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Surrealist Photography and Experimental Photography Compare & Contrast Essay

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Updated: Aug 27th, 2019

The two photographic techniques that are highlighted extensively are surrealist photography and experimental photography.

These two techniques showcase objects in an in-depth manner, concentrating specifically on the surroundings of the image and creation of an abstract form of art that shaped the history of photography.

These two photographic techniques started in the early twentieth century and have been instrumental in the radical growth that has been seen in photography.

Surrealist photography has its roots in Paris and is based on the attempts to capture a world away from the reality. Surrealists were instrumental in expressing a deeper connection to the inner self and emphasized on the imagination.

Surrealism demonstrated a high affinity to the unconscious and desires that were attached to that. This practice found its core expressionism in photography as in essence, and photography can be likened to the moving out of the ordinary world to another realm.

Photographers like Man Ray, Gyula Halasz, Hals Bellmer and Raoul Ubac were some of the critical photographers who experimented with this kind of photography.

Their photography featured unlikely interactions between standard objects and other times grotesque ones. Due to the tonal variations and reversal of the conventional photography methods, they came up with artwork that is bordering on the mundane.

Most of the surrealist photographers both refer to psychological distortions and scenic creation that is a twisted view of events as well as alluding to the primitive state. Apart from these odd innuendos, they sometimes showed a penchant for sexuality and sensual scenery.

Surrealist photographers collaborated extensively and their abstract art was not only portraying objects in thought-provoking stance, but they also had an affinity for the socially unbecoming like the Paris de Nuit (Paris by night) which was a depiction of prostitution.

On the other hand, experimental photography introduced graphics and especially photography to the commercial field concentrates on advertising.

The original photographers who started this trend came up with images that showcased modernism and they were very instrumental in social appreciation of products that were considered sophisticated.

Thanks to this art form, the commercial boom of some social vices for example, cigarettes was propagated.

Also, like the surrealist photography, they had a partiality to sexuality, but where the surrealist concentrated in distorting as well as painting the female form in a bad light, the experimental photographers took to depicting the female form in an erotic manner.

At this instance, in history, photography was being used to influence social behavior and culture. However, the various European nations saw this as an opportunity to paint their individual agendas in a not only selling of products but also political propaganda.

Photography at this time extended to include a whole level of sophistication and this was seen in the various advertising campaigns that were run, for example, photographer Maurice Tabard’s Dunhill cigarette advertisement.

Photography took a turn for the better with its influence in the film industry with technological advancement directly attributable to experimental photography.

Experimental photography was most influential in terms of the influence of public perception, but surrealist photography is to be given credit in the capturing of spur-of-the-moment expression.

There is a clear contrast in the two, but they both elicit a superior conjecture of creativity and have both been very influential in the direction that photography has taken.

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