Writing on Photography
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The eyes of the emperor’s brother once looked straight into a camera, in this case ‘manned’ by a photographer whose duty it was to take pictures of the rich and powerful. Jerome’s eyes had been privileged enough to look into Napoleon’s eyes. The photograph as described by Roland Barthes allowed him to establish a relay between Jerome (in the 1850’s) and the modern readers of CAMERA LUCIDA This juxtaposition of time and space is at the root of Barthes’s meditation on photography in CAMERA LUCIDA. Barthes provides us with the social and cultural matrix at the heart of his activi ties as a viewer and as a cultural analyst.
I am working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media and have decided to take on theorizing the rise of faux-vintage photography (e.g., Hipstamatic, Instagram). From May 10-12, 2011, I posted a three part essay. This post combines all three together. Part I: Instagram and Hipstamatic Part II: Grasping for Authenticity Part III: Nostalgia for the Present a recent snowstorm in DC: taken with Instagram and reblogged by NPR on Tumblr
Essay: Rolf Potts Thailand, 2001 In the fall of 2001, while I was living in the south Thailand border town of Ranong, I had a brief love affair with an Australian woman named Eva.
There’s a photograph in my living room that I took three years ago in a Vietnamese diner in Vegas. It’s of a girl I used to see, but do not think about anymore. It’s in black and white, and she’s crowded to the right side of the frame, eyes fixed on the lens, lips hanging open a little. I remember the moment I took it. It was an hour before I left, a preamble to a goodbye.
Writing and photography – is a picture really worth a thousand words? | Sean O'Hagan | Art and design"For photographers, the ideal book of photographs would contain just pictures – no text at all" photographer Robert Adams once wrote. He went on to admit that he "once worked through more than a hundred drafts of a four-paragraph statement for a catalogue, all to find something that would just keep out of the way of the pictures". Finding words that keep out of the way of the pictures and yet shed light on the nature of photography is nonetheless something that Adams has excelled at, in two books of essays: Why People Photograph (from where that quotation is taken) and Beauty in Photography . Like Stephen Shore , he is a brilliant photographer who also happens to be a gifted and incisive writer.
Recently I spoke at a conference about the American conflict in Vietnam. This was the first time I had presented a paper at a conference and it was interesting to receive responses after the talk. Some people were really excited by what I had said, some people wanted to argue with me, some people wanted to quiz me, and one guy said this: “Do you think you are kind of ruining the photo by analysing it so much?
Equivalence: The Perennial Trend Minor White, PSA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 7, pp. 17-21, 1963 When we speak of trends, we concern ourselves with changes, with shifts in style from here to there and back again. Trends are peripheral, yet we can lose ourselves in too blind a concern for them.
The Photographs of Jean-Franois Bonhomme Jacques Derrida Publication Year: 2010 Athens, Still Remains is an extended commentary on a series of photographs of contemporary Athens by the French photographer Jean-Franois Bonhomme.