U3AC Photo Forum 10 – Cityscapes

Mike Morrish led today’s Forum meeting.  He said that the whole city is rarely the subject for photography, rather it is the context for work around architecture and human activities.  He argued that cityscape photography only starts in the early 20th century with the likes of Steichen and Stieglitz; and then moved on to the work of Paul Strand, Rene Burri, Elliott Erwitt, Denis Stock and others. (I’m surprised he omitted Nadar and Atget from the earlier history.)  The pictures he chose emphasised: environmental issues; serendipity and luck; contrasting new and old; the play of light and shade; including people to give scale; the use of B&W to create atmosphere; and how essential colour can be to some pictures.  He stressed the importance of seeing this as the photography of distinctive places.

Photo: Paul Strand, Wall Street, 1915

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