Thursday, September 10, 2009

characteristics of a photograph

the thing itself
"he learned that the world itself is an artist of incomparable inventiveness, and that to recognize its best works and moments, to anticipate them, to clarify them and make them permanent, requires intelligence both acute and supple."

the detail
"he could only record it as he found it... he could only isolate the fragment, document it, and by so doing claim for it some special significance."

the frame
"the photographer looked at the world as though it was a scroll painting, unrolled from hand to hand, exhibiting an infinite number of croppings - of compositions - as the frame moved onwards."

"all photographs are time exposures, of shorter or longer duration, and each describes a discrete parcel of time. the time is always the present... photography aludes to the past and the future only in so far as they exist in the present, the past through its surviving relics, the future through prophecy visible in the present."

vantage point
"and yet it is photography that has taught us to see from the unexpected vantage point, and shown us pictures that give the sense of the scene... an artist is a man who seeks new structures in which to order and simplify his sense of the reality of life."

our first assignment for photo imaging was to read john szarkowski's seminal "the photographer's eye" and respond by taking five pictures over five days. those were my five, along with some of szarkowski's quotes. he has such a poetic way of putting things everyone already knows about photography, but tends to overlook.

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