Date: Histories of Photography 1. The Photographers Eye This essay looks into John Szarkowski’s five interdependent characteristics of the photographic image: the thing itself, the time, the image, the detail and vantage point…
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The thesis of this paper is that, modern day photography draws its insights from Szarkowski’s principle of photography as an art, since it teaches photographers to be not only creative, but imaginative. Analysis The Thing Itself Szarkowski believed that photography deals with the actual; the photographer has to accept the fact that he had no control of nature, and on in accepting and treasuring this notion would he manage photography. The photographer had to learn that the world was a unique and creative artist in itself. Szarkowski believed that though photographs were factual and convincing, they also differed from reality. The photographer had to see the filtered elements of reality and visualize the photograph before taking it, in order to capture these filtered element of reality on the photograph. The ability to do this was not only artistic; but also a way of showing truth, which the naked eye could not see. Szarkowski quotes from Hawthorne’s book, The House of the Seven Gables. Holgrave, a fictional character in the story, describes his camera as showing the truth despite trying his attempts to hide reality. In this case, the image survives reality and became the remembered reality. William M. Evans states that, “people in the nineteenth century believed that what was reasonable was true but in the end, they began believing that what they saw in a photograph was true” (Szarkowski8). The photograph below illustrates this phenomenon: Archaeologia Mundi (40, 55, 82, 108, 133, 135) (2011) by Hagar Schmidhalter. The Detail According to Szarkowski (p. 9), the photographer cannot pose the truth; the truth appears the photographer in fragments, therefore, the photographer is only able to capture fragments of this facts. A photograph cannot tell a story of fact; it can only depict fragments of this fact. However, Szarkowski adds to say that though photographs do not tell stories, they can be read as symbols. People can draw meaning from a sequence of fragmented photographs. Szakowski states that photographs are not meant to tell stories, rather, they are meant to make the story real; he believes narratives to be shallow, and that only photography possesses the power to show symbolic meaning (Szarkowski 42). A picture of a Soccer match does not show the results of the match, but it does capture a moment of happiness or otherwise, that has symbolic meaning to the end result of the game. E.g. Cardiff vs. Manchester United by Stu Foster (1/12/2013). The Frame According to Szarkowski (p. 9), the subject of a photographer is never self-contained; it is part of a bigger picture. The photographer, therefore, decides to isolate what it important (the subject), from its environment using the photographic edges. This frame concentrates on the edges – the line that separates the subject from its environment. In the case of the football match above, the subject is separated from its surrounding by the edges of the photograph. This defines what the photographer deemed important, but does not tell the whole story since the subject is part of a bigger surrounding. Time Photographs are not instantaneous, but rather exposure of the scene over a period of time result to real image. Photographs always capture the present, never the future; they can allude to the past through its surviving relics or foresight of the future based on
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Apart from this, long term memory is used for the storage of information over a long period of time. “Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things” (Furht, 2008, p.259). The power of memory and attention may vary from person to person depending on ones age, culture, and gender.
That said, there are restrictions to this general rule. Krages (2007) details some of these restrictions. One is that any photograph which intrudes upon the seclusion or solitude of another would be a basis for a tort. A good example of this would be topless pictures of Kate Middleton which were apparently taken by a long-range lens.
On the other hand, the image does not reveal any emotions, and, considering that the characters must be discussing something incredibly important, their faces are almost plain, which is unusual for culminating moments. Additionally, since the movie was regarded as a low-budget performance, the notion of it could be seen on the image.
In that note, early photographers were trying to shoot pictures that resembled portraits. Portrait portraiture or photography is taking photos of an individual or crowd of people, which exhibits the personality, expression, as well as the subject’s mood (Castleman 2007) and (Bazin 2005).
Here, an anthropologist goes physically to the field, in which case, is the indigenous community, to study them. In ethnography therefore, the researchers study the various cultural traits of a community. In this case, during the 19th and 20th Centuries, anthropologists involved in ethnographic research considered photography as one of the important methods of their data collection.
The first known people to produce photographic images were French physicist Joeseph Nicephore Niepce and French painter Louis Jaques Mande Daguerre. The reason that their photographs aren't around today is that the silver plates gradually darkened obliterating the image.
True enough, in his article in 1859, Francis Frith maintained that photography's popularity was due to its "essential truthfulness" (Wright, 1999, p. 72). And because truth is beauty in itself, a photograph could have more than an aesthetic impact. It further encompasses the social, political and psychological impact of the reality of our modern life.
Personally, I consider the images and photographs created by Man Ray to be unique and interesting. Using his idea and creativity, he was able to produce one-of-a-king photos using only a photographic paper, light, and objects like stencils, a pair of hands, or
Photography has a myriad of implications to humans since the creation of humanity. However, the problem is the rampant flaws that are associated with the impression created by photographs. Armstrong is very clear in
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