Max Dupain was one of Australia’s most prominent modern photographers. His works are commonly referred to as a depiction of Australian leisure. His images celebrate Australian identity, in particular beach culture. Images such as Sunbaker (1937) link Australian people with the sand, the sun and the sky, all significant features of Australian culture. In sunbaker we are shown something so stereotypically. Australian in the muscular, bronzed body of the man lying on the beach. This theme is central in many of Dupain’s pieces.
The idea of combining leisure with the land is a prominent one in Australian society, and one that Dupain has harnessed. Australian is a widely coast dwelling country, and Dupain’s works emphasize our unity with the land. His photography Mother & Child (1952) also captures the essence of Australian life. It shows a mother and her child resting on the beach landscape. Their eyes are closed and the mother is gently caressing her child’s head. They are lying down on a beach with the Australian sun beaming down upon them. Dupain once again conveys this leisure and an intimate relationship with the land.
Much of Max Dupain’s work can be considered formal. His technique was clear and modern, using light and shadow to create a formal effect. Dupain’s photographs centered around formal beauty, subject matter and presence. Max Dupain carefully composed his images to emphasize this formality. Using techniques contrasting those of pictoralism that had been prominent in the other Australian photographers at the time. Dupain refined his photographs with disciplined composition and sharp adherence to modern guidelines. He used little extreme contrast in his images, instead producing prints that exerted a soft warmth and positivity, Dupain’s production was formal and straightforward. Every print was beautifully controlled and refined during the entire process, which was undertaken by Dupain himself.
The image was carefully constructed using the rule of thirds to draw our eye to the particular subjects. Light is used to create perspective and depth field. The rope the men creates line to draw our eye across the image. Perspective is creating by contrasting the different heights and sizes of the men as they get away from our position. The image doesn’t have an extreme contrast in tone, but a subtle difference does create the shape and substance. This piece once again conveys the themes of Australia surf culture, and the ‘typical Australian’ tanned and toned male.
Max Dupain started out in a time when softly focused images ruled by relaxed composition and romanticism reigned supreme. He ventured into a world of modernism, emphasizing cultural growth and vitality with a straightforward approach to design composition and techniques. He captured images that were sharp and precise, using light to create shape and presence. His images however did still contain hints of romanticism in their themes and heroic portrayal of the ‘typical Aussie.’
The image, Curious Boy (1958), shows a young boy eagerly exploring a piece of farm equipment against a rural Australian landscape. It is a classic example of modernism in Max Dupain’s work. The image in constructed in a formal manner. It uses the rule of thirds to create an obvious point for our eye. Dupain uses light in the image to create shape, particularly in the outline of the machinery and the boy. The depth of field is moderate, with the background appearing in a softly focused, almost romantic way, The contrast between light and dark isn’t extreme, another example of the slight influence of romanticism in Dupain’s work. The foreground however is sharp concise, clearly contributing to the ideas of modernism. Dupain hight lights the same principles of Australian culture and progression.
Max Dupain was clearly a pioneer in modern Australian photography, effectively capturing the essence of Australian culture and life. He portrayed the stereotypes of beach culture, and the physical features attributed to the typical Aussie male. His work was a sharp and deliberate step away from the pictoralism of the 19th century, and a confident step into the modernist and progressive nature of later photography
This gallery contains 10 photos.
When Did he live? Max dupain lived from (1911-1992)
Where did he live? Dupain was born in Ashfield, Sydney, to Ena and George Dupain.
When did he start photography and what inspired him? At 13 years of age, Dupain was given his first camera, and quickly developed an avid interest in photography.
When did he gain greatest recognition for his work and what images?He won the Carter Memorial Prize for Productive Use of Spare Time in 1928
What style of photography did he work in? Black and White
What types of subject matter did he photograph? Portraiture, Documentry photography
Did he gain any special awards? Carter Memorial Prize
Close Up: I really like it because it has a nice face and i like how the camera has focused onto the face of the man
Medium Shot: I like how he captured them runnning through the water.
Long Shot: I liked how he captured the man on the sand, as you can see everything has blurred out and its zoom in on him
I liked all 3 photographs because they have a lot of detail, two of them are set on a beach, and one of them is a close up on a man. I have recently looked through all his pictures and the photo I love this most is the one below.
By Emma Alvaro
1) what aspects of Ansel adams’ world inspired the development of his photography?
His world inspired the development of photography because, he was able to capture the beauty of nature, untouched by man, and from this people wanted to be able to capture nature just like him
2) how do you think Ansel adams’ landscapes could have Assisted the environmentalist movement in america?
It helped assisted the environmentalists movement in america, because they felt as though the landscapes captured the idea of nature untouched, thats what they wanted to achieve. So the environmentalist wanted to put his images up in a gallery for americas most wanted to see.
3) Paul strand and Edward Weston influenced the development of Ansel adams’ approach to photography.Use the internet to find a photograph by either artist that demonstrates this influence.
paul strands photo of a driveway (http://www.jacksonfineart.com/private_artist.php?id=55)
4) imagine you are Ansel adams and you are studying at Yosemite national park for a few days to take a series of photographs.complete an imaginary diary insert of your first days events.include what you set out to do in the morning,what equipment and materials you used,how the day’s shoot went and a comment in the results you achieved. Diary entry: 27/2/1960
So today is my first day staying and photographing Yosemite national park, its about 4:00 in the morning. But i have heaps planned for the day ahead, but first thing is first, get some breakfast and get ready for some hiking. I plan on hiking a few k’s away from the campsite and climb the rocks over yonder.I plan on taking magnificent landscape shots looking over the valley. Will write more after my adventures.
So as you’ve probably noticed I’m back from my hike, it was amazing! I took heaps of shoots up on the rocks looking down over the valley, it was truly breathtaking and the best part was that it’s untouched by men! That is how I intend it to stay. The materials and equipment i took and used would include my main camera, the 8×10 inch view camera.
5) using the internet,find an early pictorialist landscape photograph by carleton Watkins and compare it with one of Ansel adams photograph from this text.include copies of both works and discuss their similarities and differences.
carleton warkins photo (http://photographyhistory.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/survey-photography-and-landscape-in.html)
ansel admas photo (http://www.nphotomag.com/2012/09/16/ansel-adams-exhibition-comes-to-london/ )
Similarities: the similarities between the two images is that they both are capturing the beauty of nature at its finest, and they both contain waterfalls or some sort of water source.
Differences: the differences between them would be that they were taking by different people, at different locations and maybe at different periods of time
6) outline how the fundamental principles of group f.64 are revealed in Ansel adams the Tetons and the snake river.
8) search the internet to find a photograph by Ansel adams of Japanese -americans who were interned in the Manzanar war relocation Centre in the 1940′s. Include a copy of this photograph and outline what you think adams was trying to achieve by photographing this type of subject matter.
here in this photograph, Ansel adams took this image of the relocation centre during the Manzanar war, the people in the image appear to be lining up for some reason, maybe to get food? I don’t know. But I reckon he took this image
9) why do you think audiences over time have responded so positively towards Ansel adams photographic work?
I believe the audiences have responded positively towards Ansel adams work, is because they appreciate the views of the images taken by him, they also agree with him when these images are put in the americans most wanted to see,as they wanted to see them (untouched)
Landscape photographers must be patient enough to wait for the right light. Portrait photographers must be patient enough to wait for the right expression. Product and macro photographers who work in a studio have control over their subject and lighting, but must still have the patience to fine-tune their images.