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  1. #21

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    That's a strong western rationality.. I think the word nostalgia has been used to degrade experiences that are not objectively rational. If you think of things in that context, there can never really be a connection on a higher level than the five senses, your rationality won't let you. I'm guessing the higher level wouldn't even exist.

    My opinion is that certain objects not only speak to you, but you can have a shared conversation with them, from your experiences (almost like Barthes' studium and punctum idea, probably misspelt). And that's regardless of the photographer's intentions and reasons. And the idea of presences in this question is a more relevant "conversation" to you than the other photographs.

  2. #22
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Musila your reference to studium and punctum is very apt. "Presence" is one of those subjects that can be academized to any degree, and yet, at the end of the day, one of the most important things a viewer can say about an image is what can't be said... "I don't know why, but this image really... I can't describe it, it just, you know, I just feel it..."
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    No photographic image has a sense of presence, rather it has technical qualities that interrogate the sensitivities of the viewer. Long experience with photographic exhibitions incline me to think that the majority of viewers leave with the same preconceptions, preferences, and prejudices that they came in with. If a picture tweaks something in a viewer that viewer will say the picture has presence, is cool, waxes sublime, etc, etc. Some people see nothing, say nothing.

    As for the detachment of the photographic process from the soul of the photographer I think it is more a case of someone with such-and-such a psychological make up inevitably produces pictures with a such-and-such appearance. Tracing the connection between the two is both fascinating and rewarding and underlies much of the appreciation of art in general.
    Maris, do you have the same view about other artistic mediums?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #24
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    [QUOTE=Maris;1300818]
    No photographic image has a sense of presence, rather it has technical qualities that interrogate the sensitivities of the viewer.
    Bingo, that's how it works for me. Then I just make a decision...........I dislike it...or...I like it....or......I really like it.......or.......I just love it! Then, I move on.

    As for the detachment of the photographic process from the soul of the photographer I think it is more a case of someone with such-and-such a psychological make up inevitably produces pictures with a such-and-such appearance.
    I could never verbalize this myself, but I believe it to be true. I've a feeling that I'm going to be more closely psychoanalizing my own prints from now on.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Maris, do you have the same view about other artistic mediums?
    At the risk of a gross generalisation, yes; that's the art game in a nutshell.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  6. #26
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    Perhaps most of us have some desire to belong to an exclusive group, and to consider whatever group we join to be special. The further we are from hard science and craftsmanship, the more this is so. Creative people can be almost as far removed from mainstream humanity as anybody. They may well believe there is something special about an artist's soul that can be felt even by less favored people. On the other hand, others with little creativity may analyze art and its effect on people, and elicit the response it arouses in others through technique. Much is written to assist people in developing the craftmanshit that makes this possible.

    Consider photography. Perspective affects our response to a photograph. A photo viewed from much closer than the correct viewpoint gives a more clinical view of the subject. When viewed from much further than the correct viewpoint, it can suggest intimacy. National Geographic uses both techniques, one to emphasize the subject, and one to involve the viewer in the scene. Color is another important element in affecting the response of the viewer. So are the lightness of the photo, detail, and presentation. These elements can be analyzed and used. Some photographers instinctively use them with analyzation, and may attribute this to an artist's soul.

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