Using photography to communicate

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fadingaway1986, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    Yes. It's me again.

    And yes. I do need your help... again...

    I am looking over the requirements for the photography course I want to get into next year...

    And I need to write a 250 word essay on "why and how you use the photographic medium to communicate"

    I am stumped... I never really thought about this before, and my only answer is "I don't know - because it lets me be creative and I can't draw"

    And I don't know if that is even on the right track. But I do know - that is no where near 250 words...


    Can you guys give me a hand? What sort of things do you think I should be saying in this "essay"? Or could you give me a couple of points I can expand on? I am really confused...
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Well, by taking pictures don't you communicate your interpretation of reality and your artsitic vision regardless of subject matter? You could also go into the symbolism certain subject in a picture could have and how those interact.
     
  3. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    what the hell did you just say?


    LOL. I think I'm even more confused now.


    What I have so far: Why is because I am creative, but can't draw...


    How do I communicate via it: by documenting life such as taking photos of things people usually wouldn't look twice at. And communicate by capturing expression...


    Do you think I am on the right track?


    I don't think it so much an essay, they just want to know pretty much how and why we use photography to communicate...
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    To put it in to basic terms - back in Mediaeval times few people could read or write. Shopkeepers got around this by putting what they sold outside their premises. So a Cooper hung a barrel, a locksmith a key and so on. People could see, recognise and understand this 'symbolism'.
    We still do pretty much the same today. Think of the big advertising posters and such. You can take in a picture, recognise it and understand it's import or associations in a fraction of the time it takes you to read some words, translate/interpret them and understand their meaning - particularly if the writing isn't in your native tongue, you are illiterate or dyslexic.
    The power of the picture is utilised in things like traffic signs - the little pictures in them are standardised all over the world now.
    Photography takes this one step further by 'representing' reality unfiltered by interpretation.
    Try describing someone in words and you will find it impossible - unless the person you are describing has some obvious ditinguishing feature - to produce a description that allows other people to instantly recognise the person described. Now show them a photo of the same person.
    Photography taps in to the base level of communication. Words are mostly phonic representations of things and behaviour - photographs are graphic representations. They cut across barriers of culture and language.
    Get the idea? Now take it from there.
    And go read some Roland Barthes. ;)
     
  5. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    I think I kinda get what you mean...

    My only concern is it says how do YOU use photography to communicate... Its not really an essay on why PEOPLE use photography to communicate...

    .. Get what I mean? And I am not even sure if it is supposed to be an essay, or just a bit of writing telling them why I like photography and how I use it to communicate.

    But thanks. I will try that.
     
  6. Ghoste

    Ghoste TPF Noob!

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    The real question is if you can't figure out what Hertz said will you understand college?
     
  7. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    well Ghoste, I would think the whole point of TAFE would be to LEARN.

    If I had a problem, I would be able to ASK the teacher. I really don't think that comment was necessary
     
  8. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

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    I agree with ghoste. If you are having trouble even understanding the entry essay thats only 250 words then you might have trouble on the course. It could just be you need to sit and think more about it.
     
  9. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    or maybe i could just sit on my arse and collect welfare for the rest of my life
     
  10. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps you need to think less about it? I get myself really tangled up sometimes because my brain is going at 10,000mph and I have counter-thought my own arguments to the point of tying myself into a knot. Relax... deep breath... ok. Break the question down into manageable portions:

    (firstly, forget the word communicate and you get)

    Why do you take photographs?
    How do you take photographs?

    I take photographs because I am passionate about representing (insert reason here). I use a mixture of black and white and colour films (or whatever) to convey the vivid appearance / complicated textures etc.

    Some questions you might like to answer:

    Why do you take pictures?
    What do you take pictures of?
    What do the pictures you take mean, compared with their original scenario?
    How do you represent the subject of your photographs? (i.e. positively, negatively)
    How do people interpret your work?
    How do "experts" interpret your work?
    What do you learn from the previous two things?

    That's probably too much for only 250 words! Stick with the Why and How of your photography and give examples of your work.

    Good luck with your course.

    Rob
     
  11. alexecho

    alexecho TPF Noob!

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    That would be really helpful!

    Two hundred and fifty words aren't many. I don't think I could write anything in that few words!

    If your answer to the question is 'Beacuse it lets me be creative...' then what you need to say is something like. "It allows me to record and create imagry that I don't have the tallent to create by other means, such as drawing.

    There. You had six words, I have 22. To do any course you either need to have an endless desire to talk about your subject OR the english skills to string out what you do want to say.

    Using examples is an age old way of adding words.

    "For example: I can't paint a beautiful sunset, but when I see one I can find the best way to capture it, using the best position of myself and framing..."

    And there are another thirty words, 52 in total. And I've still not said anything you didn't say. You really need to work on your bluffing skills if you want to get through this.

    Good luck.
     
  12. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    thankyou thankyou thankyou the last two of you...

    That was helpful...

    alexcho... I am pretty good at rambling - thats how I got through school...

    In this case I am just concerned, I want to do it right, as this is a course I really want to do (I really didn't give a damn about school because I found it boring).


    thankyou again. I will try and see what I come up with...
     

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