Homework 4 Robert Frank Americans

The themes in Robert Frank’s The Americans were artistic, bleak, and political; therefore it was a realistic depiction of America. Through his photographic book, Frank showed the world how complex it is to be an American. Frank addresses the feelings of Americans that many people did not bring awareness to. When photographing, Frank traveled through American, capturing images of people living their lives participating in routine activities. The subjects in Frank’s photography are not staged. People are photographed in their true mental and physical element. Frank did not cater to the popular view of America at that time nor was he concerned with going against the grain. Many newspapers during that period only showed images of happy Americans. The American according to the newspapers and magazines were totally different from the American that Frank was showing. Franks photography is similar to modern day photoshop of a picture. Today we have many photographic technologies that can make a photographic subject seem happier or more beautiful. The mood of the room can even be altered to make it appear more uplifting. In Frank’s period, magazines were focused on showing the positivity of the world. They were simply photographers rather than photojournalist. A photojournalist is not concerned with how the picture will appear to people or how people will perceive the photograph. A photojournalist’s priority is capturing the truth. It takes a level of skill and artistic ability to capture a picture with artistic value without staging the scene. Of course Frank’s photographs will be bleak and political at times because that what it means to be an American. Americans are versatile. Americans may be disinterested at inappropriate times and they may express their political views out of turn however that is what it means to be American. In order to fully depict an American, one must include artistic, bleak, and political photographs if it was anything less than it should not be deserving of such a title as The American

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