Friday, June 06, 2008

The Photographer's Eye - Vantage Point

This is the fifth (and last) part of my previous entries regarding John Szarkowski's book, the Photographer's Eye. This entry is related to the fifth of what Szarkowski says are the five characteristics of the medium of photography - Vantage Point.

The introduction of The Photographer's Eye states: "This book is an investigation of what photographs looks like, and why they looks that way. It is concerned with photographic style and with photographic tradition: with the sense of possibilities that a photographer today takes to his work." As a way of understanding what the medium uniquely offers to the visual arts, Szarkowski's thesis introduces five characteristics inherent to photography: “The Thing Itself,” “The Detail,” “The Frame,” “Time,” and “Vantage Point.”

Photography has taught us to see from the unexpected vantage point and has shown us pictures that give the sense of a scene. If a photographer cannot move her subject, she has to move her camera. From photographs, a photographer learns that the appearance of the world is richer and less simple than his or her mind would have guessed.

"An artist is a man [OR, A WOMAN!!] who seeks new structures in which to order and simplify his sense of the reality of life. For the artist photographer, much of his sense of reality (where his picture starts) and much of his sense of craft or structure (where his picture is completed) are anonymous and untraceable gifts from photography itself."

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