Robert Frank

Robert Frank

I’d looked at Robert Frank before after a visit to MOMA in New York last year.

He is best known for his book and series ‘The Americans.’ Armed with a camera and Guggenheim grant, Robert Frank crisscrossed the United States during 1955 and 1956 to photograph the ‘real ‘America. What people did not expect was that this would be images of gas stations, cars juke boxes and the road itself as well as the peoples in their many guises. His book stood out because of the structuring and sequencing of his 83 images which constructed a narrative of America that people experienced but perhaps had not seen visibly.

What do I take from this photographer’s work?

I think it is the sequencing and construction of his iconic book ‘The Americans.’ I have been thinking about series for competitions and future work and an issue for me is selection and narrative. To do that I need to shoot enough images and some of these OCA exercises and assignments only want a few images and not 12-15 high quality different images.

The other thing I take from this photographer, like many of others that I have looked at recently, is that they were innovative, so repeating their work in my photography is not helpful, although “on the shoulders of giants” is applicable.

Looking at Photographs” by John Szarkowski