MCD401 Camera basics, principles and practices GDB Fall 2020 Solution / Discussion
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MCD401 GDB Fall 2020 Solution idea:
The Art of observation:
Is photography an art form? Looking at the history of photography we may get an impression that photographers were trying hard to prove that photography can actually be an art form. Initially photographers was trying to follow and mimic other forms of art, mainly the paintings thinking that this was the way to lift the photograph to an art form. But photography didn't to achieve the status of art by mimicking other forms of art. So the search of its own and unique language continues.
And it looks like it was finally discovered by accident. Discovered by photojournalist documenting our life. The photography became the unquestionable document of life, showing the bare truth about humans and our world, the truth cached red-handed. The photo reporters discovered the promised land of artistic photography. Which does not mean they fully usurp the artistic field of photography, but they pointed where the essence and creativity of photography can be found.
Culling from life, from the nature, remembering that life has both its light and dark sides. So they were not treating the nature as beautiful and kitsch landscaped but rather stated to look at it with a sincere and objective eye. So the photographers following this route stated to create and form the reality, framing and selecting in such a way that it started to speak to us. And this form of "speech" was named as Life-Photography. And in Life-Photography the meaning does not come from the decorative asset of the beautiful image but from an adequate depiction of the semantic layer of the image. The vividness and visuality of an image becomes secondary, enhance the experience but it is not its source. It should't be dismissed but we should remember of its secondary role. For a "good reporter photographer" the visuality of the image, the form, the composition of the frame, the knowledge of light and modern trends should be vital part of his technicality. And the photographer should make sure he/she prioritises the creative elements of the images, which predominately consist of the creation of the meaningful semantic layers of the subject and events as well as its careful selection.
A very important element of the artistic photography besides expropriator observation is an adequate capture of the most meaningful moment and suggestive situation. Henri Cartier Bresson called it a "decisive moment". So the idea is to capture a moment that "cuts thorough the time" and preserve it on a photograph. This decisive moment is meant to express the artist vision of the situation or the event in a most effective and meaningful way. A Photographer observing the nature has to observe it and anticipate a coming moment and then press the shutter. The whole difficulty is that sometimes this moment has to be selected in a flash, there is no much space for thinking or reflection. And the perfectly embalmed moment should be able to stimulate the imagination of the spectator (audience). The "recipient" of the photograph should be able (thanks to the chain of connotations) to imagine what happened before and after this particular moment. So a good image thanks to a skilful photographer "cutting thought the time" can ignite emotion and connotations that will rock and move the audience. The audience that will become "a witness" of the captured moment as if they were there. It's good to point out that it is easier to "cut through the time" in dynamic situations, but it's worth remembering that even static things.