Defence of Photography

Started Nov 11, 2015 | Discussions thread
GeorgianBay1939 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,044
"I ... Know what I do, am unmoved by men's blame Or their praise either".

texture and fabric wrote:


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Great article.

Initially it reminded me of Rob't Browning's Andrea del Sarto which has this tidbit:


I, painting from myself and to myself,
Know what I do, am unmoved by men’s blame
Or their praise either. Somebody remarks
Morello’s outline there is wrongly traced,
His hue mistaken; what of that? or else,
Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that?
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?


But then I got to this startling advice, about 2/3 the way into your Defence :

In a recent interview Sebastião Salgado, when asked about what advice he would give to young photographers, stated the following:

“If you’re young and have the time, go and study. Study anthropology, sociology, economy, geopolitics. Study so that you’re actually able to understand what you’re photographing. What you can photograph and what you should photograph."

In my opinion this deductive approach to any art form is self-limiting. I would rather encourage any beginning artist to be inductive in approach. Perhaps it is my scientific "training" which guides me to seek truth via observation rather than the advocate's (politician's) training to tell truth via ideology.

In my case, a few years ago I got serious and found that my practice of photography led into a whole new chapter of exploration of various sciences and arts. Although I have always enjoyed "good art", I now feel that I can experience it's creation. .... Even to the point where I am dabbling in oil painting ... at a very ripe old age!

This probably doesn't help to legitimize the inclusion of "photography" as an "art form" but it does exemplify the diversity of "art" in the mass culture, outside of our "cultural" institutions.

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The best part of growing old is having the opportunity to do so.

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