Fantastic Factory

Realist Photography

Fighting Fascism

This part is about news photographers at the fighting fronts. Named are war correspondents of the Allies. Their photographs which comprise part of the pictorial record of the Second World War, are reproduced. Likewise described is the gallantry of Soviet news photographers who in the frontlines shot pictures of the various stages of the war, known in the USSR as the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people, from its outbreak in June 1941 up to V-Day of May 9, 1945.

These photographic efforts symbolize the courage and heroism of the Soviet people. Soviet war-time documental photography keynoted the humanitarian aspect, reflecting real human emotion and concern for the lot of all fascist- enslaved nations.

Humanitarian News Photography on the Rise

This part is devoted to the evolution of realist documentary photography and its advances in postwar times from the 1950s through the 1970s. Noted are the specific aspects of Italian realist photography from the 1950s on. Described are the efforts of the international Magnum Photos photo agency which Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and David Seymour founded in 1949. An appreciation is afforded of the work not only by Cartier-Bresson but also of the two Swiss, Werner Bischoff and Schuh, the Frenchman Robert Doisneau and the two Americans W. Eugene Smith and Gordon Parks. Considered are the concepts of "dynamic realism" and "decisive moment," and the transition to new approaches and methods in Soviet photography. Reportage is to be credited with having served to best spot and show every novel feature emerging in the pattern of social relationships, the continuity of tradition and the cultural advancement of the multinational Land of Soviets. Such masters in this field among others, as the earlier-mentioned Max

Alpert, Alexander Garanin, Vsevolod Tarasevich and Gennady Koposov are evaluated. With progressive photographers in different countries the camera serves humanitarian ideals. Postwar genre photography capably and worthily entrenched photography as an independent art in its own right. Still, the poetry of the pictorial record permits of the arrangement of genre scenes, while the application of the techniques of "dynamic realism" have become common enough in reportage-and-genre photography. The advances made in this realm in Soviet Lithuania (the Republican Art Photography Association) at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s well served to illustrate a broader psychological understanding of the possibilities of genre photography. There was now a preference for the static shot, with the emphasis on detail which at times set the psychological scene for sterling portrayal. Assessed, against the background of both Soyiet and foreign photography are the antitheses to the "decisive moment" principle, the dominating poetic note of which was far less in evidence towards the close of the 1970s. The trend now was away from the single shot as an aesthetically significant unit, towards photo series, photoessays and photobooks, in short towards what may be termed narrative photography. Underscored is the communication value of reportage-and-genre photography in its broadest sense and the role it plays in man's self- awareness, in cognition of the social environment, in international understanding across lands and continents.

Action Reportage and News Portrait

Analysed is the pictorial recording of events, a genre far removed from the traditions of the fine arts. Highlighted is the significance of detail, which at times is capable of transforming an action photograph into a psychological shot. Shots of events are reproduced. Notice is paid to instances of photos of sports events and music performances.

Singled out and evaluated is the genre of the news portrait with appropriate pictures by various photographers from different countries, such as Richard Avedon, Alexander Garanin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vsevolod Tarasevich, Isaak Tunkel, Philippe Halsman and Lev Sherstennikov, reproduced.

The Photographic Exhibition – the New Cultural Highlight

A brief survey, is furnished of the various types of such exhibits-from those mounted at clubs, in honour of one photographer or dedicated to one definite theme or genre, to those of national and international status. The traditional Interpressfoto and World Press Photo expositions are described.

A sociological appraisal is provided. Such exhibits emphasize concepts, styles and manners. There are expositions at which individuality on the part of the participating photographer is geared to the compiler's overall design concept, which implies that the latter is indeed sole author, from the angle of having integrated the different photographers into one composite whole.