Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Photography allows one to explore and bend "the real". We govern our own photographs, snapping what we set up or find.. therefore leaving evidence of what we have experienced for others to witness, react and/or relate to. Every experience we create is real... though within that everything can be manipulated. Reflections, lighting, framing, technique.. etc.. allow us to bend reality. Here are a few photographs that hesitate on that note and a quote by Einstein that seems fitting.

“Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one”
-Albert Einstein

4 comments:

Timothy Briner said...

I've thought a lot about this over the last few weeks. The Boonville project started out as an attempt to document small-town America and its residents. It changed almost instantly, and I have just recently figured out why. Photography is not a document of something, it is manipulated representation of a fictional moment. Reality it is not. How am I supposed to continue creating something that I worked so hard on, and then realize that it cannot and never could be what I wanted? For awhile, before I stared to think about this, I was a wreck, I couldn't control myself and I was breaking down, mentally.

It was only a few weeks ago that I truly realized my attempt to document something could never be reality: How could it when your presence and existence in a situation is there mainly to photograph it, therefore creating a ripple in the normality of the situation, affecting the outcome of any movement, or scene thereon in. There are obviously many other layers to this.

Not sure what my point is? But I have been thinking a lot lately and your post hit on a few of those things. After realizing all this I started to embrace the manipulation aspect of documenting something. I started to put myself into the equation, because lets face it, the photographer is the subject, really. For me, this time around, the journey is the subject.

Without me it does not exist; This is true for any photograph, but putting yourself in there, visually, through a title, or just a subtle connection, is enough to bend back the reality you were looking for. It is reality in the most manipulated sense, therefore it is real, right? It's a paradox! I love it. Sorry for the rant. You got me started.

Amy_Elkins_Photography said...

I don't have the amount of time that this comment deserves to back you up... but for now...

I got your back on this thought.

Reality is a wacky thing... especially when we start chasing it with a camera.

Jason said...

If you haven't read Susan Sontag's "On Photography" ("OP") and her later book, "Regarding the Pain of Others," in which she overtly recants some of her forceful arguments previously expressed in OP, you cannot pass go ... or collect two-hundred dollars.
Sontag long struggled with the exact same discomfort you're expressing.

Those very short books actually changed my life in a remarkable way.

Timothy Briner said...

I actually pulled out my copy of "Regarding the Pain of Others" last night, after I went home and started to lose my mind thinking about this some more. She put me at ease a bit.