Quote Originally Posted by thebdt View Post
So I can't conceive of a 35mm film image as a "snippet," as a mere fraction of a whole statement. (SNIP) But, as far as off-the-cuff or street photography, 35mm film is awesome. And we don't even need to get into portraiture; a single frame of 35mm film, a portrait, is an encyclopedia of information on its subject.
I cut your paragraph in two to better illustrate which way I swing concerning a 35mm frame as a "snippet." One way to understand snippet is as a low amount of data, measurable in bits (the first part of your paragraph). Another way of understanding a snippet is as a fragment of reality that is not fully explained by history, context, or storyline.

So we could say there is a "quantitative" and a "qualitative" way of defining "snippet." I'm going for the latter in my article, because I don't want to get into the acrimonious discussions concerning the quantitative aspect of data in a photograph.

Street photography is one among many other examples of 35mm photography's ability to snatch narrative fragments of reality. My metaphor of novel/anecdote/word is more related to the narrative length of photos.

My impression from large format photography is that it often tries to pack as much and as complete as possible a story about its subject. It's like a big Zola novel: it will not only describe the doorknob physically, but it will give you a sense of its place in the world, its history, and the social class of its maker.

With 35mm, you get instead interrupted gestures, events happening below the threshold of conscious visual perception, surrealistic flickers of life, incomplete and uncertain origins, natures, and destinations.

Anyway, I'm just expounding a few points here in response to your post, but I'm also very glad you took the time to read and comment the article!