Views of Reading the World(Five Photography Technical Terms at the back)

After reading all four of the stories, I found a common theme among them: the point of view photos deliver. All of them are, if not arguing then discussing, how a photo should be and what “medium” it shows. Should you pose for a picture? What does “reality” mean in photography? How is my view different from yours? Should I take a color picture or a black and white one? Does a photo need to have meanings? Can you actually call a photo—a “picture”? The answers to these questions for each photographer determine his or her idea of a photograph.

This became especially clear to me when I read the last story, “Pictures from Home” by Larry Sultan. The author had an argument with his father, for his dad thought the author’s photo of his wife (the author’s mom) made them look older than they were. Well, what can you expect from a photo of a woman “standing in front of a sliding glass door holding a cooked turkey on a silver plate (49, Sultan)”? IT’s just a typical mom! Like the author said, it is his mom, but his dad’s wife; therefore they have different expectations for the photo. (Though honestly I don’t think this should have been a problem.) Likewise, in Ken Light’s story, his photographs received certain criticisms on the color of the pictures. However, Light’s rebuttal was that everyone has a certain lens for the world. Just because you think the picture should be in some way, does not mean everybody sees it that way. He said in the article that he once took a photo in colors for the newspaper because “at the time magazines expected color”; for Light, however, the photos should have been in black and white (45, Light).

The articles were eye opening. I initially thought that all photos are the same, except the famous ones. Now, my perspectives had changed. Even though every photograph is a part of the reality, it is the exact viewing of the photograph that is important, not the scene.

Saturation: “An attribute of perceived color, or the percentage of hue in a color. Saturated colors are called vivid, strong, or deep. Desaturated colors are called dull, weak, or washed out.”


Sharpness: ” Subjective quality of an image indicating clear or distinct reproduction of detail: associated with resolution and contrast.”

Balance: “Placement of colors, light and dark masses, or large and small objects in a picture to create harmony and equilibrium.”

Zoom lens: “A lens in which you adjust the focal length over a wide range. In effect, this gives you lenses of many focal lengths.”

Exposure: “The quantity of light allowed to act on a photographic material; a product of the intensity (controlled by the lens opening) and the duration (controlled by the shutter speed or enlarging time) of light striking the film or paper.”

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