What I Try to Show by Mary Ellen Mark

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Mary Ellen Mark was born in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  and began photographing with a Box Brownie camera at age nine. In 1966 or 1967, she moved to New York City, where over the next several years she photographed Vietnam War demonstrations, the women’s liberation movement, transvestite culture, and Times Square, developing a sensibility, according to one writer, “away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes”. As Mark explained in 1987, “I’m just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven’t had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence”. Her shooting style ranges from a 2 ¼ inch format, 35 mm, and 4×5 inch view camera. She also uses a Leica 4 for most photographs and Nikons for long-range shooting. Mark loves shooting with a Hasselblad for square format and she shoots primarily in black-and-white,using classic Kodak Tri-X film. This is a first post, another one will follow.

Mary+Ellen+Mark+portrait“I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject.  There’s nothing much interesting about me; what’s interesting is the person I’m photographing, and that’s what I try to show….”  Mary Ellen Mark

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