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Mary Ellen & the almost teen

Mary Ellen Mark was born in 1940 in Pennsylvania. She completed an MA in photojournalism. She was a talented photographer that concentrated on commercial and personal projects. Her pictures are mostly all black and white. She likes devoting her pictures to humanity by creating pictures of compassion. Sturken and Cartwright in their article “Practices of Looking” talked about computer software and how it could have the ability of changing things in images. They talk about how computers can refine with techniques and manipulate the image as they would like. They have the ability to draw attention to what the photographer wants the audience to look at within a picture. This picture was chosen because Mary does exactly the opposite in most of her photographs. She does not concentrate on any specific part of a photograph and does not want to draw attention to something specific in each of her photographs. What caught my attention of all of her photographs was the fact that she only wants the audience to see humanity and the truth. In this particular picture, there is a girl probably almost getting to her teen years. She looks vulnerable, lovable, quiet, and most of all peaceful. The dress that she is wearing and the shoes caught my attention the most. It looks like a fancy little girl in the 1970s.

Eilin

Comments

Nichole
Reply

I loved this picture too. There’s so much going on if you look at the little girl’s face. It takes such talent to be able to capture so many thoughts and emotions. The girl’s pose is perfect. Do you think it was staged? Or do you think the photographer caught her at the perfect candid moment?

Erica
Reply

The background you provide of the photographer is nice to have because it’s meaningful for the content within the photo. By not wanting to draw attention to something specific, people get to interpret and see what they want from it, I suppose. It’s fun to hear what other people noticed. The first thing I noticed were her eyes. They seem like they say a lot!

Andrea
Reply

Like everyone else, I love this image! Her facial expressions and outfit draw me into the image. Also her gestures are fantastic. I enjoyed your point about the practices of looking. Today most photographers just think oh I’ll fix that later, while in the days of Mary Ellen Mark it was “Let me wait for the right moment to capture this girl in the way I want them to see her.” Being able to look and wait for your image is slowly and unfortunately becoming a lost art.

Annette
Reply

When I saw this image at the exhibit, it was immediately one of my favorite photographs. There’s just something so simple about this picture. The way how the girl is posing, it makes you think did the photographer know her or she told her to pose however she wants, or was she just naturally standing like that and she saw her? Also, you can see the little girl sitting in the background so It makes you think of where she was, was she homeless or playing with friends.

Elizabeth
Reply

Like the others, I love this image as well. You said her clothes and shoes caught your attention the most here, but I feel its her pose. The way she stands is so strong and theres a sense of her being very independent. This image also reminds me of the part of the reading I did my post about… “cameras capturing the real and its capacity to evoke emotion” because this seems like a very real situation, almost like Mary Ellen Mark wanted us to know more about this girl and what her life is like.

Bryan
Reply

I think it’s interesting where your flash went off that naturally brings the focus down from this young girl’s alluring face to the light in her chest. It’s an interesting intersection of where your own photography interferes, changes, and in this case, perhaps enhances the original photographer’s point. Changing the outcome by measuring or documenting it has been known to physicists for years, nice to see the principle replicated here.

Lisa
Reply

I remember seeing this picture and thinking that it was pretty cool considering the juxtaposition of the girl’s attitude and her surroundings. She really exudes the ‘what are you looking at’ attitude while drawing you in. The other photograph that interest me is a little down further to the left by the same photographer depicting a young boy as a heroine user. Both photographs spoke to me because it showed children with almost adult like attitudes, habits and mind sets.

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