The Mechanics of Photography

After a debate with a good friend at the weekend, he forwarded me the following quotation, which after mentioning that taking photographs was the mechanical part of a digital workflow, I felt it fitting to include the details here …

“The fact that the camera is a machine does not imply that photography is entirely a mechanical process … it is still the human mind which selects the subject, decides the photographer’s approach to it, and guides the lens.” (Feininger, 1974: p49) Cited by Davidson (n.d.)

Davidson also goes on to mention that, ‘A photograph is a personal vision: the photographer’s choice of angle, shot size, framing, lens type, subject, motion, time exposure, all demonstrate that a photograph is a manipulated interpretation rather than a copy of reality.

A very interesting thesis article, a copy of which can be found in my sketchbook, and one that could open up much debate surrounding the extent to which photographs are manipulated.

Here there is mention of framing, time exposure and angle, all things that can be governed before the image leaves the camera.  I had never thought of it like that before and on reflection we do manipulate every scene that we see by standing where we want too and by making the view lighter or darker through time exposure, so in hindsight, we are already manipulating our images.

As we continue through this module, we will be looking at the ethics behind manipulation, and in this project ‘Workflow’ we introduce the fundamentals of this process as we tweak, crop and make subtle changes to our work through programmes such as Photoshop and Lightroom.  Interesting …

Source:

Reference:

Davidson, L.  (n.d.) Photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paints and drawings are (Sontag).  Media Studies Thesis.  Aberystwyth University.

Feininger, A.  (1974) Photographic Seeing.  London: Thames & Hudson.

Bibliography:

Davidson, L.  (n.d.) Photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paints and drawings are (Sontag).  Media Studies Thesis.  Aberystwyth University.

Sontag, S.  (n.d.) On Photography [Online Article].  Available at: <http://www.susansontag.com/SusanSontag/books/onPhotographyExerpt.shtml&gt; [Accessed January 21 2013].

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