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Friday, 15 May 2009


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"In fact, it is rare indeed to see a photographic student carrying a camera"

I find this incomprehensible. I never went to college but from the time I purchased a Minolta Hi Matic 9 in 1969 I have seldom been without some camera on my person. It's usually loaded with Tri-X and that gets souped in Diafine. What could be simpler?

Coincidentally, I’m just reading Robert Adams “Beauty in Photography” where he makes a similar argument that familiar and accessible subjects of everyday life are underrepresented in photography. And the life of a student at a large university is one of the examples her gives

Not to be picky, just to give credit where due: I pointed to another related essay while Robin recommended "The Thing Itself". Thanks to Robin for providing that link - of all the books and articles pertaining to photography I've, extracting bits and pieces that help me slowly shape my own photography, nothing has been so smack dab apt, so necessary as this essay. It seems so familiar, I wonder if I've read it in this same form before, or only the chapter "The Subject" in OBAP.


I wish I had that sort of focus.

"I can't see the photo for all the subject matter" is the new version of "can't see the forest for the trees."

Thanks for the link to Bill Jay's web site. It's a treasure trove of wonderful reading.

I'm not sure I agree that college students are underrepresented as photographic subjects, but Jay's main point is well taken.

Bill Jay's text seems to me to be a summary of what David Hurn explains in the chapter "Selecting a Subject" in "On being a photographer".

And, to me, Andrea Land's statement does not add much to the image, but borders on being a truism.


I also feel what Bill says very true and as if I have read that some times before: this could be true in face, since we are roaming in a certain "phototope", that is TOP, Shutterfinger, Luminous Landscape. Some days ago I have browsed thru Mikes SMP articels on Photo.net, and indeed there is some kind of repetition - wich is a not a bad thing, it just is.

"attempting to imply or signify their inner life...": i don't understand why this is the case, honestly. I see that Andrea has got that focus Bill is talking about, but these are girls in their rooms, or thinking of Gary Winogrand, these photos are new things, not the girls themselves. Well, but I don't see some inner life of these girls nor that "...various layers of nformation relating to the artist, the subject, and a mutual exchange between the two." Sorry, but I only see interesting, perfectly composed and lighted photographs, a bit creepy and disturbing btw, for me at least. Not saying I could do that so easily, I am still searching for that kind of focus, but the subtext is just what one would expect, filler. I could have invented some similar sophisticated explanation after the fact for my first exhibition (which you can see at my site), but I don't like such things. I could state that I have tried to get in touch with the ambivalence between hard work and privacy of the people and so on. Considering that being at the restaurant, with or without familiy, with customers and friends, with employees, makes 95% of these peoples time, my pictures are close to the essence of their lifes. But honestly I just tried to get some environmental portraits in the limited time frame I was granted, and that's it.

"But honestly I just tried to get some environmental portraits in the limited time frame I was granted, and that's it."

Can't be an artist if you don't have a rap. [g]


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