In her classic essay On Photography, Susan Sontag makes the statement:
Photographing is essentially an act of non-intervention.
So in this week’s podcast, I thought we would take a look at that quote and discuss how photographing and the viewing of photographs can be a non-intervening act. The photographs we make that are significant to us, and some of the photographs we view have a lasting impact. These things become acts and objects of the intervention. These photographs and the act of photographing can have a lasting effect on what we do and who we are. These images can become interventions in our lives that shift how we think, what we do, and what we believe.
In this week’s podcast, we focus on two aspects of the nature of critique. The how and the why of taking a photograph. The how is the technical side of things in creating the image. The why is who you are as a photographer in the photograph. The story of the image so to speak. When we work on images, ideally, we would have both aspects in our images. The image would be our best foot forward in both technical and story. However, in my experience, this isn’t always the case. There are a lot of us photographers who only are interested in a single aspect of the work. So this week’s discussion is about how to approach getting feedback, giving feedback, and how to possibly think about moving your work forward by listening to all aspects of the feedback.
In this week’s podcast, I talk about some of the impacts that might appear in your photo editing and viewing as a result of binge-watching. While it is fun to sit down and consume a show from beginning to end as fast a possible, there is a cost to this approach. Much like eating good food, without a palate cleanser, our ability to sense subtle nuances in how we see, taste, and experience the object of our affection is lost. We need to have a way to reset our visuals and start fresh. As we dive into this subject this week, I discuss some impact binging can have on our editing and selection process. I also discuss some ideas for how to refresh our process so that we don’t fall into a bland diet of visual consistency.
While you may not think this applies to you, you might be surprised at how your consumption of social media, your own library of images, and the other visuals you watch impact how you approach your photography. Maybe, with a little bite of ginger once in a while as you work on your photos, you might find some treasures you never saw before.
This week’s podcast focuses on the impacts in our photography when the days, projects, images, and seeing seem to drag into each other over and over again. The groundhog effect, so to speak. I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t had a negative sense of deja vu when it comes to there photography. Maybe you are stuck working locally rather than getting to travel. Perhaps you think you are editing what seems like the same image again and again. The mundane comes in all sorts of flavors. While it can be a challenge to face the same repetitive task over and over again, there is value in meeting this pattern head-on. You might be surprised by the impacts and what you see on the other side of your photography and seeing.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This week’s podcast is based on a request from one of our listeners regarding a question of ethics in photography. Ethics, our sense of doing what is right and wrong, is at the core of each of us. As photographers, our understanding of right and wrong regarding what and when to photograph should be a key consideration we make..
While those ethics are different for each person and depending on your job might be different because of what you are assigned to photograph, as a community, we should be talking more and more about the ethics of making photographs. There is always an impact on taking and sharing a photo on the people and places we photograph when our choices cause side effects even when unintended.