AO1 Irving Penn Research


Irving Penn


Irving Penn was born on June 16, 1917 in Plainfield, New Jersey. When training for a career as an art director, Irving worked the last two summers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine as an apprentice artist and office boy, sketching shoes. At this point in life he had no aspiration to become a photographer.

Penn soon started to show real promise in the photography scene as he started to experiment with his inventiveness.

I’ve been looking a lot at Irving penn’s photography on portraits of famous figures. I have found how his photograph’s look really ‘true to life’, they don’t seem to be airbrushed or enhanced in any way to ‘improve’ the subjects. However, the images seem to have the opposite effect, the images have a lot of definition in the pours, wrinkles and creases in the subjects faces to show the as ‘real’ people, to me it shows how they’re not perfect and they have imperfections.

I took this style and applied this to my own subjects and decided to do a shoot with a few subjects and really capture their personality and imperfections which I could really bring out in the editing stage, I was able to create some moody scenes with the lighting in my scene as well.

I like this photo for its use of monochromatic colour scheme as it forces the viewer to focus on the meaning and reason behind the photography.

WEB_DAN4897 I also find the lighting in the photography very interesting as it seems very ambient in the scene but it is mixed with a direction light from the left hand side.

I have done research on the black and white portraits photos by Irving Penn, as I love the use of definition and detail in his photography work because it can really show off the expression and character in someones face.

In this Pinterest board I have posted photographs by Irving Penn that really capture me and that really stand out to me with their blend of composition and meaning behind eat photograph.

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