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Author Topic: Pausing the moment  (Read 13247 times)

Isaac

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Pausing the moment
« on: November 26, 2014, 10:06:01 am »

"…this picture sums up the power of the still image, as it produces more questions than answers."

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amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 01:17:19 pm »

You reeeally need to read Sontag. Not everyone needs to, but you seem to be genuinely interested in these sorts of things. Sontag is, as far as I know, the starting point. 40 years ago.
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mahleu

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 02:31:54 pm »

A single violent image will almost always be picked by an editor out of a pile of peaceful ones. .
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Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 02:42:34 pm »

…you seem to be genuinely interested in these sorts of things.

Curiosity killed the cat :-)

I've read On Photography. I've read Regarding the Pain Of Others.
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amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 02:45:27 pm »

Well in that case it's not clear what your object here is. We've all read them too, so if you're trying to educate us in the style of Socrates or something, well, you're a bit late to the party.
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Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 02:49:32 pm »

Do you speak for everyone who looks at posts in this discussion forum!
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amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 02:52:17 pm »

yes.
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chez

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2014, 06:10:13 pm »

You reeeally need to read Sontag. Not everyone needs to, but you seem to be genuinely interested in these sorts of things. Sontag is, as far as I know, the starting point. 40 years ago.


You got that right. I went to see the 2014 photo journalist best photos exhibit and 90% were of human tragedy or misery. Very rare does a photo depicting happiness ever gets recognized. What does that say of human mankind?
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amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 08:55:53 am »

Well then.

I think the piece is slight but interesting. It talks about nothing that isn't well known to people who've been thinking about these things for a while, but arguably serves to remind and educate lay people on the subject(s).

I find it slight because it either elides or only gently touches on some points I think are important.

- we as viewers tend to imbue photographs with much more veracity than they deserve. The questions raised are rarely raised enough. We see the picture, form an opinion, and imagine we know the truth.

- the media can and does use this to tell lies. Whether they are outright lying or merely slanting the story slightly, the photo editor has a narrative to support, and it would be naive to suppose that narrative is ever objective truth.
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RSL

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 09:21:26 am »

Hi Andrew,

I have a lot of respect for your views on the subject but I take issue with you on your first point. Anyone who imbues a photograph with veracity is either a child or a very ignorant adult. A photograph is a work of art. Most often it's a crappy work of art, but even when it's good it's art, not truth. Of course the media can and do ("media" is plural by the way) use photographs to lie, but that's also what they do with words. People who imbue photographs with veracity tend also to imbue words with veracity. It's why propaganda -- especially left-wing propaganda which sets forth lies that people want to believe -- always is effective.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 10:25:52 am »

"Truth" is messaged by our prejudices.  We often see what we want to see. If you are a student ticked off by higher tuition, you'd applaud the person about to break the window.  "Show them!",  whoever them is?  If you're just one of the guys having a cup of Joe, well, your thought might be, 'What has society come too?  What a  bunch of ingrates, us supporting them with our taxes.  Put 'em all in jail."  Just look at Ferguson, Mo. and how people can see things so differently.  Editors put the picture up there to support the text, which also can be read in different ways.  Just look at the varying viewpoints about everything in this forum.  "Truth" is often what we believe.  And most of the time, we cannot change opinion with facts.

amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 11:54:54 am »

All of our experience, be it first hand or other, we tend to interpret and fit into our world view. That is a larger phenomenon, a later one on the process.

My remark about imbued with truth was really about our instant reaction to a photo. Absent manipulation, which we tend to assume isn't in play, we know that at least those things were in front of the lens at that instant. That basic simple truth we tend to extend outwards, we tend to imagine that we know what is going on in the scene. It's an extension of the same habit we have with regard to our first hand experiences.

To be honest I don't know if this is backed by research or if it's just the consensus among some thinkers. It feels right to me.

Of course anyone with a degree of sophistication, especially a photographer, will back up, take stock, and apply some skepticism. I can't speak for you, but still my initial response to a photo is one as described. I view it as true, I think I know more than I do. It requires a conscious effort to undo that.

This may be changing as digital manipulation becomes more and more ubiquitous, easier, and as more 'trusted' sources are busted.



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Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2014, 01:47:30 pm »


Perspective Correction - My Studio II, 3: Square with Cross on Floor, 1969

Quote
In exploiting the difference between what we know and what we actually perceive, Dibbets does more than draw attention to photography's ability to deceive: he suggest that the 'reality' which it offers is itself problematic. Thus, the camera records a trapezoid that cannot be 'seen' and reveals a square that does not 'exist' and a conundrum is set in motion that involves a reality that is there and not there, a truth which is evident and concealed, and evidence that is visible yet in some sense invisible.
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amolitor

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2014, 02:07:47 pm »

That is certainly another dimension to the issue of truth and photography, but surely it is different enough, far enough removed from the original topic (which you proposed, Isaac) to warrant its own thread.

What do YOU think about any of this, by the way?
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2014, 11:44:58 am »

Hi Andrew,

I have a lot of respect for your views on the subject but I take issue with you on your first point. Anyone who imbues a photograph with veracity is either a child or a very ignorant adult. A photograph is a work of art. Most often it's a crappy work of art, but even when it's good it's art, not truth. Of course the media can and do ("media" is plural by the way) use photographs to lie, but that's also what they do with words. People who imbue photographs with veracity tend also to imbue words with veracity. It's why propaganda -- especially left-wing propaganda which sets forth lies that people want to believe -- always is effective.


Russ, I don't see most photography as art but as communication - yes like the written word.  A piece of journalism can be written in an artistic way - but that may just be to facilitate the message and make it easier to understand.  Most news photographs are not art but they communicate.  Sometimes they do convey the truth as closely as it is possible to do in a 2-D image, but yes the viewer needs to exercise caution.  The world would be a poorer place if we disbelieved everything that was written or the information delivered in photographs.
And on your last point was it really necessary to show a political bias - I assume you believe the Right do not use written propaganda?

Jim
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RSL

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2014, 03:29:17 pm »

Hi Jim, I guess I should have defined "art" for you. I used the word in the sense of its primary meaning: "A product of human creativity."
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2014, 01:57:08 pm »

… I don't see most photography as art but as communication - yes like the written word.

Is Art a form of "communication"?

Is the same photograph Art in one context and "communication" in a different context?
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Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2014, 01:08:10 pm »

A photograph is a work of art. Most often it's a crappy work of art, but even when it's good it's art, not truth.

Quote
"Art has traditionally recognized two obligations: to tell the truth and to affirm the truth. The problem currently is that many artists are saying no, that isn't my job -- I can't do that, and won't try. And so they in turn are largely ignored, or held up in the press as jokes. And why not? Who needs more nihilism? Anyone can arrive there without help.

The challenge for artists is just as it is for everyone: to face facts and somehow come up with a yes, to try for alchemy. No wonder the instances of artistic success are costly and rare and impure. And deeply loved. And utterly out of the reach of most journalists."

"About Turning Back" in Along Some Rivers Robert Adams page 72
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RSL

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2014, 06:37:31 pm »

"Art has traditionally recognized two obligations: to tell the truth and to affirm the truth."

As the duke said, Iassc, "If you believe that, you will believe anything." Art is anything but truth. It's often hope, and it's sometime despair; it's often beautiful, but it's never truth.
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Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Isaac

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Re: Pausing the moment
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2014, 11:12:32 am »

Art is anything but truth. … but it's never truth.

Where did it say Art is the truth ?
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