Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Karim Ghantous, Oct 18, 2019.
and of course there's West Side Story and many more.
Well one problem I have with your statement is what you mean by "properly capture". Depending, there's no valid reason I can think of that both pics and paintings can "capture" the producer's interpretation of the characters transmitted by Shakespeare in text. I like what the visual brings but this story is so ubiquitous it doesn't matter so long as the essential polarities and tensions are retained in the presentation.
Therein lies a key.
I don’t consider the indexicality of a camera nearly as “seminal” as, say, the voice of a Moriyama who uses one. One can reduce a Moriyama photo to its supposed “subject,” perhaps a street and some cars. But to me “street” and “cars” are no more seminal to a Moriyama photo than “Haystack” is to a Monet painting or “dancer” is to a Degas. Because it’s not the idea of subject so much as the subject-as-rendered or -portrayed, and sometimes it’s not about the subject at all but about the photo epitomizing something well beyond the confines of subject, well beyond its simply pointing to this or that.
One can look at photos as a grouping of photons or paintings as splashes of paint and pigment. My imagination, though, allows me to see a water lily through those brushstrokes of paint. But, because I’m not in a forensic botany book, I don’t simply see “flower.” I see Monet’s flower, just as I see Moriyama’s street. When I look at art, as opposed to looking at, say, a courtroom rendering or botany book, I see something mediated by will, intent, style, symbolism, relationships, abstraction, etc., beyond whatever may be “indexed.” All those human and expressive elements are part of the “subjects” of the art painting and photograph I am looking at.
I do more than look. I see.
Indexicality has its problems (especially nowadays) but engaging a photograph's content isn't one of them. Juliet and the male gaze. Capulets and capitalists. Whatever. The photograph is a document -- read it. If you're gormless, tick off 10 Ways to Make Better[*] Photographs: rule of thirds, histogram, etc.
What I hope you understand eventually about indexicality is its (or maybe my) suggestion that the photographs broadly accepted as the most successful are the ones that attempt to subvert GBS's aphorism the least. It can be done, right? A little ("say cheese") or a lot (an elaborate movie set). Because of cinema's structure the movie R & J can succeed in a way photographs taken during its production cannot. That's not Juliet in the still. It's without doubt a teenage girl in costume, the thing itself, a simpler, flatter, more clearly visible version of Patience Wilkins born March 3, 2001: indexicality. The "best" photographs (broadly again), the ones that reproduce themselves in other photographs and vision-speak, exploit photography's terrible truthfulness. Look at this girl: ♀. Her love is thwarted. Unless you want a picture of a sad girl smiling don't tell her to say cheese.
Moriyama took the streets of Tokyo as he found them. His only entitlement the selection of a point of view.
Don't laugh at snapshots. See them.
It’s because I see Moriyama’s photos that I’m laughing at your mischaracterization of them and what went into making them.
Too bad I read How I Take Photographs and know you're full of vacuous fluff like usual.
??? Sad to see vacuous blather abandon you like this, Fred, but I suppose I should be glad we agree.
We don’t agree. The two photos I linked to were meant to show how much more went into Moriyama’s photography than entitling himself to a perspective. You denigrate only yourself by continuing to characterize my thoughts as blather. It shows a lack of confidence in your own points that you feel they can’t stand on their own substance and need the assist of juvenile rhetorical antics. Believe me, it won’t stop me from making the points I want to make.
yeah, well, they don't, and you've wasted another opportunity to explain why moriyama isn't what he claims to be.
fortunately look inside! has extended excerpts and google has reviews, not that anything will stop you from being clueless reply guy (precious edition), that much is true.
Separate names with a comma.