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I love these photographs for their depictions of the visible world but also because they prove that it’s not necessary to go to the mountains or seashore to find beauty.
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So true. I think for me, the quality of light makes almost anything a worthy photographic subject.
Happy abstractions to you.
You raise an interesting subject when you refer to these images as abstractions. I haven’t thought of them that way since they capture a play of light that appeals to me on that very level. Abstraction I reserve for artwork whose substance stands completely apart from anything real.
Lots of room though for different interpretations so I’m curious to hear how you see it.
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I tend (correctly or not) to apply the term “abstract” (at least in photography) to images wherein the connection to “reality” is still at least somewhat apparent. Something about our (visual) reality has been “abstracted” by (pre- or post-capture) manipulation, framing, exposure (though this probably falls under manipulation) or composition. Whereas I tend to think of images where the connection to reality is more tenuous as ….well…something else….conceptual? expressionistic?
Sorry. My art history/theory is very rusty here so I’m sure that I’m misusing terminology here but I think it’s a fair point that these terms don’t apply in exactly the same way to photography as they do to painting, sculpture, etc.
August Rodin said, “It is the artist who is truthful and it is photography which lies, for in reality time does not stop.” (Noting of course his clear, 19th century distinction between “artist” and, by implication “photographer”. He actually in a way excludes the photographer from the equation entirely….”artist” vs “photographY”). I would argue that all artists are, in a way, liars, though they all seek a kind of truth through the process of their lying.
But, blahblahblahblahblah……I’ll stop now. I think I’m verging on ranting. And uneducated ranting at that. But something that has been much on my mind of late. (as in the last 5-10 years as well as the last 5-10 days…).
Thanks for once again getting the conceptual wheels spinning. I think there was a bit of gunk in there that needed a good greasing. ;-)
And let me stress that I do not agree with Rodin’s sentiment, in many ways. But, as I said, these things do not apply to photography in the same way as they do to other visual arts but yes, I do tend to think of photography as an art. I just can’t seem to decide if it’s with or without a Capital “A”.
And maybe I just want photography to be an art because I can barely do any kind justice to reality in even drawing stick-figure…..
I was using “abstract” in the way you described it in your first paragraph.
Haha! You said “paragraph”! Gods but I do go on….. (somebody needs to hide the soapbox from me….) ;-)
Rather than continue this thread within an ever-narrowing space, I’ll start all over :)
Thanks for joining the discussion Johnny. I like what you wrote about the abstractive nature of photography but where do you draw the line I wonder?
Documentary photography and photo journalism “abstract” reality through framing, composition, point of view, focal length, etc., etc., but conventional wisdom would never speak of them as abstract art forms. Put another way, is it possible to articulate a level of “manipulation,” interpretive treatment, or degree of connection to reality, that would place an image in the abstract category?
Or is it just a matter of choosing to appreciate a photograph more for its form, line, and color than its depiction of reality — which is where I think this conversation started between Steve and myself :)
Oh, I love the first photograph – the shadow – so ethereal but still recognizable. It hovers right there between the real and the unreal.
Thanks, Lynn. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
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Photography and art making as play.