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  1. #21
    NedL's Avatar
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    This discussion veered off into Plato's cave and whether our senses reflect reality. I thought it was going to go in a different direction.

    Perhaps the part that is not illusory, that matters, is that the photographer chose that moment and that place and that perspective to make the photograph. Presumably it meant something to him or her, and releasing the shutter was not a random unintentional accident. Maybe the meaning was subconscious or submerged or not recognized. I don't pretend that it will mean the same thing to the viewer, but it might trigger something, and I like to think even if it is not the same thing then it could be something meaningful in a similar or related way.

    That might seem like wishful thinking, but I don't think it is... if two people smell the same rose or view the same scene they will experience different emotions and memories, but they are related in the way I mean.

    That is the reality of the photograph itself being created, regardless of how "real" the subject is.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew B. View Post
    All, or most, photos are real images of what was. This illusion crap is just that... Sorry, that is my simple mind talking.
    hi drew

    they are a reflection of what was, maybe, but the reflection is just that, a reflection, not the actual thing.
    it is filtered through a lens which distorts, omits or enhances reality depending on the type of lens and field of view
    ( its not hard to depict a mob of 6 people with a certain perspective and lens ) the chemical rays of light ( thanks maris ) react with materials and then the reflection on the paper is converted to something else. i am somewhat color blind so my color pallet is
    not the same as someone else's ... black and white of a colorful scene alters reality again, not to mention
    contrast enhancement, burning, dodging, bleaching, toning &c ... maybe a photograph is based on reality of what might have been
    but it isn't any reality i have ever seen ...
    although a friend of mine's father has no color vision, he only sees in black and white, so maybe black and white images
    are closer to his reality ... but still they aren't real .
    .

  3. #23
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I beg to differ .

    Photographe are a depiction, not a reflection, of a number of things.
    Physical reality, temporal reality, photographer's perceptions, viewers' preconceptions, ambient light, etc.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #24
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    Right. Everything out there, and in there, is an illusion. That's the first thing I learned in art. In fact, there is no in there or out there. Nothing we perceive w/ our senses is really, truthfully correct or real, and nothing is really as we see it, hear it, smell it, etc. It's simply our own personal idea of what is "real" at that particular moment, and that changes depending on how our mind is at that instant in that particular situation. Nothing exists on it's own by itself. Everything is in relationship to everything else. It's all one, which is not to say it's all the same thing. Everything is in a state of inter being. When we have a consensus of agreement, then we call that real, and for practical purposes it is. But, it's not. It's not that it's really like it seems, or really not what it seems, it's just that it's not, not what it seems. Some Zen understanding is the only solution on this, and I don't mean reading about it in a book either. Most of what we call real or truth is merely cultural conditioning.

    If all colors are dependent on light, what color is something when there is no light? What is the sound of one hand clapping? It's this.....

    There is absolutely no possible way to truthfully know what anything anywhere is. Forget that stuff. That fact really, really bothers a lot of people and brings out anger, confrontation, conflict, etc.

    We form consensuses in order to communicate w/ others, but that doesn't mean what we are communicating is the "truth". It's an agreed upon truth. It's not empirical. Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth. Information, knowledge, wisdom....that's empirical. Truth is something set aside from that, and you can't get there from an empirical start.

    That's the easiest way to look at it, in a negatively expressed manner. Describing things as they are NOT is usually the best way to go. Reality is not dualistic, and the minute that way of thinking started (which works for a lot of stuff, but not for everything) things went downhill and in the wrong direction.

    http://www.101zenstories.com/

    Only God is Truth.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi drew

    they are a reflection of what was, maybe, but the reflection is just that, a reflection, not the actual thing.
    it is filtered through a lens which distorts, omits or enhances reality depending on the type of lens and field of view
    ( its not hard to depict a mob of 6 people with a certain perspective and lens ) the chemical rays of light ( thanks maris ) react with materials and then the reflection on the paper is converted to something else. i am somewhat color blind so my color pallet is
    not the same as someone else's ... black and white of a colorful scene alters reality again, not to mention
    contrast enhancement, burning, dodging, bleaching, toning &c ... maybe a photograph is based on reality of what might have been
    but it isn't any reality i have ever seen ...
    although a friend of mine's father has no color vision, he only sees in black and white, so maybe black and white images
    are closer to his reality ... but still they aren't real .
    .
    +1. Interesting thread. Interestingly, with photography's cousin, film, there is an entire field-of-study dedicated to the philosophical nature of the medium in regards to the study of perception and reality. Although, amoung the myriad of theories out there, the consensus is that the very nature of the photographic medium can never truly capture reality, but merely reproduce a 'familiarity' of it; that is, what our combined understanding of the world around us is. In the words of William Earle, "If the public sees it [eg: a rose] as red and I see it as grey, its real property is red and I am color-blind." (Revolt Against Realism in the Films)
    As photographers the camera allows us to intentionally manipulate these combined 'familiarities' to communicate subjectively: say if we anthropomorphize an object; 'a sad hammer,' a lonely house' and so on.
    "The real work was thinking, just thinking." - Charles Chaplin

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi drew

    they are a reflection of what was, maybe, but the reflection is just that, a reflection, not the actual thing.
    it is filtered through a lens which distorts, omits or enhances reality depending on the type of lens and field of view
    ( its not hard to depict a mob of 6 people with a certain perspective and lens ) the chemical rays of light ( thanks maris ) react with materials and then the reflection on the paper is converted to something else. i am somewhat color blind so my color pallet is
    not the same as someone else's ... black and white of a colorful scene alters reality again, not to mention
    contrast enhancement, burning, dodging, bleaching, toning &c ... maybe a photograph is based on reality of what might have been
    but it isn't any reality i have ever seen ...
    although a friend of mine's father has no color vision, he only sees in black and white, so maybe black and white images
    are closer to his reality ... but still they aren't real .
    .
    So there is no such thing as a photograph? So Lincoln wasn't actually standing next to US Grant surrounded by subordinates? Am I reading too deeply into what you are saying?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Only God is Truth.
    Now back to the topic of illusion ...

  8. #28

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    hi drew

    sure, the photograph/s showed him there, but it might not have been just like
    the photograph show it. and unless the calvin + hobbs' dad's explanation of color+b/w photography
    and the world before 1930s is true ...

  9. #29
    dasBlute's Avatar
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    "... still they aren't real" - jnanian
    "Nothing we perceive with our senses is really, truthfully correct or real" - momus

    Maybe you've noticed: language is insufficient to the cause.

    The world -and my experience of it- not real? That which is, is.
    How can it be otherwise?

    But like water through the fingers, it often exceeds our grasp.

    Yet, breathe awhile, and sit idly, maybe it'll sneak up on you!

  10. #30
    ambaker's Avatar
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    Sometimes a picture is just a picture

    - Freud (paraphrased)

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