The ORB revisited

Started Apr 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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PF1944
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The ORB revisited
Apr 28, 2012

Henri Cartier-Bresson is famous enough. His image "Valencia" is one of his famous images. You may see it, amongst other places, here: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/2005.100.164 . A measure of its fame is the fact that when you google "cartier bresson valencia", you get 141,000 results. I have not counted how many are irrelevant, but you get the idea.

Her is what Barbara Savedoff, in Photography and Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell 2010, p. 117, has to say about Valencia:

"For example, Cartier-Bresson's Valencia, Spain, 1933... shows a puzzsing and seemingly incongruous space. On the right of the photograph we see the right side of a wooden gate t oa bullring, cropped by its proximity to the camera. A man with round glasses looks through a small rectangular window in the gate, his right lens a white disk reflecting the sunlight."

Cartier-Bresson was obviously rather pleased with the strangeness that this ORB added to his photograph, on the one hand, and on the other hand, white disks would appear to show up in some circumstances even on film.

I know that Fujifilm has issued a new sensor that at the very least modifies the appearance of the orbs so that they will look more natural to the camera users. I don't know that this is so. Every picture exhibits signs of its being a photograph one way or the other, usually through artefacts that are indicative of the medium. Whatever the shape of the "relected light" in the picture, it is never natural, in the sense that it is never the same as what our eyes, that adapt to varying light intensity by focusing on what we find important, which the camera does not do, give us a sense of what nature is like.

One could argue that, in fact, it is the product of the camera, with all its artefacts, that is natural, in that it is not mediated by our brain, and not our own recollection of the scene.

I'm not changing the sensor on my X10. I like to think that whoever views my pictures ( https://picasaweb.google.com/Pielolo ) will, when necessary, see those artefacts for what they are: natural products of a natural process.

Fujifilm X10
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