at it in a different way.

Florence Henri – the image is your own – you tell the camera what you want – it shouldn’t control you – they are your images do not let anything or anyone make it different.

  • Bill Brandt –
  •  83a0e167.jpg                                                              ‘it is part of the photographers job to see more intensely than most people do’

‘his work challenges traditional ideas of identity, place, and time and makes the mundane seem fresh and strange’

  • Barbara Hepworth –T00958_10.jpg     leading member of a new generation of sculptors 1920s. – Her work became abstract in 1930s after moving to Cornwall, St Ives. – she makes sculptures from landscape experiences.

all of Hepworth’s early memories are of form, shape and texture – this is why she makes her sculptures where people can touch them, lean against them and where you can walk through them.

  • A vanishing line creates an impression of 3 dimensional space.
  • zoom burst is when you zoom while on slow shutter speed. This effects depth in Edwards Weston’s picture of a pepper 5611276157_a013458b9f_o                                                     Weston said that by varying the camera angle it create an infinite number of varied compositions with a single object. Even though this is not actually a woman and man the lighting and angle of the camera make it seem as though it could be people instead of a pepper.  By varying his camera, camera angle o focal length of lenses
  • Weston liked formal qualities of mundane objects.
  • ‘i see no reason for recording the obvious’
  • Form doesn’t have to imitate the 3 dimensional character of the world.


  • (Henri Matisse ‘The snail’.)8e0232cefc2ceff36b9f76b219833724133fb85e-2

in 1948 Matisse became bed bound and no longer able to paint, so instead he created art by tearing and ripping paper. The paper was placed by an assistant under Matisse’s strict instruction. He said that this opened up possibilities for him, that he could draw colour instead of drawing an outline and then filling in with colour after.
BOTONY – the study of plants

  • Karl Blossfeldt – recognised for his extensive and uniques collection of photographic – plant portraits.
  • Blossfeldt is very scientific in his approach. He worked at the junction of Art Nouveau and modernism.
  • the title of each piece was the name of the plant plus how many times it was magnified to create the image. For example.
  • 116 – Venae folii, Leaf of a Colona species, leaf veins, 45xLarge_WL_Photo_Karl Blossfeldt 116.jpg


  • Imogen Cunningham –2_1_s3          couldn’t get out much due to her children – so she started photographing plants from the garden. Restraints of not being able to get out, but she didn’t let that stop her. instead she looked at them in a different way ‘beauty in everything’. – ‘paradox of expansion via reduction becomes vivid’. Between 1923 and 1925 she carried out intense studies on the magnolia.


  • Robbert Mapplethorpe – 7b1db31c                                 pushed boundaries of photography in both his subject choice – did a project on male bodies, many of his images were closed down because they were viewed as pornographic.
  • photographing something that is outside the boundaries – still keep their feel of work, his work was still beautiful.


  • Nick knight –
  • Nick-Knight-FLORA-8-600x461.png                                Fashion photographer consistently challenged conventional notions of beauty . He spent 3 years pouring over 6 million herbarium species at the natural history museum. – He has to select just 45 to photograph for his flora exhibition. ‘ plants have always fascinated people. They feed us, clothe us, and are indispensable as drugs and medicines.


  • Victor Schrager –
  • 7ea6445a                                                                 ‘work of natural are widely considered among the best contemporary achievements in the genre of still life composition.’ 8×10 camera – really big negs, need to develop for longer / take pictures for longer ‘a slow deliberate process.’

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