Opposing Conceptions of Photgraphy

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by skieur, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The reason for the "heat" in some of the discussions seems to me to be different conceptions of the nature of photography.

    Some seem to define photography as "capturing a moment in time" while implying that using filters, postprocessing etc. is distorting the accuracy of the "moment" and therefore somehow changing photography into creative design with no relationship to reality. Another way of expressing their view is: accurate content is more important than visual impact or photographic method.

    Others see photography as creating a visually attractive/artistic image that emphasizes or makes a "statement": emotional or otherwise about some aspect of our world. Making us see things, we would not ordinarily see, or feel emotions that we might not ordinarily feel. Their view would be that the visual effect of the image is more important than depicting the reality in the original scene. To put it another way: A beautiful image is a beautiful image irrespective of how it was created and irrespective of the reality in the original scene. Filters, postprocessing, HDR, solarization, panoramas, etc. are all means to creating an image with visual impact and that is the objective.

    Needless to say, the first side cannot communicate with the second side very well because their concepts of photography are so totally different.

    skieur
     
  2. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Do we need to drag Eddie Adams into this again?

    I'm inclined to believe there are no truths in the photograph. It is purely what photographers choose to emphasize.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Right. My belief is that these "conceptions" are purely egoistic and that is precisely the reason one cannot communicate with the other. In my view, photography is only egoistic insofar as it requires intent to take a picture. Beyond that, I think it's OK to be egoistic- good, even, for some people. But conflating one's egoistic investment in the "art" with any notion of objectively describing what it is is patent nonsense. I think that's self-evident.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  4. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :lol:

    Photographers who believe photography is anything at all simply have their heads up their arses. Anyone who thinks that capturing a single quick moment in time where a picture absolutely must reflect what can be seen in reality should look at the first ever photograph, and note that there are shadows on both sides of the building, so where is the sun in the given moment?

    But the saddest part of all is that these people don't seem to realise that all sides of the argument are wrong and the only true form of photography is the form that you yourself believe.

    This discussion appears on this forum every few months. It appeared here 4 years ago. It likely appeared here when TPF first was born. The discussion existed before digital cameras became widespread. It exists in "The Darkroom Handbook" published in 1981. It existed long before then when people were still painting colour onto their prints.

    We'll see this discussion again in 2 months time. It'll be brought up again next year, and in 100 years time when the human race can simply tweet or squirt or whatever the communication flavour of the year is, right between our own subconsciousness there'll be photographers looking like mental patients banging their head against the wall while shouting abuse at themselves (or so it'll look to passers by) simply because whoever is on the other end of the line simply doesn't get Photography.

    We go nowhere as a collective species.

    And every photo will be tonemapped regardless if it's a HDR or not. :lol:
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Like anything else, a photograph needs context to give it legs. With out that it might as well be a rock. Except that it's not heavy.

    or round.

    or hard really.

    or mineral.

    or..

    :lol:
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    DANGER WILL ROBINSON - DANGER - DANGER!!!

    What it is Robot???

    I SENSE AND IMMENSE AMOUNT OF PHILOSOPHICAL BS HEADING IN OUR DIRECTION.

    Oh, that's just Dr. Smith coming back from somewhere. :lmao::lmao::lmao:



    (Lost is space. TV show from the 60's):mrgreen:
     
  8. erichards

    erichards TPF Noob!

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    IMHO The image reflected in a photograph is never anything more than a perspective and is always therefore 'tainted' by the photographer,(their experiences, mood, tastes, etc...), the 'proof' is in what is left out of the frame and what is captured, the amount of set up, lighting etc...
    No image is a pure and non-distorted representation of that moment in time.
     
  9. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ask any cop what happens when he interviews 5 witnesses at a crime scene. Every one will give a slightly different description of what they absolutely KNEW as the "truth". Photography is no different. Get 5 photogs to take the same shot and tell them to make the picture as true to life as possible and get back to me on how that worked out.

    And there's this...
    Dr. Smith! Take your hands off the boy!
     
  10. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    What are the 60's?


    :lmao:
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ha false! It's a movie from the late 90s :p
     
  12. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    For thousands of years the basic workflow involved in making realistic pictures of things has, at its core, stayed the same.

    The first step is to have illuminated subject matter.
    Light from this subject matter is focussed as a real optical image on a megapixel sensor.
    The megapixel sensor transduces the image into information that travels as electrical pulses up a cable.
    The cable feeds the electrical pulses into a memory where they are temporarily stored.
    The picture memory is sent to a processor where it may be modified, perhaps stitched with other picture files, and given the HDR treatment.
    The resulting picture file is prepared for output via a mark making device which then place spots of paint or ink on a surface.
    The accumulation of spots form the picture.

    People familiar with digital picture making will recognise the separate roles of camera, computer, and printer in the short discourse above.

    People familiar with painting and drawing will find the short discourse just as familiar. The lens and megapixel sensor are of course the artist's eye, the memory and processor are in a brain, and the mark-making device is the artists arm, hand, and brush.

    Digital picture making is a remarkable technical achievement in that it mechanizes and makes easy what artists have been labouring at for millennia. What practitioners of digital picture making haven't realised is that they are fully legitimate participants in the grand artistic stream that includes Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, and thousands of other luminaries!

    And then there is photography. I mean the art practiced by Louis Daguerre, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, and millions of others great and not so great. Here there is the same illuminated subject, a lens, and a sensor but that is all. The sensor suffers chemical changes and becomes the picture itself. There is no transducer, no signal, no memory file, no data processor, and no mark-making device to make a picture via painting by numbers.

    Digital picture making and photography are radically different things that become muddled with one another because the pictures they make can be superficially similar.

    That, I think, is the root cause of the original poster's observations
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010

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