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Author Topic: Aesthetics in Photojournalism  (Read 8218 times)
Isaac
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« on: May 22, 2013, 12:53:17 PM »
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[22 May 2013] World Press Photo controversy: Objectivity, manipulation and the search for truth

[20 Dec 2011] Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 01:02:19 PM by Isaac » Logged
Gulag
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 03:02:30 PM »
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"I’m wondering if even street photography can be trusted to tell us anything beyond what is in the photographer’s own heart at the moment—I wonder if it is in fact the most deceptive of all genres, for the very reason that it posits a certain objectivity, not rehearsed and posed but candid and full of accidents, an imprint of a reality that is out there for anyone and everyone to witness together. I wonder if, regardless of the literal elements of the scene, the tone an image takes on and expresses is due to the photographer’s own moods, his own prejudices, enthusiasms, “abortive sorrows and short-winded elations.” And then I wonder if this is in fact any less reliable than the notion that the images can say something objectively true about their over-arching subject (for instance, America) when that subject is itself so complex, many-sided, and open to a seemingly endless range of interpretations."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larissa-archer/garry-winogrand-sfmoma_b_2994372.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
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"The difference which you can make between fine arts and commercial or little art is today corresponded by the difference between the art that obeys and the art that does not obey. Great art does not obey. All others are arts that are of low quality, even pitiful. " - Paul Virilio
RSL
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 04:12:39 PM »
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"I’m wondering if even street photography can be trusted to tell us anything beyond what is in the photographer’s own heart at the moment—I wonder if it is in fact the most deceptive of all genres, for the very reason that it posits a certain objectivity, not rehearsed and posed but candid and full of accidents, an imprint of a reality that is out there for anyone and everyone to witness together.

Good street photography doesn't make a statement, it poses a question. Whatever "reality" is there is a footnote.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 12:04:24 AM »
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Photography is subjective. That is it fundamental nature. How can something subjective be objective? All we can hope for is the photographer is honest.

As far as the "look," well, that is what people want. We live in a consumer society were sensationalism sells and where Reality is shunned. Folks want entertainment. They want stimulation. In a world were a concept like "truthiness" is even accepted as a justification, this is what you get. Who wants journalism when you can have pornography?

Or is that too harsh?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 12:06:31 AM by theguywitha645d » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 07:31:20 AM »
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Photography is subjective. That is it fundamental nature. How can something subjective be objective?

I don't think you can go to such an extreme to say that photography is purely subjective.

Seems contradictory, I guess one of them is rhetorical and not intended to be taken literally - but the comments taken together are somewhat confusing.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 11:11:58 AM »
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I am not sure this is an easy topic to hammer out on a forum. I think subjectivity can be a sliding scale. As soon as I lift the camera and start making a photography, I am making choices--that is subjective. Even if I try for objectivity, that is only my opinion of what an "objective" photograph is--do I just try to "copy" the world or am I framing it somehow (both are actually the same). But what else can I add to a photograph? What about the "look"--high-contrast, very saturated, adding grain for effect, etc. Those are trying to add "feeling" or "emotion" into a photograph. That start to try to lead the viewer into a conclusion. That, I think, is further down the subjective road.
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 02:50:43 AM »
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"In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects. Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. Those occasions when the taking of photographs is relatively undiscriminating, promiscuous, or self-effacing do not lessen the didacticism of the whole enterprise. This very passivity — and ubiquity — of the photographic record is photography’s “message,” its aggression. … There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera."  Susan Sonntag, "On Photography"
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 01:06:26 PM »
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"In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects. Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. Those occasions when the taking of photographs is relatively undiscriminating, promiscuous, or self-effacing do not lessen the didacticism of the whole enterprise. This very passivity — and ubiquity — of the photographic record is photography’s “message,” its aggression. … There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera."  Susan Sonntag, "On Photography"



But she was a writer, not a photographer, and her best connection with the game seems to have been Annie L.

Unfortunately, photography is as easy a target for 'artsy' writers as is theatre or anything else. I don't rate non-photographer insights into photography very highly; in this case, I believe intellectuals are inclined to be too, well, intellectual about it all. It's really such a simple, basic act, photography. It's pretty much just a fairly rapid reflex action of your mind.

How she mamags to put both passivity and aggression into the same sentence in this contex amazes me. It's the licence that writers of a certain notoriety can assume for themselves safe in the belief that no-one will dare question their words for fear of ridicule. Or, more likely, lack of a pre-Internet platform.

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 10:40:46 AM »
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It's really such a simple, basic act, photography. It's pretty much just a fairly rapid reflex action of your mind.

How do you reconcile that with your notion of photographic creativity?


The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo. That's why I can't accept the simple act of picking a pleasing viewpoint or moment in time as being the defining qualities of creativity; it takes more than that: the photographer has to have made the difference.
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 05:33:27 AM »
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How do you reconcile that with your notion of photographic creativity?




Where do you discern conflict?

If you trawl through my first gallery in the web site, all of the shots were produced by seeing the best moment that existed - or I was quick enough to catch/anticipate within the context of location.

It's simple: you have the girl, you have whatever location you hoped would suit the theme, and then you just do it. The technique, for me, was based on my earlier years/experiences doing fashion: you discover a basic shape and run a set of variations within the setting and when you think you have it covered, you move on to something fresh and run through whatever that sparks off in both your minds - hers and yours, that is. It's why a good model is a prerequisite, and trust me, a lot of clients don't get that, try to cut corners and then you, as photographer, carry the blame for the inevitable disaster. It's a situation into which you walk with eyes wide open; the choice is stark: take the money and run, knowing it is going to end the relationship (most likely outcome) or stand on your pride and refuse, in which case you lose both the money and the client.

The creativity is in the interplay between the two minds. Both minds have to be able to do it, and gel. That's why some good models and photographers always work together beautifully where other mixes of equally talented people never will.

Rob C
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 10:03:14 AM »
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Good street photography doesn't make a statement, it poses a question. Whatever "reality" is there is a footnote.

I would love to see the ancient gold tablets that contain God's laws of street photography. Are those enshrined somewhere where the general public can see them? Smiley
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
Architecture and Landscape Photography
WWW.GITTINGSPHOTO.COM

LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)
Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 02:19:30 AM »
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I would love to see the ancient gold tablets that contain God's laws of street photography. Are those enshrined somewhere where the general public can see them? Smiley



They were expensive designer copies, stolen centuries ago. The real deal were chiselled in stone.

Rob C
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 03:36:24 PM »
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I sometimes like to add some art to my street and doc shots.

http://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/691523-hakenkreuz-in-a-dress-an-american-nazi-in-her-bedroom

Although the Nazi was done for annonymity and the art followed. (It is not staged BTW)


http://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/691522-makes-me-grateful-for-my-bed

My rule is whatever I  do it should not have a material change to the photos doc nature.


http://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/721151-the-lost-princess

Sure, inject some art into doc work. If your not paid, you only have to please yourself anyway.


http://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/693488-pole-dancer-ross-county-ohio

Nowadays people think everything is staged or shopped. Well I may HDR a shot, but i don't stage them as I was accused of with the pole dancer. The only staging done here was to ask her to hold still for a shot as I walked by.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 03:42:46 PM by iluvmycam » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 11:06:05 AM »
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http://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/693488-pole-dancer-ross-county-ohio

Nowadays people think everything is staged or shopped. Well I may HDR a shot, but i don't stage them as I was accused of with the pole dancer. The only staging done here was to ask her to hold still for a shot as I walked by.




Mama mia, that's one cruel photograph.

It makes ARAT worth the trouble.

Rob C
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