Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is a photograph taken by Richard Avedon during his time in the west photographing regular people in their everyday lives. In this picture, Richard takes a photo of a coal miner after work. Richard evokes a strong emotion with this picture, through the workers facial expression and appearance. The focus of the picture, points straight to the workers face especially the eyes. The eyes of the worker are very hard to explain. Instead of the worker looking at the camera, they are pointed lower than eye level, at if he is looking through your heart or even soul. Since the coal miner is not making eye contact, it’s as if he’s isolated and alone. Just the vantage point of his eyes made me wonder what he was thinking. Whether if he believes he even exists or if life is worth living?

Secondly, his clothing and appearance make a strong impression on the mood of the picture. Since he is a coal miner he is very dirty and tired after a hard day of work. The coal smudges add to his expression, as if he doesn’t care they’re their. Also his clothes including his overalls show that he doesn’t care for his appearance or the clothing he wears.

Avedon exposes his audiences into everyday lives of the people of the west and shows us a glimpse into how they live. Avedon successfully includes the facial expression of the coal miner as well as the context of his job to effectively produce a portrait which tells a strong narrative

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