Project 1, Exercise 1-The Photographers Eye.


‘John Szarkowski (December 18, 1925 – July 7, 2007) was a photographer, curator, historian, and critic. From 1962 to 1991 Szarkowski was the Director of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.’– accessed 23rd March 2017.

Again I have never come across this book before. When I was first studying photography, it was all Ansel Adams and basically being left with large format to work it all out on your own and see what happened.

On further brief reading, The Photographers Eye looks at the five elements that define the differences between photography and art. I have tried to work out what these mean to me rather than what the author thinks as it would be far too much over spill into technical bits and pieces and I just haven’t got the brain space anymore to listen to it.

The Thing Itself –  What the image is,  is it a photograph of a picture? is it a drawing? can the two be mixed together?

The Detail – The cleanness of the image? The way in which the picture is taken? The fact that once taken the image is real? It exists?

The Frame–  The rule of thirds? The way in which pictures are composed and how they are seen and viewed. Framing an image the way you want it to be seen.

The Time– The thinking that photographs are pieces of art from a certain time. You have taken  a picture that is there on film forever. These days on digital you can delete instantly, not the same as getting pictures developed and then ripping them up as they are no good or putting them in the not bothered pile for a few years. Past, present and future is a big thing in photography.

Vantage Point– The feeling that as the picture taker you are trusting your own judgement on the images you want to take and how you want to take it and how it is seen.

I fell out of love with photography for a long time. I found that working in a field of photography I wasn’t happy with sucked out my confidence and the desire to create art and projects. It has only really been in the past year I have found my old rhythm of creating work for me that may be of interest to someone else at some point down the line. I always used to work like this and had a lot of different projects on the go and personal things to photograph but never finished them, which is fine as I like things to be ongoing. The word ‘photographer’ when asked what it is you do started to grind on me as ‘Oh everybody is a photographer nowadays’ was usually the reply I got. Now I am not bothered. I watched Britain in Focus on Sunday night and the same things were said about the past and future of photography and lots about the love/hate relationship with it. Presented by Eamonn McCabe  I was most interested in Peter Mitchell – interview by Martin Parr HERE as he was somebody along with Tom Wood who I really admired at art college and still do.

You can watch Britain in Focus HERE and there is an exhibition of the series at The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford from 17th March to the 25th June 2017. I hope to be able to go up and see it.

A great series of artist profiles-This is my favourite of Tom Wood- accessed 23rd March 2017.


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