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Author Topic: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation  (Read 75957 times)

elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #140 on: July 08, 2015, 12:42:42 pm »

The drive towards realism has marked many of photography's greatest moments (Atget, Evans, Arbus, Avedon, Ruff etc). I'm not sure if purity comes into it. All photography is rhetoric - even giving your subject a coin to take his own portrait in a photo booth. In the essay you linked to, Stallabrass speaks of an 'objective style' - that's probably more appropriate than 'objective realism'. John Camp was simply arguing that indexicality is an important property of photography. Yet the index is always dressed up in one way or another - therein lies the 'objective style'. All photographs are manipulations, but I don't think it's unreasonable to have an aversion to the particular manipulation that breaks the index (i.e. pixel pushing in Photoshop).

Anyway, the key participants in this conversation seem to have left the building.
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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #141 on: July 08, 2015, 01:29:40 pm »

John Camp was simply arguing that indexicality is an important property of photography.

I don't think so; but if that's how you'd like to read his comment then let's read Nick Devlin's comment as -- Yes, we know.


All photographs are manipulations, but I don't think it's unreasonable to have an aversion to the particular manipulation that breaks the index (i.e. pixel pushing in Photoshop).

I think it would be unreasonable to have an aversion to one technology "that breaks the index" but not some other technology, if the concern really is "that breaks the index".

I think it would be unreasonable to have an aversion to "that breaks the index" without consideration of the result, if the concern really is stronger photography.


Anyway, the key participants in this conversation seem to have left the building.

All the better to preserve their opinions ;-)
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #142 on: July 08, 2015, 02:19:49 pm »

The drive towards realism has marked many of photography's greatest moments (Atget, Evans, Arbus, Avedon, Ruff etc). I'm not sure if purity comes into it.

This is the Approved Narrative, at any rate.

There's always been a split between.. well, between somewhat fluid groups. One side, generally speaking, opposes manipulations to some degree or another, the other side taking the "anything goes" approach. The idea that the "greatest moments" have been consistently lunges in the direction of realism is a fairly clear case of history being written by the victors.

We're currently in a very weird position, historically, where the prevailing actual belief is that "anything goes" but the prevailing "heros" were largely somewhere in the anti-manipulation camp. The Victorian-era manipulators, in particular, are widely reviled.

The only substantive argument I have ever seen that opposes manipulation for any reason better than "I hate that guy" is that photographs ought to look like and be photographs, rather than paintings. This pops up here and there throughout history, but nobody ever really tries to make much sense of it, and these days the argument seems to be almost entirely lost. Except for a few fringe weirdos like me.
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #143 on: July 08, 2015, 02:32:05 pm »

As a side note, I'm not sure indexical means what you think it means. I am pretty sure I understand what you intend by the word, but since its definition is something quite different (as near as I can tell) I'm not sure.

If you had a moment to do so, I'd be grateful if you unpacked your intended meaning for us a little.
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elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #144 on: July 08, 2015, 06:21:40 pm »

An index, as I understand it, is a sign that has a physical connection with the reality that it signifies. The index is an imprint of that reality. So the wax impression that a dentist makes of your teeth is an index. And so is a photograph - if it hasn't been manipulated.

CS Pierce came up with the concept. (It's possible I've misunderstood it - if so, please correct me.)
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #145 on: July 08, 2015, 06:52:32 pm »

Got it, that makes a lot of sense and is a Very Useful Concept.
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Bruce Cox

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #146 on: July 08, 2015, 07:21:15 pm »

An index, as I understand it, is a sign that has a physical connection with the reality that it signifies. The index is an imprint of that reality. So the wax impression that a dentist makes of your teeth is an index. And so is a photograph - if it hasn't been manipulated.

Then the more detailed and accurate the index the more numerous are the realities which it signifies.

A blade of grass implies the remaining universe, but that does not make it art.  Walt Whitman makes it art.

Bruce
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #147 on: July 08, 2015, 07:28:30 pm »

Huh?

An index has, by definition, a physical connection with the reality that it signifies, which would (one thinks) substantially limit the realities it signifies.

This is perhaps one of the virtues of the concept as applied to straight photography: rather some some navel-gazing semiotic masturbation in which whole worlds might be seen, by the sufficiently inspired critic, in a painting, the photograph admits but a single reality. Albeit a rather limited and narrow one.

When we insist (as we do) that the photograph comment on time beyond the moment of exposure, and on things beyond the scope of the frame and the visual, we tend to get in to trouble. But at least we start from a singular and well defined place. To wit: the reality which made the imprint that is embodied by the photograph.


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Bruce Cox

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #148 on: July 08, 2015, 08:15:12 pm »

Oh, well OK, if you want to see it that way.

I think there never is one reality associated with any photograph.  This is photography's strength.  It is never merely about the photographer, the subject, or the social context.  Painting can [sometimes] in contrast suffer from being limited to the narrow view of painter.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 08:17:43 pm by Bruce Cox »
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #149 on: July 08, 2015, 08:17:54 pm »

I think there never is one reality associated with any photograph. [ ... ]  Painting can [sometimes] in contrast suffer from being limited to the narrow view of painter.

I don't get this at all. Could you expand it a little? I was.. sort of.. OK until you contrasted it with the narrowness of painting.

How does a photograph get to be looser, freer, less confined to reality, than a painting?

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Isaac

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #150 on: July 08, 2015, 08:18:29 pm »

And so is a photograph - if it hasn't been manipulated.

fwiw  "One of the insights afforded to us by computational photography, is the understanding that whether an image has a resemblance to an object or not has little to do with indexicality. Rather it has everything to do with the algorithmic processes that operate on the raw data collected by the light-sensitive sensors in a camera. … These insights allow us to revisit the 'indexicality' of the analogue photograph and to suggest that here too there is a sort of computation at work…"

fwiw  "As myriad critics have pointed out, the application of Peirce’s term to photographic practice was inherently flawed from the outset because…"
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Bruce Cox

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #151 on: July 08, 2015, 09:13:11 pm »

All photography is rhetoric - even giving your subject a coin to take his own portrait in a photo booth.

Being rhetoric is one of the more unfortunate of the many realities which befalls photography in its position as a vital art form.  Painting, being dead, can say nothing if it chooses.

I am willing to fancy some singular reality, but it is excruciatingly vague and in no way photogenic.  

Though they may be in the same photo, the index of a raven is not the same reality as the index of a writing desk.

Bruce
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 09:00:54 am by Bruce Cox »
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elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #152 on: July 09, 2015, 07:38:31 am »

fwiw  "One of the insights afforded to us by computational photography, is the understanding that whether an image has a resemblance to an object or not has little to do with indexicality. Rather it has everything to do with the algorithmic processes that operate on the raw data collected by the light-sensitive sensors in a camera. … These insights allow us to revisit the 'indexicality' of the analogue photograph and to suggest that here too there is a sort of computation at work…"



The fact that there is a photographic process (chemical with film, algorithmic with digital) doesn't undermine photography's indexical status.
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elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #153 on: July 09, 2015, 07:59:44 am »


Though they may be in the same photo, the index of a raven is not the same reality as the index of a writing table.


Intriguing. Where's Poe?
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Bruce Cox

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #154 on: July 09, 2015, 09:01:09 am »

Intriguing. Where's Poe?

If he got to choose, in hell, I guess.

You'll be glad to know that there already exist extensive scholarship on the question of why a raven is like a writing...   Sorry, I miss quoted.  It should be "desk".  I will go back and change it.

Bruce
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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #155 on: July 09, 2015, 09:36:53 am »

Bruce, I confess that I am not following you really at all.
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elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #156 on: July 09, 2015, 10:02:00 am »

I'm interested in the idea that a photograph can have multiple realities, and can extend outside of the frame, both spatially and temporally. However, I think these dynamics are grounded in the photograph's fundamental indexicality.
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elliot_n

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #157 on: July 09, 2015, 10:36:46 am »

The image data file is a report on the number of photons that fell into each of the camera sensor's photosites during the course of the exposure. It's a record of an event in which light bouncing of the subject was mapped onto the sensor. For sure, it is somewhat abstract compared to photons effecting changes to a piece of silver gelatin.
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Bruce Cox

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #158 on: July 09, 2015, 11:18:06 am »

Bruce, I confess that I am not following you really at all.

I worry when you say things like:  "But at least we start from a singular and well defined place."  I think, maybe in mathematics, but not around here.  You continue: "To wit: the reality which made the imprint that is embodied by the photograph."  From an omniscient point of view it may be "the reality", but the best people can do, outside the spell of an artist, is a mishmash of partially described realities.

We don't know why a raven is like a writing desk, and the more we index them the farther apart they get.  They might be parts of a successful photograph, but the photograph does not succeed because they are a single reality but in spite of them being separate realities.  Or so it seems to me.

Bruce

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amolitor

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Re: Ignacio Palacio - Image Manipulation
« Reply #159 on: July 09, 2015, 12:18:15 pm »

We don't know why a raven is like a writing desk, and the more we index them the farther apart they get.

This is the sort of thing I am not following. With respect, it seems to me to be a sentence that means either nothing or almost nothing. To the extent that I can puzzle the meaning out, it seems to be saying nothing either relevant or interesting.

So, I'm not following.

But that is OK with me, clearly you have some ideas of your own, and I have some of my own, and we're finding one another mutually incomprehensible. It is not the end of the world!
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