Documentary and Portrait Photography

Documentary and Portrait photography and its importance on social/cultural representation and change .

 Photography is a modern language through which I seek to find new ways to express knowledge , representation and communication . Langauge and photography , ( of which photography is its most recent and pure form ) , are both tools of immense power . To find new ways to wield it would be beneficial to the seeker . I have a desire and great empathy for my subjects , thus gaining personal satisfaction from showing deep layers of meaning and truth with an image to instigate social or personal transformation that promotes cultural refinement .

I representing the oppressed .

Our energies should be devoted to constructing photographic texts , which refer to other photographic texts or meta cultural texts at large . The medium as message is dead . Long live the message as medium . G Badger . The Pleasures of Good Photographs p 24 .

* Photography is a modern language and we should be concentrating our efforts on using it as a pure language which deciphers and leads to important cultural evaluation and linguistic transformation .

 Avedons influence on photography and myself has been his great artistic vision , personal message and the significance of portraying it symbolically which was more important than just subject representation . His ability to provoke reaction and make people ask questions is second to none . Avedons intent with the American west was to bring attention to the unusual class of people living in an unknown geographical isolation .

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 Although it’s a dangerous line to tread , as documentary is set firmly in the realms of reality , I still love to mix it creatively with photography as an art form . A photograph as in language has power which is culturally universal with different meta linguistic awareness perceived as a document of truth and reality . The subject and the picture are not the same . there is an imperceptible layer that seperates itself from the actuality . The public believes that the photograph cannot lie .

 Artistic aesthetic is paramount to me as are numerous stratum of personal and culturally significant context . I have always looked for and sought to achieve in my work a perfect and visually pleasing sight that instills self satisfaction with a great latent symbolic meaning . Images have a great tendency and power for their meaning to be interpreted differently and change subjectively over time . I want my images to provoke all these feelings as they do in me whilst swaying peoples opinions now and in the future . Achieving your great previsualisation in a final image is extremely pleasurable .

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  I believe a good photographer with a quick sharp photographers eye can create images containing artistic expressions of themselves , and document realistic representations of the world around them with a valid cultural message . Art and photography should not be thought of as living in separate categorys

 

 One of Barthes great influences in photography is his book Camera Lucida . Particularly guiding to me were his writings on punctum . “ The punctum “ is similar to a lightning bolt manifestation . As if you have been accidently jostled … and unknowingly pricked by a powerful personal force of realisation . The punctum has been especially important in portraiture and for me as a means of self discovery and true subject representation .

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 If it doesn’t always make itself apparent then the viewer will and should almost certainly pursue it in the next image .

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 Ask yourself what do I see ?

what do I know ?

what does it mean to me ?

Does it affect my life ?

 

 The distinctive interpretationally specific singularity of meaning in dialect and photographs is alive with many storys . Language is a powerful tool to be deciphered . There are numerous intertextual connotations that can be shaped by each viewer and this gives rise to the difference in looking and seeing .

  Bruce Gildens style and genre has been a great influence in my own practice . I like the way he accentuates the whole idea regarding the concept of the actual street genre in his shots by capturing the subjects awkwardness and apprehension . He has also intrigued many others with his up close and personal, in your face approach to his subjects .

  I enjoy the thrill you get from street photography and how you can get a more authentic reflection of life in real time as it happens . I push myself to approach who I am drawn to . The photograph is my trophy, my possession or maybe a personal reclamation .

 It also gives you an excuse to meet talk , explore and discover new people and ideas . I frequently diverge to the street as there is always a subject , it is always available to satisfy my cravings for photography and is thriving with the life that I seek to record .  I love the mysteriousness of photography and its function as a real artform . Its many great mediums and their different artistic expressions along with my personal belief of many undiscovered connections to greater ideas . My main love is within its powerful documentary roots and portraiture with its ability to promote change and send widespread or personally relevant messages over time with deep layers of symbolic meta language .

 

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