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Author Topic: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay  (Read 1395 times)

RMW

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Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« on: January 07, 2017, 01:26:05 PM »

I found Andrew's idea for how to define 'what's outside the frame' to be thoughtful. Photography for me is best when it resonates. When it fulfills only technical and aesthetic concerns it's a whole lot less interesting. But how to describe what makes for resonance is hopefully beyond words. Somethings are just not amenable to definition. Andrew's suggestion does point in the right direction because a photo is more then what's visible within the frame.
I'm reminded of the old parable of the teacher pointing at the moon while the young student stares only at her finger.
Thank you Andrew.
Richard Waller

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rdonson

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 01:31:16 PM »

Well done, Andrew.  I appreciate your thoughts on advancing photographs to include emotion and meaning to the view.  "Pretty" just isn't good enough.
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Regards,
Ron

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 08:49:42 PM »

I just read Andrew's essay and I find it absolutely brilliant.
Now I have a name for what I feel is missing in much contemporary photography. Of popular genres of photography, "Street" is probably the one that most naturally counts on trame for its appeal. But what Andrew calls trame is what makes any photograph rise above the mundane or simply pretty.

Thank you, Andrew! And lets see more photos oozing with la trame here on LuLa!
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-Eric Myrvaagnes    (A sampler of my new book is on my website.)
http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

bns

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 04:46:47 AM »

Thanks Andrew for this very thoughtful essay. I am just wondering now to what extent 'trame' relates to what Jay Maisel calls 'gesture'. With trame as well as with gesture, I think, if its there you wil ‘see’ it, if its not there you move on to the next picture.

Boudewijn Swanenburg
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speedyk

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 09:13:53 AM »

At the end of his 1986 book Paradoxes in Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics, statistician Gábor J. Székely offers a final paradox from his late professor Alfréd Rényi:

    Since I started to deal with information theory I have often meditated upon the conciseness of poems; how can a single line of verse contain far more ‘information’ than a highly concise telegram of the same length. The surprising richness of meaning of literary works seems to be in contradiction with the laws of information theory. The key to this paradox is, I think, the notion of ‘resonance.’ The writer does not merely give us information, but also plays on the strings of the language with such virtuosity, that our mind, and even the subconscious self resonate. A poet can recall chains of ideas, emotions and memories with a well-turned word. In this sense, writing is magic.

From here...https://www.futilitycloset.com/2016/12/23/eternity-in-an-hour/
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GrahamBy

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 09:28:49 AM »

Yes, excellent essay.

The reflection above on information theory and poetry by speedyk is interesting too: it reflects that the information densiy of a message depends on the degree of shared language between sender and receiver. So if we both know what is an elephant, I can write "elephant"; if you have never seen or read about an elephant, I will need to explain to you what it is (and you will still never appreciate it as much as if you've met one). Hence a photo that links to a huge "trame" for me may mean nothing outside my close family. A "great" photo needs somehow to link to more or less universal human understandings...
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GrahamBy

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 12:20:03 PM »

PS Please don't pronounce trame to rhyme with "frame," a closer approximation would be as in "farm"
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wwlee

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 07:05:26 AM »

Great essay!  Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time to write this.  Very thought provoking, it's given me a whole new way to think about my photography.
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luxborealis

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Re: Andrew Molitor's Thoughtful Essay
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 01:26:53 PM »

Hmmm... certainly thought-provoking.

I love the concept of "trame" and certainly concur with what Andrew says about the importance of what's going on outside the frame that we, as observers of the photograph do not see, but must imply/intuit from the image. At least, that's my take away and it is something I have always striven to accomplish in my nature and landscape work, more often than not, falling short.

Interestingly, though, Andrew really only applies the concept to either single shots that include people OR a series that does not include people. Both the "flower-and-ring" and the "Vancouver leaf" rely on other photos to provide "trame". While comparing the first and second photos does support his point, they are actually too different to be entirely supportive. The "people" shot with and without the man looking OR the landscape/nature shot with and without "atmosphere" would make the point more clearly.

To be entirely successful, the best landscape photographs also provide/have "trame", but not in a human, backstory way. Rather, the successful landscapes (devoid of people) draw the viewer into the scene and allow them to experience the conditions, the atmosphere, the feeling of "being there" at that moment. Successful landscapes with "trame" allow the viewer to feel the cold air freezing their nostril hairs or the dusty heat of the savanna. Disappointingly, most landscapes fall far short of this, yet, as Andrew points out, they may be "pretty".

Thanks, Andrew, for this great perspective on what "makes" a photograph "work". Hopefully, the word and concept of "trame" will make it into serious critique of photographs.
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