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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I agree with all you mention and I'm not saying that the gap alone makes it iconic. This is probably the most famous photograph in the history of photography. I am just trying to start a discussion about certain details that help make an image iconic.
    no does not spring to mind at all and a
    subjective choice, an example of US gung ho Militarism's waste alternates are

    the US destroyer magazine exploding at Pearl or Invincible in WWI
    fire ball at trinity... with quote 'we are all SOB now'
    more apt as it was the second bomb that motivated the god to speak
    death camp inmates
    bricks in Dresden with Christ Ikon
    censored shots from My Lai
    or two Red Army tankers pointing at penetration hit on Tiger turret after Kursk a staged shot but Krusk was where the Nazi discovered the sub human Slav was better armed and would fight like any wounded animal
    video clips of drone kills at weddings

    but none of these shots are iconic merely comments
    I keep a brush on oil above mantle piece ladies in formal Victorian dress in Arcadia...
    nostalgia

  2. #12
    ajmiller's Avatar
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    But isn't 'punctum' personal to you as the viewer?
    Wasn't it something in the image that 'pricks' you as an individual?
    In Clive's case the gap.
    To me, an iconic image symbolically represents, in that one image, a moment or event in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    I think you're describing the same thing that Roland Barthes called the "punctum".

    IMHO, some images have a clear example of it (e.g., "Simply Add Boiling Water"), others don't really have a punctum distinct from the whole subject ("Moon And Half Dome"), and there are a lot of grey-area examples.

    -NT

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajmiller View Post
    But isn't 'punctum' personal to you as the viewer?
    Wasn't it something in the image that 'pricks' you as an individual?
    In Clive's case the gap.
    Yeah, and in the case of the Iwo Jima photo, I think there's a lot of space for different viewers to perceive the "punctum" differently or even to disagree about whether the concept applies. Less so for "Simply Add Boiling Water", or the Werner Bischof photo of the sumo wrestler throwing salt, where the image has a single well-defined detail and it takes effort to find another candidate for the punctum.

    To me, an iconic image symbolically represents, in that one image, a moment or event in time.
    Or a person, I suppose---there are famous people who have well-defined iconic portraits, right? (Abraham Lincoln, though maybe that's kind of cheating because there are so few photos. Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe...)

    Be that as it may, in most cases there are some pictures that become, er, canonized as "iconic" and others that don't, and I read Clive's original post as asking whether the difference is down to specific, punctum-type details. To which my answer would be "definitely maybe sometimes".

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
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    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #14
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    I agree the gap adds to the impact although the picture would probably still be iconic. The gap shows a striving for victory. You can sense that soldier's desire to be part of the action. He wanted to be connected to the patriotic tribute and victory as all Americans who look at this picture would want to be. He stands in for us. The rest of the soldiers represent them.

  5. #15
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank View Post
    deformed (due to atomic bomb radiation exposure) Japanese girl in bath.
    If you are referring to the W. Eugene Smith image, Tomoko in Her Bath, her issues stemmed from mercury poisoning. That image was a part of Smith's Minimata series which he produced in the early 70s.

  6. #16
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl" may qualify for icon status. If so, her eyes or the rips in her shawl may be the details that count: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl
    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

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl" may qualify for icon status. If so, her eyes or the rips in her shawl may be the details that count: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl
    Definitely the eyes in both the colour and their position within the frame. I seem to remember some video posted on this site where a lecturer (can't remember his name, Italian I think) detailed the importance of the eye position and how it emulated a technique used in painting.

    “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

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