Cecil Beaton Essay, Research Paper
Beaton had taken pictures from the jungles of Burma and the hillside of China. Cecil Beaton s career as a royal photographer spans almost fifty years, from 1930 until 1979. In that period, he photographed nearly thirty members of the House of Windsor. A severe stroke in 1974 left Beaton paralysed in his right arm, but against all odds he taught himself to photograph with his left hand, resuming his photographic career three years later. Beaton died in 1980.
Firstly, Beaton s experience during the war had contributed to the amazing work that he has processed. The Second World War challenged Beaton. He had set out deliberately in his early twenties to establish himself as a darling of society and a leading portrait photographer. By his mid-thirties, he had succeeded. However, during this time it was one of the most surprising turns of his career. Beaton was commissioned to take pictures of the war. Many of the images from this war show the resilience of the British coping with the threat and reality of enemy action. From this period Beaton took many images, some of these images include the faces of pilots and Prime Minister. After the British victory in 1942, the Air Ministry sent him to the Near East to photograph the German forces and to record the activities of the armed services there like the fighting, the devastation and the personalities. Out of the assignment came such famous compositions such as the photographs of burnt-out German tanks and of military commanders. The war had given Beaton a new sense of style. It had shown him the worse that life can be. The war had given me an incentive to step out towards new photographic horizons, and to point my camera at more rugged aspects of life (p12, )
Beaton s experience with royalty has also contributed to the great work that he was known for. Beaton was by virtue of talent and temperament the ideal man for the task that the Royal Family set him. He was a romantic man who idolized the pre-1914 world of the courts, which had been swept away in the tide of war and revolution; for Beaton royalty should always be mysterious and heroic. He placed the whole rage of his abilities in the service of the Crown, to flatter and idolize it by means of a camera. When the monarchy wished to project a relaxed and open view of life, Beaton photographed the Queen and her children against a plain background, posing informally in their everyday clothes. He created a new look on Royalty from pageantry and glamour he showed Royalty has normal people, in everyday outfits. Cecil Beaton shoed the Royal Family with panoply, glamour and mystique but at the same time, giving it an accessible human face more suited to a democratic age. (pg9, )
Secondly, beaton s sense of style led him to becoming a very well known photographer.
With his experience with the war and with royalty he had many tyes of different styles and techniques. During the time of the was Beaton took pictures of tanks and german forces. Through his style of he showed public awarness, he showes the beauty of the countries at a cruel stage of their development. His ability to capture the play of light on form and texture, and his composition which gave his photographs an appeal which reaches beyong the wartime context. ( ) In this quotation it is apparent that Beaton s work had an impact on the way that people viewed the war. Wich made people think about the war and look beyond the damage. When looking at Royalty, Beaton created a new mythology creation ( –). When beaton photographed royalty he either had them in fancy outfits and fancy backgrounds or plain backdrops and everyday clothes. This is sufficient because it showed the media that Royalty does not always have to be glamorous and perfect. He shows that at the same time of being glamorous they can be like everyone else.
Lastly, Influences had an impact on Beaton s career. Beaton was first influenced to do what his heart sets by E.W. Freeborn, his housemaster at Bradby s. Freeborn was a mathematician with enthusiasm for theatre and art. Freeborn encouraged Beaton, leading him to dedicate his life to photography. Freeborn taught Beaton many useful techniques that would be an advantage to Beaton in the future. I learnt to paint water colours of bluebell woods. In exactly the same matter as my master (p ) Another influence that had a great impact on Beaton s career was Lily Elisie, a musical comedy actress. At age three Beaton glimpsed at a picture of her and was mesmerized by the beauty that she portrayed. That was the beginning moment of his obsession with fashion and beauty; this further led to his career in portraiture.
Beaton had composed many pictures in his life span. Some being well known and others being not as popular. In the novel Self Portrait with Friends, The Selected Diaries of Cecil Beaton , an example of Beatons work is present. The title of this work is Greta Garbo . The description of the picture is a woman lying down on what seems to be a soft surface, To get into more detail a subjective and formal analysis is preformed. The woman is the main attraction in this photograph, because she is on a diagonal, it gives the picture a diagonal composition. The composition is effective