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  1. #51
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    but the sitter ( and friends/family ) not even recognizing him/herself ...
    maybe that is a bit drastic ...
    Yes, that's true.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #52
    Maris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    sometimes i take portraits of people ...
    the close friends, even the person who i took the portrait of says " who is that ?!'
    it doesn't look like or resemble them at all. it wasn't me, i just pushed the button ... it was the camera.
    it isn't hard to create a new reality with a camera, based of the shimmer of our own reality
    Were it not for photography nobody would know what they themselves look like. The nearest most people get is the image in the bathroom mirror. But, hey, that's left to right (more correctly mirror) reversed. A photographic portrait is not mirror reversed and looks somehow "wrong" to the sitter. I always make one portrait proof with the neg flipped in the enlarger to show the effect to my portrait subject.

    Now, portraits made as reflective camera-original material (direct positives, tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes) do exhibit the mirror-flip and seem to be most acceptable to those lucky enough to be thus portrayed.
    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.

  3. #53
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    I think of them as pod people which they will probably not understand either.
    I think you underestimate them greatly. Their interests and the challenges they face are different than ours were.

    My Grandmother didn't understand why people would spend more than a few seconds on the phone, my mom got it though.

    Similarly, Millennials get that the world has changed again and given your comment, it seems like you maybe missed that text. (That comment is tongue in cheek BTW.)

    Speaking of texts, I think it was about a year ago that I saw an interesting statistic about texting. The read rate on texts parents send to our kids is on the high side of 99%, the response rate was abysmal though, as I remember under 10%. The moral here is that if you want the kids to know something, send 'em a text, just don't expect a confirmation.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Were it not for photography nobody would know what they themselves look like. The nearest most people get is the image in the bathroom mirror. But, hey, that's left to right (more correctly mirror) reversed. A photographic portrait is not mirror reversed and looks somehow "wrong" to the sitter. I always make one portrait proof with the neg flipped in the enlarger to show the effect to my portrait subject.

    Now, portraits made as reflective camera-original material (direct positives, tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes) do exhibit the mirror-flip and seem to be most acceptable to those lucky enough to be thus portrayed.
    hi maris

    i think before photographic images people knew exactly what they looked like.
    there have always been shiny objects, mirrors, reflective surfaces, water, glass ..
    while i admire your train of thought, i don't think people didn't know what they looked like ...
    not even in "cave man" times

  5. #55
    Maris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi maris

    i think before photographic images people knew exactly what they looked like.
    there have always been shiny objects, mirrors, reflective surfaces, water, glass ..
    while i admire your train of thought, i don't think people didn't know what they looked like ...
    not even in "cave man" times
    Precisely the point! Shiny objects, mirrors, reflective surfaces, ... always show a mirror-reversed face. This is not the actual appearance of a face or how other people see the same face. The portrait experiment I do with the flipped negative delivers a reversed face which matches what the subject sees thousands of times in a mirror. They think it's what they look like but it's not. I've even had it told to me "You're the first photographer to capture me as I truly am." when I show a flipped portrait. The portrait sitter's friends nearly always pick the mirror portrait as false and the straight portrait as true.

    Before the invention of photography it was theoretically possible to use mirrors to see ones face as others see it. But using two mirrors and looking at a reflection of a reflection the left to right flip is cancelled. I've tried this and it is a somewhat disconcerting experience particularly when trying to shave or comb hair!
    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. #56
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Precisely the point! Shiny objects, mirrors, reflective surfaces, ... always show a mirror-reversed face. This is not the actual appearance of a face or how other people see the same face. The portrait experiment I do with the flipped negative delivers a reversed face which matches what the subject sees thousands of times in a mirror. They think it's what they look like but it's not. I've even had it told to me "You're the first photographer to capture me as I truly am." when I show a flipped portrait. The portrait sitter's friends nearly always pick the mirror portrait as false and the straight portrait as true.

    Before the invention of photography it was theoretically possible to use mirrors to see ones face as others see it. But using two mirrors and looking at a reflection of a reflection the left to right flip is cancelled. I've tried this and it is a somewhat disconcerting experience particularly when trying to shave or comb hair!
    I went to large-format camera workshop where we did a day of portraits, it happened to be the first time that I had looked through an 8 x 10 camera where the magnification was close to 1:1; the face was nearly filling the ground glass.

    The setup was such that there was no visual clue which way was up once you were under the dark cloth. My brain self-corrected the image that I was seeing, I saw the image in its normal upright position as if I was feeling without the camera.

    Of the group at the workshop about half of us had actually had the same experience at some point.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    color negatives or diapositives aren't true to life, black and white images even less
    Just like dinosaur bones don't tell the whole story, they do tell enough to know that there was a reality that looked different from the one we have now. Photographs help give shape to that reality, not in a complete manner, but a whole lot better than it would have been otherwise. Of course, photographs can and do lie, largely to the extent the photographer chooses to make them lie, but also through the context in which they are presented. So a photograph without context and supporting evidence is a lot weaker, from a representation of truth perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    with the ephemeral quality the materials we are all fooling ourselves with it all just like chalk on the sidewalk ?

    what do you do with the illusions you make, and do you even suggest that they might not be "real"
    Of course everything is ephemeral. It is only the time scale that differs, not the inevitability. Compared to human lifetimes, species have a life of maybe 1 to 4 million years, sometimes a lot less, even. That is still ephemeral! I happen to have a plant species named after me. It is a strange thing: to have this being named after oneself, it having been here for countless millennia, while I have graced the world with my presence for barely a blink of an eye. But I digress. In terms of our experience, archival photographs are pretty permanent, and as real as we choose them to be. Simply because we are even more ephemeral, and our memories ever so fleeting. Photographs are a memory crutch, if nothing else. And if they don't expand anyone else's chosen reality, then what can I do about it when I'm gone? Consider a thousand years from now: What will happen with all the images in the world, and who will look after them? Their context lost, they will become noise, like dinosaur bones withered into pebbles, then grains and finally dust, no longer recognizable for what they once were. And would the dinosaur care?

  8. #58
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    even straight forward documentary photography isn't really what's there. . . .
    And words are even further from reality than photographs. If a photograph is worth a thousand words, let's get real, shut up, and go photographing.

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Precisely the point! Shiny objects, mirrors, reflective surfaces, ... always show a mirror-reversed face. This is not the actual appearance of a face or how other people see the same face. The portrait experiment I do with the flipped negative delivers a reversed face which matches what the subject sees thousands of times in a mirror. They think it's what they look like but it's not. I've even had it told to me "You're the first photographer to capture me as I truly am." when I show a flipped portrait. The portrait sitter's friends nearly always pick the mirror portrait as false and the straight portrait as true.

    Before the invention of photography it was theoretically possible to use mirrors to see ones face as others see it. But using two mirrors and looking at a reflection of a reflection the left to right flip is cancelled. I've tried this and it is a somewhat disconcerting experience particularly when trying to shave or comb hair!
    ahh, thanks for that maris, i thought you were suggesting something different
    and i understand now. but .. in the 20th century for someone to
    not recognize a photograph of THEMSELVES or THEIR KIDS or THEIR FAMILY/FRIENDS
    because it wasn't flipped seems a bit strange ... i can understand
    that they think it looks like a "better picture/likeness" but to say "who is that?!"
    it is like people not realizing clark kent is superman because he is wearing glasses.

    maybe in the 1800s when the "flip" was invented but in modern times ...
    it seems that people all to often know exactly what they look like in reflections and photographs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    And words are even further from reality than photographs. If a photograph is worth a thousand words, let's get real, shut up, and go photographing.
    Last edited by jnanian; 06-09-2014 at 12:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #60
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    And words are even further from reality than photographs.
    I don't think so. I think photos can lead us astray faster.

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