Laura Gilpin is most well-known for her acclaimed photographs of Native Americans in the early 20th century. Although Gilpin emerged as a pictorialist, initially, she shifted her focus to beautiful, landscapes of the Southwest and intimate portraits of the Pueblo and Navajo Indians.
Gilpin described the moment in time when she first noted her skill in the relatively new medium of photography in 1904, when she was thirteen (TGP age!). At the World's Fair in St. Louis, she was meant to explain each exhibit in depth to her friend who was blind, and after pointing out the minor details, she photographed them casually. When interviewed on the subject she explained that "the experience taught me the kind of observation I would have never learned otherwise." Gilpin acknowledges this moment as a turning point in her photography career.
In the very early 1900's, autochromes were patented and began to be used widely. Autochromes are an early form of color photography that would not be replaced until much later in the century. Gilpin's interest in autochromes far surpassed that of any other teenager of her time, prompting her to study photography in New York City until 1918. Another technique that Laura Gilpin mastered was platinum printing which she explained her endearment for regardless of the time and effort it takes to complete: "I have always loved the platinum printing process. It's the most beautiful image one can get. It has the longest scale and one can get the greatest degree of contrast. It's not a difficult process; it just takes time."
The Girl Project explores the lives of American teenage girls by putting them behind the camera to document themselves. Using disposable cameras, girls 13-18 photograph their lives as only they know and understand it.
GET YOUR PICS ON THIS BLOG!
There are two ways to share your photos. First, you have to become a participant in The Girl Project. E-mail me and I’ll send you a disposable camera. Once you return it to me, all the photos on the camera will be considered for a blog posting (and The Girl Project website and future book). Second, (only after returning your TGP camera) you can submit new work that you would like to share. E-mail me a low resolution version of your photo (72dpi, 5x7in) and it will be considered for the blog. If it is selected I’ll post it and write about it… and ask you to write about too.
Already returned your TGP camera? Then you’re all set. E-mail a low res file today!