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  1. #11
    ajmiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée View Post
    Everybody always raves on the "usefulness" of studium & punctum, but they are utterly arbitrary categories, and are not specific in any way to photographs. The punctum is a strictly subjective criterion, not a feature of a photograph, and the studium is just the rest. You could apply that same analysis to a painting.
    Yes, but Barthes was discussing photography in CL so in this context it is specific to photographs.
    Also the 'punctum' is a feature of a photograph - that's exactly what he was saying - it's the feature that strikes him most. In the example he gives in chapter 19 it is the belt of the girl that arouses some kind of sympathy in him. Agree with you it's a 'subjective' element but isn't that what we all bring to a photograph, our own reasons for liking it or been affected by it?

    As to Tony's comment about CL been seen as 'old hat' - it was required reading at Uni for me a couple of years ago - as was Sontag, Burgin et al.
    regards,

    Tony

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Egan View Post
    Many years since I read it but my recollection was of meandering and sentimental writing which I found hard to stay connected with at times. Maybe it was better in the French.
    I've been avoiding it, but thanks to this thread I went to the library and got it out. It really is poorly written and organized. I have to say, I really started to lose interest when he started blurbling on about his discovery that he liked some photos and not others. Perhaps it's not a big deal, but I did notice that an error in a description of one of the photos, which makes me go all frowny-face. I think it is going to back unfinished.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajmiller View Post
    Agree with you it's a 'subjective' element but isn't that what we all bring to a photograph, our own reasons for liking it or been affected by it?

    As to Tony's comment about CL been seen as 'old hat' - it was required reading at Uni for me a couple of years ago - as was Sontag, Burgin et al.
    My specific program doesnt require it, but you cant get by without knowing Barthes.

    As for the subjectivity aspect of the photograph's reading, well...yes, you have to be subjective. I think that references back to Barthes' essay "Death of the Author," too. Just as Barthes argued for the reinterpretation of works as time progresses for the written word, so too it can be applied to the photograph. Every generation, and every iteration of critique will change based on the innumerable influences swirling around at the time of that specific reading/critique.

    I am a big fan of Barthes' work. He went from being a died in the wool structuralist/modernist thinker to being one of the scholars that ushered in post-modernism and the post-modern critical view of art.
    M. David Farrell, Jr.

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    ~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!

    ~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!

  4. #14
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSSPro View Post
    He went from being a died in the wool structuralist/modernist thinker to being one of the scholars that ushered in post-modernism and the post-modern critical view of art.
    And he finished his life as a died-in-the-wool structuralist, having been run over by a truck because he forgot to notice a stop sign...
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  5. #15
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    HEY!!! Some of the posts since lunch are germane to this conversation, and some are going down paths I do not want to go down.
    I do NOT want to become like the Sherman thread. We are talking about the book, not the validity, or anything else.
    IF you CHOOSE to participate in this thread keep it to the subject at hand and NOT a critique of the validity or editing or your opinion of the writing style/content of the book Camera Lucida.

    Was Barthes really run over by a truck?

  6. #16
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    "Clocks for seeing{" is one of the most poetic and resonating things I took from my first fitfull read of the book. I wonder now what could be said about the latent image vs the CF card. For me I feel film and the latent image are like a "vault for seeing". I don't think a CF card is the same.
    Perhaps I feel the latent image is a "molecular whitness" yes quote me on that a molecular whitness to time.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSSPro View Post
    being one of the scholars that ushered in post-modernism and the post-modern critical view of art.
    David... you have sparked my interest in reading yet more.
    This is off subject but I recently discovered for myself Ayn Rand.
    I wish I could go back to my undergraduate days.

  8. #18

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    Camera Lucida - Semiotics of Photography developed in Rodinal
    The photograph then becomes a bizarre medium, a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination....

    Roland Barthes

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by vpwphoto View Post
    IF you CHOOSE to participate in this thread keep it to the subject at hand and NOT a critique of the validity or editing or your opinion of the writing style/content of the book Camera Lucida.
    Actually, in discussing a book, style and organization are fair game. If an author can't present their ideas clearly, that indicates to me that they likely aren't thinking about them clearly. So why should I waste my time?

    Was Barthes really run over by a truck?
    Is this the subject at hand?

  10. #20
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    I have been reading further and find the life of Barthes germane to this discussion. (I did a check of his Biography and found indeed he was run over by a truck, I have greater respect for his pursuit and examination of this magical craft because of the events surrounding his writting of CL)
    His sentimental observations of the frozen past within a photograph, I found today, is very much what does and always has motivated me to photograph through the years. As a professional I may not be motivated personally by the history I am preserving for the client, but I am motivated by my duty to do it well, and provide intersting studium to viewers to be captivated by in the future.

    The act of preserving time is at it's heart what makes me happiest photographing, meerly providing intersting punctum for the casual observer is not what ultimatly drives me to do my best work. (Although it does earn me a living).

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