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alexjones
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« on: May 17, 2007, 05:26:31 PM »
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Now you have decided to close the thread.  Your forum and your choice.  Censorship was the cry of the side supporting you.  Ironic.

a

Enjoy the gallery opening and the photo.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 05:27:33 PM by alexjones » Logged
michael
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 05:32:45 PM »
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Censorship?  Puleeeze! If I wanted to censor anything I would have deleted the thread and banned anyone that disagreed with me. Get a grip.

I simply closed that thread, as I do from time to time, become it was becoming too long and too tedious.

Anyone is free to create a new thread on this topic whenever they wish, within the rules of the forum, which are simply – keep it civil and keep it about photography.

Fire away if you must, though I really have nothing more to add on the subject myself. I've said my piece.

Thank you for the good wishes. I'm looking forward to it.

Michael
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 06:28:22 PM by michael » Logged
Don Libby
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 05:53:33 PM »
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Thank -you!!!!!

And best of luck
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 07:57:08 PM »
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Since very little of that over-sized thread was actually about photography, I'm glad it has been closed. That leaves some room on the server for photographic topics.
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free1000
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 01:20:58 AM »
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Quote
Since very little of that over-sized thread was actually about photography, I'm glad it has been closed. That leaves some room on the server for photographic topics.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
On the contrary. I haven't seen another thread on this forum which had greater potential to open up real debate about how photographs 'work'. It's hard to believe that we have had 150 years of critical study of the photograph and that the notion remains so prevalent that a photograph is a transcription of objective reality. This is colloquially known as the 'Photography is a window on the world theory' and was pretty much dismissed by the debate around pictorialism (P.H.Emerson etc) in the 19th century. Some of the comments on the thread are extremely naive in terms of 'photography theory' and illustrate that while people on this forum may spend months worrying about the size of a pixel or whether to buy brandX or brandY, they scarcely give a thought to how photographs communicate or create meanings.

The most important aspect of this, brought up by this thread, is the relationship between words and images... this has been a matter of debate since at least the 1960's with the following paper stimulating much insight and being widely anthologised in first year textbooks about photography.

Barthes, Roland, "Rhétorique de l´image", in Communications,  4, 1964, pp. 40-51.  
 
The key concept in this essay is that words anchor ambiguous readings of photographs in particular meanings. Consider the different  effects of possible titles for a picture of a girl such as "Child Labourer - Amazon" or "Young Mother"  

An English translation of this important essay is in Image-Music-Text.

[a href=\"http://www.amazon.com/Image-Music-Text-Roland-Barthes/dp/0374521360]http://www.amazon.com/Image-Music-Text-Rol...s/dp/0374521360[/url]
 
The relationship between image and text is a rich enough area to deserve entire books to be written about it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spoken-Image-Photo...e/dp/186189032X

And if anyone is lucky enough to not have read the following book already, and is so inclined, and open minded enough, there is a real treat in store for them (I can't find my copy to check but I think the Barthes paper, or another key one by Barthes, may be anthologised in it)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thinking-Photograp...r/dp/0333271955

Victor Burgin's own essays in that volume are worth the modest cover price. In any case these books are probably easy to obtain from public libraries.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 01:22:47 AM by free1000 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2007, 08:27:50 AM »
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Since very little of that over-sized thread was actually about photography, I'm glad it has been closed. That leaves some room on the server for photographic topics.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118290\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Agreed, much to do about nothing. Its amazing the time and energy spent on what I think was a bandwidth sucker for the site. I'm sure there are other forums where people can droll over this for days and days, getting nowhere, not feeling better about anything.

Hardly censorship, more like a call to move on.

And now for something completely different....
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2007, 07:41:54 PM »
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Agreed, much to do about nothing. Its amazing the time and energy spent on what I think was a bandwidth sucker for the site.

And now for something completely different....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118371\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



All I can really say is you  guys on that expedition appear to be a lot thicker skinned than me.

I've worked and briefly lived in the interior of Brazil and found nothing but kindness and goodwill from the richest to the poorest.

They shared their food, time and hospitality and I could never have walked away from that experience with a  thought of writing a word unless it somehow added a positive statement to these people.

Some of the people I met were monitarily poor, but they were happy and had a great deal of self worth and respect.  I would do nothing to  take away from that.

I do not know the particulars of  your  Amazonia trip but when I worked in Brazil every subject I pointed a camera at was somehow compensated and legally released and if they weren't then it was an oversight and given that they were not used for any commercial intent.

When I see that picture of the pretty woman on this website, she is always surrounded by banner ads to sell dvds and downloads so I think many people could draw a conclusion her image is being used for commercial purposes.

Maybe she was comensated or maybe she declined payment, I'm not privledged to that information but I am sure just a tiny percetage from the dvd sales she probably has helped generate would go a long way to making her life better.

IMO

JR
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 09:20:35 PM »
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I do not know the particulars of  your  Amazonia trip but when I worked in Brazil every subject I pointed a camera at was somehow compensated and legally released and if they weren't then it was an oversight and given that they were not used for any commercial intent.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118456\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's an interesting issue, James, but the mechanism for compensation and legal release is not clear to me in these circumstances. Do you mean you paid each subject a sum of money and got them to sign a legal document agreeing to a possible commercial use of the shot?

Those who have been trekking in Nepal will no doubt have experienced the reluctance of many of the local, poverty stricken inhabitants to have their photo taken without a small payment. The way my guide put it was; these people see hundreds of wealthy tourists passing by each year, taking snapshots of them, and they feel that some of these photos might have a commercial value to the 'already wealthy' tourist and yet they don't get a part of it.

I can empathise with them, which is why before setting off I made a special point of requesting from the bank a few hundred, brand new 10 rupee notes, nicely bundled in quantities of a hundred, which I kept in my photographers' vest for easy access.

In the parts I was travelling, 10 rupees buys 1/2Kg of rice. 10 Rupees is approximately 15 US cents. I also carried a pocket-full of ball-point pens to give to the kids.

Now this is perhaps a contentious issue. As soon as a few tourists like me start freely distributing 10 rupee notes, then everyone expects it. Perhaps I'm encouraging a culture of greed amongst the poverty stricken, or perhaps a culture of hand-out expectation which might work against their striving to be fully self-supporting.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 09:22:25 PM by Ray » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 09:55:26 PM »
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On the contrary. I haven't seen another thread on this forum which had greater potential to open up real debate about how photographs 'work'. It's hard to believe that we have had 150 years of critical study of the photograph and that the notion remains so prevalent that a photograph is a transcription of objective reality. This is colloquially known as the 'Photography is a window on the world theory' and was pretty much dismissed by the debate around pictorialism (P.H.Emerson etc) in the 19th century. Some of the comments on the thread are extremely naive in terms of 'photography theory' and illustrate that while people on this forum may spend months worrying about the size of a pixel or whether to buy brandX or brandY, they scarcely give a thought to how photographs communicate or create meanings.

The most important aspect of this, brought up by this thread, is the relationship between words and images... this has been a matter of debate since at least the 1960's with the following paper stimulating much insight and being widely anthologised in first year textbooks about photography.

Barthes, Roland, "Rhétorique de l´image", in Communications,  4, 1964, pp. 40-51. 
 
The key concept in this essay is that words anchor ambiguous readings of photographs in particular meanings. Consider the different  effects of possible titles for a picture of a girl such as "Child Labourer - Amazon" or "Young Mother" 

An English translation of this important essay is in Image-Music-Text.

http://www.amazon.com/Image-Music-Text-Rol...s/dp/0374521360
 
The relationship between image and text is a rich enough area to deserve entire books to be written about it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spoken-Image-Photo...e/dp/186189032X

And if anyone is lucky enough to not have read the following book already, and is so inclined, and open minded enough, there is a real treat in store for them (I can't find my copy to check but I think the Barthes paper, or another key one by Barthes, may be anthologised in it)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thinking-Photograp...r/dp/0333271955

Victor Burgin's own essays in that volume are worth the modest cover price. In any case these books are probably easy to obtain from public libraries.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118334\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You have some very valid points here. I haven't read the specific works you refer to, but I agree in principle that words have a visual impact. I think it is generally accepted that our imagination and memory is biased towards the visual, whether it's words or pictures. Sounds and smells tend to take second place, though they seem to have a more direct impact that probably bypasses 'political correctness', because political correctness is also a visual thing.

If you enter a toilet that stinks, or come across a rotting carcass of a dead animal by the roadside, or some rotten food that stinks, you don't react, 'How politically incorrect!" You simply know it's something to be avoided.

Conversely, if you smell the fragrance of a beautiful perfume on a women, you don't think, 'How politically correct!", do you?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 10:04:18 PM by Ray » Logged
theophilus
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2007, 10:25:03 PM »
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Ray,
I've been trekking in Nepal as well, but before I was really into photography.  It was actually the trip that really got me interested in taking some good photographs.

I had a film point and shoot with me in 2001.  I paid a few rupees to some people for shots as well, but mostly in the city.  I found in the country if we stopped and chatted and developed a bit of a friendship with people they were more than happy to let me take a shot.  

What was really great there was a member of our party had a mini polaroid that put out 1 inch square shots.  The people loved it, it would gather a crowd 3-4 deep in a village.  I think if I were to go back I'd want to take one of those really small printers that just do 4x6's and will print off the camera (Hey, I think I just found a use for the print button on the 5D!).  I think it would be cool to come out the next morning after staying overnight in a village and pass out photos to people.  It would be low in weight and it's dumb not to use porters there anyway.

I love Nepal and the Nepalese people, I need to go back.
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Ray
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2007, 10:29:30 PM »
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On the issue of pornography, that has been raised in relation to the Lolita photo, I would say that most of the pornographic images that I've come across seem to be depicting females that do not seem to be enjoying what they are doing.

They are certainly no turn-on for me, and I think that is probably the reason.

Prostitution, by definition, is a state of being forced (by circumstances or whatever or whomever) to do something very disagreeable for the sole purpose of earning money.
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Ray
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2007, 10:49:48 PM »
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What was really great there was a member of our party had a mini polaroid that put out 1 inch square shots.  The people loved it, it would gather a crowd 3-4 deep in a village.  I think if I were to go back I'd want to take one of those really small printers that just do 4x6's and will print off the camera (Hey, I think I just found a use for the print button on the 5D!).  I think it would be cool to come out the next morning after staying overnight in a village and pass out photos to people.  It would be low in weight and it's dumb not to use porters there anyway.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118474\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Theophilus,
That's a good idea. I hope I haven't given the impression that every person I pointed my camera at held out his/her hand. The kids, genrally, were overjoyed to see their image on the LCD screen of my 5D. That was often reward enough.

As regards requests for hand-outs, Kathmandu was the worst. I found it was almost impossible to walk down the street without some Nepalese, fairly fluent in English, tagging along, pretending to be a university student and eventually requesting that I buy at least a tin of powdered milk to help this/her starving family.

I usually obliged until one European lady told me this was just a scam. They would return the tin of powdered milk to the store and get a refund.
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George Fulton
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2007, 12:22:32 AM »
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They shared their food, time and hospitality and I could never have walked away from that experience with a  thought of writing a word unless it somehow added a positive statement to these people.

I have never posted here before. But I feel compelled to post on this topic.

I agree with James and like James I will use my full name. I am not a fan of anonymity and the 'cover' it seemingly bestows upon others to inflame and criticize without impunity. I will have to hold myself accountable for my comments.

This is NOT a moral issue per se, as has been inferenced by the phrase 'moral police' - a sophmoric argument at best.

This IS a simple issue of dignity and taste, relating to the act of a photographer traveling to another country, particularly one which is reasonably financially impoverished, whereby subjecting the innocence of a unsuspecting young child to an ill-begotten and condemning title that is an OBVIOUS reference to young children beseeching sex.

It is abhorrant in terms of principle, less than an issue of morality itself. And this is so very obvious.

It begs the question; if the author and his family were financially impoverished, and his family perhaps primatively clothed, would he appreciate a traveler from another wealthy land taking photos of his family for the purposes of craft and commerce, only to later find out that the pictures of his dear young daughter were publicly displayed only to bear the title "Seductress" or an even worse equivalent?

If the author did that to my ten year old daughter they would be hearing from me I assure you, and perhaps from my attorney as well; questionable "art" or not. Simple as that.

This is a no-brainer. It has less to do with morality, or with provocative exploration or with creating art, and certainly has NOTHING to do with censorship on the part of those who wish to see the title changed.

It also has little to do with political correctness. It has everything to do with a measure of dignity allowed to the unsuspecting and quite simply to good taste.

Well-to-do - by their measure - visitor to their country taking photo of native girl to publish on a public site and calling her "Lolita" is hardly defensible.

A simple early retraction of the title of this photograph with an explanation that no harm was meant, and that the full understanding of the term was not truly understood with an honest final apology is what would have saved a tremendous amount of bandwith from the banality of this discussion. There is less harm in unmeaning errors in judgment. They happen to us all. The real harm comes from not owning them.

This would have quickly illustrated an empathy and understanding of the sensitivity that this child and her family deserves, especially since the photo was directly used in the context of a publicly viewable forum involving commerce on some level.

I have also read now that the child has been referred to as "pregnant"? Do we know this for certain? Are we sure that she does not possess a pronounced abdomen common to the symptoms of hunger or starvation? I don't know the answers to those final questions as I was not there.

But for those that have chosen to defend the titling of a young unsuspecting native Amazon girl, a family's daughter as "Lolita", I think there are major deficiencies in dignity that you have overlooked, which have nothing to do with politically correctness or the "morality police".

I will reserve any judgement of the photograph in terms of its quality or effectiveness.

George Fulton
« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 01:21:44 AM by George Fulton » Logged
josayeruk
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2007, 03:35:30 AM »
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I couldn't have said it better myself George and James

All very well stated.

MR's typically scathing and patronising comments to his opposition was centred around ignorance to the term Lolita with its seedier references.

However, as I pointed out earlier, the same Wikipedia page which was used in his justification clearly states all the uses in popular culture.  Even the second line on the Wikipedia entry goes into this.

Then the thread gets closed.  I wonder why.

Quote
A simple early retraction of the title of this photograph with an explanation that no harm was meant, and that the full understanding of the term was not truly understood with an honest final apology is what would have saved a tremendous amount of bandwith from the banality of this discussion. There is less harm in unmeaning errors in judgment. They happen to us all. The real harm comes from not owning them.

George Fulton
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118489\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't see why this has been such an impossibility.

Jo S. x
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josayeruk
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2007, 03:38:17 AM »
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What was really great there was a member of our party had a mini polaroid that put out 1 inch square shots.  The people loved it, it would gather a crowd 3-4 deep in a village.  I think if I were to go back I'd want to take one of those really small printers that just do 4x6's and will print off the camera (Hey, I think I just found a use for the print button on the 5D!).  I think it would be cool to come out the next morning after staying overnight in a village and pass out photos to people.  It would be low in weight and it's dumb not to use porters there anyway.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118474\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What an absolutely fantastic idea.  
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2007, 04:05:40 AM »
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This IS a simple issue of dignity and taste, relating to the act of a photographer traveling to another country, particularly one which is reasonably financially impoverished, whereby subjecting the innocence of a unsuspecting young child to an ill-begotten and condemning title that is an OBVIOUS reference to young children beseeching sex.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118489\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I find your statement obnoxious and offensive. Why have you assumed the intended meaning to be the worst possible underground connotation with which ordinary folks have little or no experience?

As mentioned before, Lolita is still a girl's name in some parts of the world. How do you think they and their parents will feel about your seedy connotations?
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George Fulton
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2007, 11:24:23 AM »
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I find your statement obnoxious and offensive. Why have you assumed the intended meaning to be the worst possible underground connotation with which ordinary folks have little or no experience?

As mentioned before, Lolita is still a girl's name in some parts of the world. How do you think they and their parents will feel about your seedy connotations?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118501\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you suggesting that this was actually the girl's name?

Pure and simple, the term Lolita is not just a name. In its principle context today it is a term of defamation, assigned now to an innocent face in another less prosperous country.

It should simply be retracted.
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michael
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2007, 01:04:07 PM »
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At the risk of extending this...

Once more, for those that are requesting a retraction.

No. I will not retract the title. I will not give in to those with (in my opinion) distorted perceptions of the shooting situation and of my intentions in the use of the name Lolita as a title. I believe that you are dead wrong, and I refuse to pander to your particular prejudices and misconceptions.

I will also not bother to provide any elaborations or further explanations of situation or the circumstances of the shoot. I've said everything that needs to be said and feel perfectly comfortable with it.

You obviously believe that I am wrong, and so be it. But please stop trying to impose your particular morality on me. It simply isn't need. I have my own moral compass, thank you, and don't need anyone to lecture me on right and wrong – as you see it. Obviously I see things differently.

No more lectures – please.

Michael
« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 01:11:48 PM by michael » Logged
alexjones
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2007, 01:44:32 PM »
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With all due respect, it is a matter of a title and a child.  The situation of the shoot does not matter at all.  You have labled someone with a derogatory term by accident.  It is a simple matter of making a mistake and needing to correct the wrong done to a child.  I have difficulty in understanding why something so simple can't be fixed.  The title given to her removes her honor and makes her bear the title of sexual plaything or whore.  You did not mean the offense but out of pride or arrogance continue to stick to it.  That is what many of us have a hard time understanding.

a
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francofit
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2007, 02:29:22 PM »
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... That is what many of us have a hard time understanding.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118571\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I and many others of us simply have a hard time understanding why you and some others persist in insisting for a change, while Michael has already and more than once in this forum (and in other sections of his site) clearly stated to be not necessary and clearly explained also why  (...and the majority of his readers is clearly with him)

Let's really move on ...

Cheers and Ciao
Franco Fittabile
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Franco
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