SCHOLAR ISLAND

Photography  



"Photography is one of those  technical devices which has so dramatically altered our sense and upon which we have developed such a profound dependence that it is difficult, indeed impossible, for us to think about it with any degree of detachment."

Jose Arguelles

 

"The wish to capture evanescent reflections is not only impossible, but the mere desire alone, the will to do so, is blasphemy. God created man in His own image, and no man-made machine may fix the image of God."

(a journalist for a German newspaper, the Leipzig City Advertiser 1839)

 

"Photography  records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion that man has inherited. It is a major force in explaining man to man."

Edward Steichen )Time, April 7,1961)

 

"A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint, or a death mask."

-Susan Sontag, New York Review of Books, 23 June,1977

 

"The possession of a camera can inspire something akin to lust. And like all credible forms of lust, it cannot be satisfied: first, because the possibilities of photography are infinite; and second because the project is finally self-devouring. The attempts by photographers to bolster up a depleted sense of reality contribute to the depletion. Our oppressive sense of the transience of everything is more acute since cameras gave us the means to "fix" the fleeting moment. We consume images at an ever faster rate and as Balzac suspected cameras used up layers of the body, images consume reality. Cameras are the antidote and the disease, a means of appropriating reality and a means of making it obsolete."

Susan Sontag

 

"For half a century photography has been the :"art form" of the un-talented. Obviously some pictures are more satisfactory than others, but where is credit due? To the designer of the camera? To the finger on the button? To the law of averages?

Gore Vidal

The Second American Revolution & Other Essays

 

"It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary."

David Bailey

 

""The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

Dorthea Lange 

 

"In America, the photographer is not simply the person who records the past, but the one who invents it."

-Susan Sontag

On Photography

 

"Your Honor, we cannot accept this photograph in evidence. While it purports to show my client in a hotel bedroom with a woman not his wife, there is no way to prove the photograph is real. As we know, the craft of digital retouching has advanced to the point where a "photograph" can represent anything whatever. It could show my client in bed with Your Honor.

   To be sure, digital retouching is still a somewhat expensive process. A black-and-white photo like this, and the negative it's made from, might cost a few thousand dollars to concoct as fiction, but considering my client's social position and the financial stakes of this case, the cost of the technique is irrelevant here. If Your Honor prefers, the defense will state that this photograph is a fake, but that is not necessary. The photograph could be a fake; no one can prove it isn't; therefore it cannot be admitted in evidence.

   Photography has no place in this or any other courtroom. For that matter, neither does film, videotape, or audiotape, in case the plaintiff plans to introduce in evidence other media susceptible to digital retouching."

-Some lawyer, any day now

 

From Stewart Brand's The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT

 

 

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Book: "F. Holland Day: Suffering the ideal" Ed. by Robin Jacobson

Book: "History of Photography" by Josef Maria Eder

Book: "Icons of Photography: the 20th Century" ed by Peter Stepan

Book: "A New History Of Photography" Ed. by Michel Frizot

Book: "The Book Of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future" Text by Anne H. Hoy

Book: "Photos that Changed the World" ed by Peter Stepan

Book: "The Oxford Companion to the Photograph" ed by Robin Lenman

Book: "The Daguerreotype: Nineteenth-Century Technology and Modern Science" by M.S. Barger & W.B. White

Book: "Black and White Photography" by James Luciana

Book: "Anonymous: Enigmatic Images from Unknown Photographers" by Robert Flynn Johnson

Book: "American Photography"14" 

Book: "Truth Or consequences: A Personal History of American Photography from the Last Century" by Nick Waplington

Book: "Against the Odds: Women Pioneers in the first Hundred Years of Photography" by Martin W. Sandler

Book: "From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian Photography" by Victoria Olsen

Book: "River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West" by Rebecca Sonit

Book: "Photo Fakery: The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation" by Dino A. Brugioni

Book: "Diane Arbus Revelations" 

Book: "Faceless": The Most Famous Photographer in the World" by David Doublas Duncan

Book: "Photography and Beyond in Japan: Space, Time and Memory" by Robert Stearns

Book: "Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work" by Mark Edward Harris

Book: "Each Wild Idea: Writing, Photography, History" by Geoffrey Batchen

Book: "In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography" by Fred Ritchin

Book: "The Civil Contract of Photography" by Ariella Azoulay

2001

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