Paul Strand: Blind Woman

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by lewis-richards, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. lewis-richards

    lewis-richards Member

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    I am to create an essay for my uni assignment called historical and contextual referencing and the module of it is timeshift. I was wondering if anybody could help me in gettin any information on a photograph by Paul Strand called "Blind Woman, New York"

    thanks
     

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  2. lewis-richards

    lewis-richards Member

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    oh yeah by the way sorry that the thread was name Nadar. Meant to name is Strand
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Would suggest looking at the DVD Strand: under the darkcloth. In it, he mentions using a camera with real lens on side so that he could surreptitiously do street photography without the actual subjects being aware.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've changed the title. :smile:
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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  6. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I have read some discussions of this photograph that reference the irony of its creation. Supposedly Strand used a modified Graflex SLR at this time with a fake lens pasted at right angles to the real lens. This allowed him to photograph subjects who believed he was photographing something else. The irony here is that it appears the blind woman is glancing to the right. We have no real way of knowing if this is true. But if this is indeed the case, there is something nicely ironic about a photographer pretending not to see the person pretending not to see. No way now to track down the two actors in this, and all we are left with is the picture. Which is still pretty cool.
     
  7. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Mind you I do not see why a blind person's eyes have to be pointing in the direction of the nose.
    The voluntary eye muscles still work even if the ocular nerve is dead. If Strand waited until a compromising image came up and then shot, I wonder at his respect of the subject.
    And in today's ethical milieux, imagine sneaking such a shot and publishing.
    Times were different but it was still sneaky
    Regards
    Bill
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    it depends on when the ocular nerve went dead as to how much voluntary control someone has over their eyes. People born blind have no control and so their eyes roam all over the place - it can be a bit disconcerting to watch if you're not aware of what's going on.
     
  9. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Exactly. So our usual movie/TV conception that blind people look sraight ahead is quite false. And our assumptions of this photograph are likely to be just as false.
    Regards
    Bill
     
  10. lewis-richards

    lewis-richards Member

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    I have jsut got hold of myself that video on paul strand, watched it, and it actually mentions about the lens on the side of the camera, quite interesting.