What Is a Photograph?

  • What is a photographer?
  • What is a Photograph?
  • Expect these answers to change over the three years.
  • Aim: Not to deconstruct a photographic image. Instead to look at what we are actually creating.
  • Physical manifestation of our practice
  • Physical qualities of photographic print in this age have defined our views
  • Photographs leave a trace of the world.
  • Bounded by the edges of a frame
  • Have to choose what is in and what is out of the photograph
  • Photographs are a 2d representation of the real world
  • If you can take one thing: photographs are fixed in time, they age
  • Steven Shaw: Photographs have their own place in the world.
  • Can be seen as Utilitarian: To use/ something very useful
  • Or it can be seen as a work of art
  • Photographs can have very different meaning depending on context
  • Cindy Sherman – Self portraits – adopts film style and takes up roles
  • Will ask us what we see in a photograph – when they do this start with the obvious then go into more depth
  • Starting with what you basically see: explaining what the image denotes.
  • Denotation + Connotation: What is in the image + what the image suggests
  • If there is a drawing of a heart: it denotes a heart … the connotation is love
  • You can adopt an aesthetic in photographs
  • When you frame the world, you take something out of the context it was experienced in.
  • You can crop people out to make someone alone, you can manipulate the depth of field to make someone the only person in focus
  • You create a visual statement
  • The photograph can and does give the illusion of deep space
  • Photographers can use the fact the photograph is 2d and the world is not to create ‘gags’ (pushing the leaning tower of Pisa)
  • Lee Friedlander-Does this a lot
  • ‘Photographers don’t compose images, they solve images’ they deconstruct them
  • Monocular mean single – one lens instead of two (binoculars)
  • What is a photograph: Leaves a trace, bound by a frame, 2d, flattens the world
  • You respond to what is there, you are not thinking of things like juxta – pose: you create those links afterwards. The image just made sense to capture at the time.
  • Photography stops things. It is still.
  • Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Steven Shaw, Larry Fink
  • Photography can stop and suspend moments in time that cannot be held and dissolve as quickly as they existed
  • Edward Weston, William Eggleston
  • ‘You should use you camera like you are shooting a shotgun.’ William Eggleston
  • Dye transfer printing
  • Curve of film exposure – two moments to have the perfect exposure – normal exposure + very long exposure (overnight perhaps) No idea why
  • Robert Adams
  • ‘Tilt and Shift’ – make parallels completely straight instead of separating
  • Can frame photographs to deliberately create a tension.
  • When you explain the denotation and connotation of an image, contextualise your connotations – why does it make you feel this way?
  • Sally Manns
  • Mental modelling: Proactive photographers pre visualise
  • Eugene Atatj
  • Andreas Gursky
  • The things you do, the things you make, the way you can manipulate the world – look at all of these things.
  • Three people in a photo – photographer, subject and viewer – you can begin to mess with your dialogue between the three people.
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