Different Approaches on Photography

Photography is a method of viewing objects and other common things we see in a new perspective. That’s the challenge for a photographer, says Alexander Rodchenko. He discusses in his article the cliché in photography and how he takes the modern path less traveled on. He explains the history, the past path, of photography and paintings, how most objects and subjects are viewed from the eye level or the belly button level. Many artists have potentially tried to portray their subjects in a different angle; the objects would be on top of each other but each object was still drawn in its front profile. A camera doesn’t change the perspective; the photographer can manipulate that. Why not challenge the mind and take photographs in a different viewpoint to make things appear more interesting? I think he made a valid point in his article. I enjoy taking photographs in my free time and often times I find myself trying to capture a view that no one would normally see that object in, because it looks more fascinating, new to our eyes. In complete contrast to Alexander Rodchenko, Larry Sultan describes that his drive to photograph is to capture the most familiar – the family. It also makes sense that one would want to photograph for keepsake purposes, and to glorify the loved ones.

Berenice Abbott argues in her article that the purpose of photography is “to recreate the living world of our time,” because photography captures “realism – real life – the now.” She reasons that a photograph is only powerful if the purpose behind taking that picture is meaningful. For this I also agree, because with a camera always readily available, I am able to capture the moment when things happen for a reason to have it as a memorabilia.

Ken Light shares that photojournalism, the documenting of important events through the medium of photography, can be powerful and hold a voice of the photographer, a “witness” of the world. Since photographs are physical documents, they provide a glimpse of the past to future generations. His interview with Susan Meiselas showed how important it was to document things, to share with the world what another person’s world is like.


Photography Terms

Latent Image – The invisible image left by the action of light on photographic film or paper. When processed, this latent image will become a visible image either in reversed tones (as in a negative) or in positive tones (as in a color slide).

Polarizing Screen (Filter) – A filter that transmits light traveling in one plane while absorbing light traveling in other planes. When placed on a camera lens or on light sources, it can eliminate undesirable reflections from a subject such as water, glass, or other objects with shiny surfaces.

Program Exposure – An exposure mode on an automatic or autofocus camera that automatically sets both the aperture and the shutter speed for proper exposure.

Overexposure – A condition in which too much light reaches the film, producing a dense negative or a very light print.

Vignetting – A fall-off in brightness at the edges of an image.

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