Why What Works (Luminous Landscape), a comment

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Vlad S Veteran Member • Posts: 3,749

amalric wrote:

I might soon have to teach basic photography, and so I need some orientation.

I am self taught, so I don't feel distant at all from those who are. However when you teach you must be effective, and identify clear fields of action, by which you can improve skills provably. If one has taste and education it is a considerable help, but even if those are absent, photography has definitely a set of techniques that can be learned. Time being short it is good to identify two or three clusters like Reichmann did, and work on those.

I think that if you are going to teach photography, it is important to differentiate between the technical aspects and the artistic ones. The second part is not specific to photography, but to any visual art form, and probably has much in common with other, non-visual art forms. IMO such separation will not only detangle a large amount of information, but also would allow to seek techniques and inspiration in a wider context of art and history.

Come to think of it, it could be quite interesting to compare such techniques or notions as chiaroscuro, or impressionism with the artistic use of exposure, or bokeh.

Or take the rhetorical modes: exposition, narration, argumentation, and description. I think it would be interesting and useful to think whether the same modes can found in photography. Photojournalism would probably fall under narration. For example, commercial product photography would probably correspond to argumentation. Street photography would probably fall under narration. But then can we select the narrative devices - such as first person or third person narration - by selecting the position of the camera or the lens focal length? Is it possible to use one subject, and create different images where it would be presented in all the four modes?

Or take the such a direction in photography as Miksang. Where would it fall in Reichmann's system?

But in general, I think it is through the study of the greater context that we learn about impact of the visuals, and how to touch people. I don't know, may be I am over-thinking it. But that's what I enjoy in the arts.


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