September 23, 2007

Composing the Photograph

For the photographer the photograph is a canvas that interprets what the mind thinks and does. Bresson calls the photograph his sketchpad, and uses this platform to construct the decisive moment.

Found items at a old store in Decatur, Ala. 2006

This decisive moment is created in primarily two forms. First, it serves as a document of an event or a period of history. Utilizing the tenants made known by composition, moment, light and spatial relationships. The second use is for a more abstract view of the world through a purpose driven hypothesis of how something looks or feels. This type of photograph poses questions. The questions are answered by the first type of photography. One will not function without the other and vice versa. We can call the first type of photography, photo journalism, and the second, photo idealism. Both rely heavily on one another but have different motives that keep them separated by a fine line.

Self Portrait at Gazette Ave., Lexington, Ky. 2005

I was lucky in college that line was the distance from the back of the Journalism building to the front of the Art Studio building. Those inside the Journalism building embraced the photo idealism but the idealists were busy learning the functions of their cameras and had no time for the photo journalists. Looking back I wish there would have been a more constructive dialogue between the two disciplines and would challenge anyone that is currently involved in this situation to bridge the gap between these two schools of thought so a better understanding of photography could be achieved.

Morning in Bardstown, Ky. 2007

1 comment:

Ed said...

I'm working on it.