Postmodern Photography Techniques

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"Postmodern photography is characterized by atypical compositions of subjects that are unconventional or sometimes completely absent, making sympathy with the subject difficult or impossible.

Like other postmodern artists, the champions of postmodern photography contend that it is possible to ignore the “rules” and still create art." WiseGeek.com

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So if you are confused by postmodern photography and what it really is you're not alone.

You like things your way. Do not really like to follow all the rules. What matters is that you like, nothing else is important. If these describe you then you will probably make a good postmodernist photographer.

This is a very complicated style but can be rendered quite well if you have the creative eye as well as the mind of an artist.

If you want to see some very good samples search for the works of Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali. Yes they were painters but in essence their work is much like what this photographic style is.

For example if you have seen a photograph of something that looks like a red wall and nothing else then you have seen an example of a postmodern photograph.

The subject for postmodern photography are rather simple and often less is more; less details and more color, texture or simple designs.Yet this is not always the case.

Postmodernism often takes subjects and presents them in unrecognizable forms and patterns. You may be looking at something quite common yet when the photographer chooses to capture an image of the subject he or she is using his or her own personal vision of what it is about the subject that interesting enough to set it apart with the lens and worthy enough capture only that part of it.

In other words a postmodernist photographer focuses on a subject with the aim of radicalizing along with an anarchist rejection of all attempts to define, or represent the subject. It is basically an attempt at creating an art presentation for no other purpose than to please the senses, in the case of photography, the visual sense.


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This style is also very similar to abstract art where the images mostly show parts of a larger subject but unlike abstract photography, postmodernist photography has no intention of hiding the subject.

The goal is to show an image of something simply because it appeals to the photographer.

Whether others feel the same way or find the same appeal that the photographer did when the picture was taken is not really important to the photographer and this in a sense is the anarchistic approach; no rules "I did it because I wanted to" attitude.

What did you think about this art movement?

See results without voting

Something else about this movement is that its practitioners will take pictures of anything from everyday subjects to sculptures in a museum to paintings.

The emphasis is not where the subject is found or what it is but how the photographer feels about it and his intentions towards the subject when the shutter is snapped.

With that in mind look for subjects and compositions, no matter how absurd they may first appear, and compose the shot based on whatever it is about this subject that calls your attention. What matters is how you feel and nothing else.

However, as a photographer do pay attention to the technique aspects of the scene. It doesn't matter how much you like a shot or how much your like the subject, if it is underexposed it will remain in your memory but not be seen by anyone else.

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(CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

Whether you understand the movement, like it or just want to give it a shot, try to understand what the style requires, how best to present it and concentrate on capturing images that do justice to the style.

But have fun, practice your skills and try to take it as a learning curve. Photography has many styles, themes, and techniques and because it is an art form it is always open to interpretation and seen through the eyes of the photo.

Use your creativity and do not give in to peer pressure telling you what tophotograph and what not too. Follow your "eyes" and snap away.

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© 2014 Luis E Gonzalez

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4 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very strange to me but I like it. I find the perspectives interesting and a fun way to look at things. Thanks


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 2 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Ericdierker: thanks so much


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Hello again Luis. Long time, no see.

You need to add another question to the poll: 'Do you find this art-form thought-provoking?' That's the one I would 'tick'.

I like the pseudo-erotic one with the woman's legs (typical!), although the six draped figures look enigmatic.

I've done some experimental photography myself in the past, close-ups of things like bus cabs - minus drivers - in black & white (juxtaposed shapes in and out of focus), very grainy views with reflections in or after the rain, old shed interiors with a variety of colours, sun shining directly or indirectly onto surfaces and so on.

I'm always open to ideas. How about showing us your own photographs?


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 2 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

alancaster149: Thank you and where the helium have you been?

I still shoot film (positives and mostly for clients) However I am in the process of turning to digital and having my collection (over 49K slides ) scanned.

BTW, thanks for the poll suggestion.

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