Photography Today?

Discussion in 'Photography and Imaging' started by midcan5, May 3, 2012.

  1. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,795
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    Due to work and other responsibilities, I have not paid much attention to photography in say the past fifteen to twenty years. My generation grew up with Life and Look and Eugene Smith, Vietnam managed our consciousness for a while. Poverty and race in the South forced the world into another picture. So where are we today? Any Smiths still out there? As I look through my book collection and even personal photographs of the time, a certain grittiness appears. Store fronts and people of another time, often run down and missing Photoshop. Today I see colors I never see in life, scenes that appear a bit unreal, and just maybe that is the idea. I have to say without Adobe's products I would never have attempted to scan the hundreds of black and whites and color slides as dust and that darn agitation is such a pita. If only the chemical darkroom were this easy - but I still love the contrast of Tri x shot with a Leica. I put my 3F to sleep though.

    So who's out there doing social photography today? Names? Browsing Jonathan Green's 'American Photography,' the chapter 'The Americans: Politics and Alienation' brought back a conflict that seems to never end even as it changed.

    from book:

    'Port Gibson, Mississippi; in front of the Highschool September 1955'

    "Kids: What are you doing here? Are you from New York?
    Me: I'm just taking pictures.
    Kids: Why?
    Me: For myself - just to see.
    Kids: He must be a communist. He looks like one. Why don't you go to the other side of town and watch the ******* play?"

    Robert Frank, 'The Lines of my Hand,' 1972

    [​IMG]



    "Stare. It's the way to educate your eyes. Pry, Listen, Eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." Walker Evans
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,127
    Thanks Received:
    9,267
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,413
    I have quite a lot of personal "social photography" in my head.
    You don't want to see it.

    Familial poverty, childhood starvation, alcoholism, homelessness, sexual diseases, drug abuse.

    The shit that's in my head trumps photo imaging.
     
  3. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,127
    Thanks Received:
    9,267
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,413
    'Mr. H. 1972' ... educate your mind.

    $1.10/hour- helping support a single mother of seven. Male head of household at age 17. Widowed alcoholic parent, 3 younger siblings. 3 older siblings were either kicked out of home or left voluntarily.

    Picture it without pictures.

    Wretched poverty. Shit on the floor poor.

    Conservative Republicans through it all and to this day.

    Why? Because neither you nor anyone else can or will dictate the future of myself or my family.
    Only myself and my family. By and of ourselves. We have and always will suck it up and persevere through our own means.

    And don't you by God take pity on me or my family or offer your bullshit government handout free social welfare anything. Fuck off.

    That's how it went down in the 70's and ever since.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,127
    Thanks Received:
    9,267
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,413
    God I'm such a drama queen when I get drunk.

    Carry on...
     
  5. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,795
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    Pity doesn't do any good, you know that by now, nor does living in the past, I have brothers who could go with you there, there, being poor. Swapping poor stories seems empty to me. But that doesn't mean it has to be that way, to assume somehow your experience is good because it was bad makes no sense to the child in that place. Nor does it excuse the lack of opportunity of so many, nor justify throwing up your hands and saying this is the best we can do.

    Consider Jacob A. Riis's 'How the Other half lives' as an example of a picture worth a lot of words and just maybe a little better life for some.

    PS lay off the booze. :lol: or slow down I have several brothers in AA too.
     
  6. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,127
    Thanks Received:
    9,267
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,413
    I've been attending AAAAAAAAA for a while now...

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whYWliNmeg4]A-A-A-A-A-A.... - YouTube[/ame]

    :D
     
  7. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,795
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    I gotta say I find AA strange, it is probably me, but having a mentor (not sure that is what they call it?) just doesn't appeal to me, often when I am with a group of them I get this childish impulse that I would do the opposite. I guess I should be glad my grandfathers' genes skipped me. :lol: Compulsion of any kind is a fascinating phenomenon, and truly puzzling.
     
  8. code1211
    Offline

    code1211 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Thanks Received:
    845
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +845



    Photography was the main way that we recorded our culture in the 20th Century. In today's world, video is the means and the record of the culture pivots more on the reaction of the commentator than the sensibility of the photographer.

    The riveting photographs of my coming of age were these:

    1. Kent state girl wailing over the fallen body of a classmate.
    2. Hysterical Viet Namese child running and crying coated with napalm.
    3. Mohamed Ali standing over the fallen Sonny Liston.

    Like the raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima, none of these images carry the impact in a video format.

    We were a less cynical population then and did not question as much as we should have.

    As the media becomes more and more invasive, it becomes cooler and cooler as McLuhan would have said. When the entire country shares the same view point of the same incident at the same moment, there is a greater tendency to share the same conclusion.

    Today, the images are many and quality is low. The artistry is almost gone and the immediacy is what matters. The auto focus on the cell phone has replaced the F-Stop and the depth of field and understanding is waning.

    "Something's lost and something's gained..."
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  9. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,127
    Thanks Received:
    9,267
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,413
    I am a camera.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOTd1MzQdBg]The Buggles I Am A Camera - YouTube[/ame]
     
  10. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,795
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    Anyone here see Blow Up? Blow-Up (1966) - IMDb I did a paper on it in college, can remember what the heck I wrote about though? Recently converting film to digital I find things in pictures off to the side or in the distance I missed, even when the picture was printed. I found my grandfather smoking in the background of an old copy recently and found some nuns in these bird like headgear I had missed in a picture of my bratty brothers. My aunt was a nun, one of the truly good people, who died too young of cancer.

    Eugene Smith photo

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012

Share This Page