HELP: How does a photographer's origin influence their perception of culture?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by lila.dream, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. lila.dream

    lila.dream TPF Noob!

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    I am writing an essay which should answer the question, "How does a photographer's origin influence their perception of culture?" It is an important essay that I need to write for school and I would appreciate your help.

    1. In your opinion, what is photography?

    [FONT=&quot]2. What do you focus on when taking a photograph? Why?
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]3. How does the capturing of new photographs create meaning?[/FONT]

    4. In your opinion, do you think that nationality or the background of the photographer influence the pictures they take?


    5. Do you think that the nationality or origin of the photographer influence the views of their own country and other countries?


    6. Do you think that an emotional connection is created between the photographer and whatever the photographer is taking a picture of? (Maybe it is something we admire, something we fear or something that invokes our curiosity).
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. lila.dream

    lila.dream TPF Noob!

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    I do not find this comment appropriate. This is how photographer's are affected by their origin and the kinds of pictures they take and is NOT at all related to nude photography!
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It definately is. Iif you read the 2 posts Garbz posted, you will see HOW pertinent it is!

    As for the OP... instead of using info from us, take the time to do your own research instead of having us do your homework for you... the answers are no further than the search button above or a google on the internet. ;)
     
  5. No Jerry, this is a pat answer we give to a lot of kids that show up here, but in this case we are effectively being interviewed. If s/he is not a photographer, it stands to reason that the answer would be sought this way.
     
  6. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Tell your high school photo teacher to stop setting this rubbish, and take some photos.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    lila.dream Asked:

    1. In your opinion, what is photography?


    Photography (from Greek φωτο and γραφία) is the process and art of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or an electronic sensor.


    2. What do you focus on when taking a photograph? Why?

    Huh? Regardless of whether you mean mentally focusing or lens focus, it's different for every photo - even the same photo twice. This is not an answerable question! Are you human or a machine incapable of grasping what the human condition is like? (I'm not being rude - that's a real question.)


    3. How does the capturing of new photographs create meaning?

    Meaning is not created. It's conveyed or referred to. The consequence or result of capturing new photographs is subjective to the individual and like life itself is "constant change" or always different but no intrinsic meaning is created.


    4. In your opinion, do you think that nationality or the background of the photographer influence the pictures they take?

    Of course it does. We are like it or not, aware of it or not a product of our environment and our experiences - including ethnicity and nationality. Garbs gave you some very concrete examples - which I see you chose foolishly to disregard for lack of understanding.


    5. Do you think that the nationality or origin of the photographer influence the views of their own country and other countries?

    Of course! We only know what we consume information wise. We form views based on an assimilation of that information. If everything you see and hear tells you that the US Government loves you and is generally good you very likely will believe the lie. etc.


    6. Do you think that an emotional connection is created between the photographer and whatever the photographer is taking a picture of? (Maybe it is something we admire, something we fear or something that invokes our curiosity).

    Of course! There is an emotional connection between all perceivable objects inanimate and alive no matter how weak or strong. Taking a photograph of something probably alters that in some way yes.

    Are you sure you're not an empty machine with no understanding of the human condition? :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Never even thought if it that way. :confused:

    Based on that correction (and I thank-you for being very blunt yet diplomatic about it with me, IF)...

    1. In your opinion, what is photography?

    The ability to capture and preserve a moment in time that has special meaning to one or more people.

    [FONT=&quot]2. What do you focus on when taking a photograph? Why?

    Capturing the emotion, the reason of the moment. Creating a way to relive a memory.

    [/FONT] [FONT=&quot]3. How does the capturing of new photographs create meaning?[/FONT]

    Ask a bride who is looking at her wedding pictures 45 years later. Ask a proud parent who are looking at a baby picture of their now grown up and moved out child. Ask *anyone* who is looking at a picture of a departed family member or friend.

    4. In your opinion, do you think that nationality or the background of the photographer influence the pictures they take?

    Obviously. Use the example of an Iraqi photographer shooting a battle scene and will see the event different from an American journalistic photographer shooting that same battle scene. The world is EXTREMELY diverse, and it is naive to think that we are all the same in all ways. Yes, we all breathe, we all need water, but not one person looks 100% exactly alike, no two people think alike. How can you expect two people who live in opposite sides of the worlds that they will react the act of photography the same? There are cultures on this earth today that forbid photography because they feel it is a way to steal someone's soul. In North America, photography has become so common, so blasé, that people with equipment are not even noticed... yet go to somewhere public with a nice big camera, and expect to be detained by the local police. Diverse reactions to the same acts based on the nationality of the photographer are a fact.

    The act of taking pictures of children in public (the example you refused to believe as being pertinent!), some see this as a form of pedophilia, or child pornography or abuse. A father, taking pictures of his daughter sees it in a completely different light. Read the link for a good conversation about it. ;)

    5. Do you think that the nationality or origin of the photographer influence the views of their own country and other countries?


    Another obvious one. Yes. Example; From the eyes of an African native looking at an Israeli Jewish wedding picture, where they see a man stepping on glass (for example), this would certainly have different meaning to him vs to the Jewish man. In one he looks foolish, in the other it carries deep meaning.

    6. Do you think that an emotional connection is created between the photographer and whatever the photographer is taking a picture of? (Maybe it is something we admire, something we fear or something that invokes our curiosity).

    A lot of the time, if not most of the time, yes. Some of the best pictures invoke emotion in both the person who took it as well as those who look at it. Imagine the face of a photographer who is recently back from covering the front lines of a horrible war? Can you imagine how his pictures make him feel? How do those same pictures make others feel?

    How about the face of the photographer who just shot the wedding of an enthusiastic young couple deeply in love? Unless the photographer is not human, he or she will definitely have some kind of an emotional connection to the event and therefore, his or her pictures.

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  9. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    1. In your opinion, what is photography?

    My five minutes of quasi artistic self-expression.

    [FONT=&quot]2. What do you focus on when taking a photograph? Why?
    [FONT=&quot]
    Either on what the subject conveys to me, or what I want to convey with the subject, or both. Still taking a lot of photos for pure technical practice shots though.

    [/FONT]

    3. How does the capturing of new photographs create meaning?[/FONT]

    It preserves memories and moments, conveys perspectives.

    4. In your opinion, do you think that nationality or the background of the photographer influence the pictures they take?


    Yes. It influences all humans, not only photographers. Some less, some more.

    5. Do you think that the nationality or origin of the photographer influence the views of their own country and other countries?


    Same as #4.

    6. Do you think that an emotional connection is created between the photographer and whatever the photographer is taking a picture of?


    As often as not. Sometimes the subject can become just an object.

    Good luck with the essay. I do think you should rethink the title, as it's really not possible to prove that background influences a photographer's perception any more or less then anybody else's. Photographers just show their perceptions visually more than other professions (excluding other fellow visual artists and professionals).
     
  10. lila.dream

    lila.dream TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all so much for your replies. I really appreciate it that you took the time to read and answer my questions.

    I take photos in my free time and just came upon this forum and I am looking forward to posting some of my pictures.

    Samriel...could you make a suggestion about what I should change the title to as I have been trying to think of one which exactly describes what I am writing about. My essay focuses on how the origin of the photographer may influence their perception of culture and what kind of photographs they take. I found your photostream extremely interesting because of the range of photographs that you take so therefore I would like to ask you a few questions and also maybe use your photographs as part of my essay. My essay also compares what kind of photographs Arab photographers take and what photographs Western photographers take in the Arab world. ....So any ideas?
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wonder if I had just posted the links without any further help for finding the info if you'd have just said thankyou instead of dismissing this as inappropriate.
    Especially since the first link touched on 1 2 3 and most definitely 4 and 5.
    Nude photography is where 99% of arguments relating to your 6 questions arise in photography, and gives the most insight into how people think. No one cares about a picture of a barn, but put a nude model in it and you get a huge debate, especially on this forum. You may want to put that in your essay somewhere.
     
  12. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    As I get it, you're trying to say that the background influences the way they take pictures. Your title is a bit too broad as it says
    "How does a photographer's origin influence their perception of culture?" While I believe it does influence their perception of culture, this is true for all humans, not only photographers. Maybe something like "How does a photographer's origin influence their depiction of culture?" or "How does a photographer's origin influence their expression?" or something like that? If you put some more examples to support your opinions your essay will have some weight. I'd like to give you same examples, but as I'm quite new to photography and not familiar with Arab photographers, I have nothing useful to add there. Having a book full of portraits by Steve McCurry (very good work) in front of me, I can just say that as a non-Westerner (although this could be argued about) I do feel that his photographs have a very distinct Western feel to them.

    Nonsense.

    You could say that photographers are a more individualistic bunch than many other professions, and if there is a part of photography where culture and society does NOT matter much, it's nude photography - nude photographers throw away social norms and perspectives much faster then people who shot barns and portraits - it's a very individual form of expression most of the time. It might reflect your background and influences, but they are rarely as culturally based as in other fields of photography, since you mostly have to overcome some social norms to be taking nudes at all. When you take a barn you don't have to overcome any norms, so they still show in your work.

    If nude photography is the cause of any argument, it's usually about the cultural standards of the viewer, NOT the photographer.
     

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