Comparative Essay

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

Street Photography

Eureka Tower from Far away, emerging from the leaves

Eureka Tower from Far away, emerging from the leaves

 

The tanned sky

The tanned sky

 

My best friends

My best friends

 

The Locks!!

The Locks!!

 

Beautiful Swan

Beautiful Swan

 

Eden :)

Eden 🙂

 

Flinders

Flinders

 

Pretty :P

Pretty 😛

China Town

China Town

DSCN1935

This was in Graffiti lane

This was in Graffiti lane

Because nothing better than love

Because nothing better than love

The big Shem Show!

The big Shem Show!

Smile your beautiful

Smile your beautiful

Flinder Street Station

Flinder Street Station