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  1. #1

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    Do photographs reflect the motives why they were taken?

    So, we're all photographers but we all motivated by many different things... lets say by both internal and external factors.

    So...

    Do photographs reflect the motives and reasons why they were taken?

    Do images fail when the internal and external factors collide?



    Martie
    Last edited by MARTIE; 11-12-2006 at 07:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    jstraw's Avatar
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    yes, almost always
    no, not necessarily

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A photograph always says something about the person who made it, but it may not be what the photographer intended. The photographer may succeed or fail at communicating his or her intention, but that is a separate question from whether the photograph succeeds or fails to say something interesting.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4

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    Usually

    Some times

  5. #5
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    From the sense I got from the recent Salgado thread it could be concluded that the man made compassionate images, but was motivated by a more venal purpose, i.e. making a good deal of money from them. So, if that's the case, then, no, I don't think the motive is implicit in the image. If his "internal and external factors" were in conflict, it isn't apparent in either the images or their acceptance as 'truthful' documents, and damn fine photographs. But, who cares? There have been many instances of very, very base men who made very, very great art...Richard Wagner comes to mind immediately. To the extent that the digital vs analog debate comes down, for many, to the notion that the image is everything and the process is irrelevant, so it can be argued that the artist's work transcends his all too human frailties.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  6. #6
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    1) Probably

    2) No..."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

  7. #7
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    I think I can only answer this from the perspective of images I have taken and how others have responded or may respond in future because only I know what the internal and external factors were. In this context my answers would be:

    Do photographs reflect the motives and reasons why they were taken?
    Sometimes but not always. In the majority of cases the viewer would not be aware of the internal factors driving why I took a particular photo. There will invariably be some internal factor in every image that a viewer will never appreciate.

    Do images fail when the internal and external factors collide?
    No. An image fails if it fails to communicate. It will communicate differently to different viewers so it will fail for some and succeed magnificently for others. In same cases it may "fail" for all but the photographer!

  8. #8
    jstraw's Avatar
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    I think images almost always reflect their context even when don't know what that context is. To reflect it is not necessarily to reveal it.

  9. #9
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    "Reflect the motives and reasons" - Yes, but "through a glass, darkly". The motives and reasons will have an effect on the image - but determining them from the result is rarely an easy task - even for the photographer producing the image.

    "Internal" and "External" factors collide? I don't see a "collision" here - not in the sense of one opposing the other to the point of destruction - and therefore "failure". Internal and external will MEET and the balance between the two will cause the image to come into being under the matting and within the frame - eventually. It MAY be that the energy in either is not sufficient to support "the making of an image", but that, to me, is not a "collision" situation.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARTIE View Post
    Do photographs reflect the motives and reasons why they were taken?

    Do images fail when the internal and external factors collide?



    Martie
    An image once it emerges into the world is entirely its own entity. It has no knowledge of the motives or reasons why it was born. It just is. From that point you have the ability to like it or not like it. It doesn't care.

    A photograph cannot fail. A photographer can fail, but not a photograph.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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