Photo 1 – Emmet Gowen – Due 11/25



In your comments, answer the following questions:

How does Gowen capture the character of individuals in his family and the nature of the family as a whole?

What is your favorite photo and why?

Why does Gowen shift from focusing on his family to other themes?

What themes do his later photographs address?

In conclusion, what ideas of Gowen’s do you find most interesting?


9 responses »

  1. Gowen captures the characteristics of people and family as intimate moments with more and other people at the exact right time, noticing the details that make the picture a snapshot of a moment. My favorite photo is the one of the family outdoors at 3:55-56, it just captures lesiure time with your family so well, it also reminds me of something that is a very common occurence in scrapbooks. Gowen shifted from family portraits and photos to different themes because he simply gew as an artist and felt that going back would not do justice to the original, kind of bastardizing the originals. His later photographs address themes of mans interactions with nature and how nature can be peaceful and serene, but at the same time aggressive. I think Gowens of family is very interesting but I personally enjoy his picturesof nature more because they capture something that isn’t posing or trying to look good, it just is beautiful.

  2. Gowan takes photographs of his family by capturing them doing their everyday activities and wearing their everyday clothes. His pictures are not too posed so you can see the people for who they really are. The candid shots let you see his family on a more personal level. I like the photo of the woman through the tree branches with the vignetted edges because the trees perfectly frame the woman and her body is in an interesting position but it is not overly posed. He stopped taking pictures of his family because things changed and he wanted to take pictures of things the way that they were and not create a false image of his family. His subject shifted from his family to the correlation between man and nature. I think his ideas that it is the photographer’s job to take things as they are and create the most realistic images possible are the most interesting to me.

  3. Gowen takes pictures of his family and captures the more personal, small moments of familial life and gives an intimate, candid view of typical family life. I like the picture of the little girl with her mother at 5:02 because of the way he cropped out the head of the mother. I think it’s kind of interesting how he chose to include the rest of her body, protecting/holding her child, but he didn’t include her head. He stopped taking pictures of his family because he grew as an artist and his family changed and grew older (he didn’t want to misrepresent his family). His theme shifted to the relationship between man and nature. I like his family photos because he’s not trying to take pictures of something extravagant or fundamentally beautiful, but instead, making every photo beautiful, despite what the subject is.

  4. Gowen manages to capture the character of individuals in his family by taking photos of events from everyday life. Rather than surching out important political events like earlier photographers, he took pictures of people and places around him, and in doing so found that his pictures where just as good. My favorite photo was the one at 4:07. The way the leaves of the trees framed the subject give it great emphasis. Gowen shifted from focusing on his family because he basically didn’t want to let it get played out. He didn’t want to get stuck on one thing. Furthermore because his family was changing his photos wouldn’t have been the same anyway. His later photographs address man’s relationship with nature. I find Gowen’s ideas about how taking pictures of little things can still be good. I don’t really like his photographs that much, I think it might be that I don’t like his style, but his ideas are pretty cool.

  5. Gowen captures the individuals in his his family, and their nature by photographing them in their own environment, whether it be their favorite place to sit and rest, or work, etc. they’re just snippits of their daily life. My favorite photo was probably either the one where he took a picture of the old man from the inside of the truck and he was leaning on the window, or the old lady and the younger woman sitting next to each other, resting, on the bed. The reason he started shifting his focus from family to other things is that he felt that he couldn’t recreate moments, that the family and people are always changing, and so he didn’t want to keep doing that over and over again, or taking picture that weren’t authentic. Later the main theme to his photographs was nature, and he said he was for survival, and for capturing, the beauty of that, I think? Anyways, he also related it to human nature and talked about destruction, and natural disaster, and I thought that was pretty interesting too, how he related mankind to nature.

  6. Gowen captures the individuals in his family by photographing them in their everyday life. He photographs them where they live and doing what they do. Every part and detail of the photo says something about who that individual is. My favorite photo at 5:25 is of a man and woman standing in a door frame. I like this picture not only because of the composition and lighting, but I feel I can get a sense of who these people are and what their personalities are like. Gowen shifts his focus from his family to other things was because he didn’t want to keep photographing the same thing. His family kept changing but the photos remained the same. He wanted to capture the beauty of humanity through different angles. I like that Gowen would try his best to make any photograph beautiful, no matter what the subject was. That’s what I like to try and do in my own photography.

  7. Gowen discovered that art can be made by telling your own story. By loving his family already, his pictures turned into a whole new kind of art that wouldn’t be there without his caring for each and every one of his subjects. One of my favorite pictures is in beginning at 2:06 and again at 3:45. The girl in the picture is holding out two eggs, with her arms twisted around each other. I like this picture partly because of it having to do with his later theme of man and nature; her holding the eggs in twisted arms. I also find the expression on her face quite alluring. Through time, Gowen realized that kids grow up, and the elderly die off, so that the picture he took of the little girl is now a false image because she isn’t that little anymore. He wanted to take pictures of things the way they were, such as nature. His later photos are in nature and the relationship between man and nature. His idea about how man will always find his own way to stumble into disaster made me think, so I guess that is the idea I find interesting.

  8. Gowen shows that you can not only create artwork that tells a story, but you can tell a story that shows the artwork. By taking photos of his family he tell a story that expresses what he sees in every day life. I really like the picture of the little girl with her mother at 5:02. I found it really interesting how she cut out the mothers head in the picture. I feel like it could symbolize some sort of power difference when it comes to protecting her child. He stopped taking pictures of his family because they grew older and he realized that kids don’t stay kids for ever. The photo’s that he took later in life was more about man and nature interacting with each other. Gowen was able to make any picture that he took extremely stunning regardless of what subject matter he was using

  9. Emmet Gowen chose to focus on his family because they were something close to him, something that he knew. Because he knew them, he knew how to set up props to indicate his family’s personality and took pictures of them going throughout their daily life. I found the photo of the child with the twisted arms the most interesting because it was something a lot of people hadn’t done before. It captures a child dealing with a disability, which was and is a subject that needs and needed to be addressed.

    Gowin shifted to other topics later because he felt that the moments couldn’t be recreated. He couldn’t find any more extraordinary moments, so he felt he had to move on. He takes pictures after that of landscapes and buildings.

    I found the idea of Gowin’s that you can use your intimacy with other people to create better art the most interesting because I feel that I need to take pictures of things that matter to me, things that are more personal and more i

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