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Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron, a British photographer during the 1800s, was recognized for her romanticized, sepia-toned, Victorian portraits. Unlike other famous classic photographers, Cameron started photographing in her late 40s when she received a camera as a gift from her daughter. Taking pictures became her hobby and later on, it transformed into her greatest passion and obsession until the last years of her life.

Another thing which differentiated Julia Margaret Cameron from other photographers was that her pictures had technical flaws but this links myself and Julia. Others were taken purposely out of focus, some were soft and very picturesque, and some were just plainly unpleasant. She did not take photos to earn a living which was why her craft was considered to be experimental and unconventional (once agin this is something similar in my work, we explore the ambiguity of the image). In spite of this, she marked a solid place in the history of photography. She had a profound capacity to visualize and her images illuminated her chosen subjects’ personalities.

She made use of large photographic plates, dark backgrounds, and subdued lighting and she required her models to sit for a long time. Her photographs may lack sharpness but their dreamy, emotional, and sometimes almost spiritual, mood compromised the efforts and sacrifices made in order to yield such fancy portraits. The women in Cameron’s photographs imbued tragic heroines whose sadness made them beauteous and pure. Her works were synonymous to tableaux vivants, or living pictures, and they were highly acclaimed for their eccentricity and theatrical artificiality. Having this idea of a theatrical image is something I will explore in my own images going forward both myself and Julia both share this idea of embracing the exploration of photography. We were working in different areas of photography but our work is very similar in many ways. We embrace the imperfect image, exploring what a photograph should look like. Both of us are driven by the playful nature photography has but is sometimes forgotten, we explore the diversity of our medium in the dark room. Which in itself is something that isn't explored often. Due to the darkroom being seen as a science of image making. Rather than an amazing divergent tool that can show artistic meaning and personality.

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