Fred Ritchin in conversation with Lars Cuzner

Fred Ritchin in conversation with Lars Cuzner

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Bradley Stokes war memorial to people who hadn’t yet died in wars not yet happened.

Instead to build a future memorial because there was no one dead during the war .Emotion of the past .There is the new age society.

Fascinated by concept of a future war memoral for a town. Erected without names of the fallen, but with space for names to be added.

Bring re-enactment to audience. the way that we want to represent of this misrepresentation, in order to create emotional response.

Whenever you try to represent or reenact something that has already happened, disappointment is guaranteed.

Every moment should be entire captured, each moment has its exist reason, even cause people’s fear emotion, it’s human nature.

the idea of preemptive its already exploited negatively,peparing for the worst, prepare for threat, the threat motivates the action.

Dhalia Khamissy in conversation

Dhalia Khamissy in conversation

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Personal research improves your photographing not only your degree.\

Father is a photographer; major of university was photography and experienced a civil war.” These gather a nature situs for phoer.

Listening to Dalia Khamissy, a female photographer from Lebanon who wants to tell stories of people.

the picture editor you should get more impact because you can argue with other photograph.

Being a photo editor to get money is the toughest time for her even she was in the war before

The photographer should tell the story of people, but not his or her own story.

Photographers should be the “window” photographer not the “mirror” photographer. Tell the story of others not self.

Dalia_Khamissy04

Dalia_Khamissy02

The abandoned spaces you photographed look the way they look because they were bombed out – and whatever aesthetic aspect there might be in a sense is completely coincidental. Some people might even argue that making things look beautiful under such circumstances is something artists should not do – because it’s war, after all. Were you worried about the aesthetic appeal of the images somewhat masking the underlying reality?

We spent our years studying the work of masters of photography and those surely became “masters” because their photographs were aesthetically different than others…

Photography, for me, is a form of art, and I see documentary photography as an art through which photographers inform on a certain situation.

The many war photographers notwithstanding, I’m always wondering whether we don’t need, in fact, if not a new then at least a different kind of war photography, one that is maybe less focused on the immediate effect of war and, instead, looks more at long-term consequences of war. When I saw your images I thought they were pointing into that direction, challenging the viewer in more ways than just one. Are you still working on related imagery, or has your focus shifted now?

My images are completely pointing into that direction. This was my main aim when I decided to quit my job at the Associated Press. I wanted to go back to taking pictures and telling the stories of people whose lives had changed forever because of the war, especially the 2006 summer one. In a way I wanted to tell my own story with the war, during which, the country was packed with local and international media covering the daily events, but then few weeks after the war ended, they all packed their stuff and went back home to rest, while I stayed at the office working, of course with other local colleagues and very few international photographers who came each for few weeks.

Jmcolberg.com, (2015). Conscientious Extended | A Conversation with Dalia Khamissy. [online] Available at: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/a_conversation_with_dalia_khamissy/ [Accessed 17 Aug. 2015].

All good photographers have struggled to find ways to hold the viewer longer on the picture. This is either by such effects as Hockney’s joiners, collage, embroidery on or making holes in the picture… anything, in fact, to break up that slick surface and keep the eye held there a fraction longer. Keep the eye there long enough, and it turns out that photography is not trivial at all

What do we want photographs to do?

What do we want photographs to do?

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Marcus Bleasedale started his career as merchant banker but longed for freedom from a room just full of computer screens.

A huge shift from business background to the creative environment let the author see the whole new perspective

Bleasdale started by taking shots of dew, mists,sunrises,enjoyed the creative process;he was not encouraged to persue this at school.

Photo documentary is to spread the message. Especially in conflict, it can be impactful to influence and make a change.

with deep empathy comes a reflection of their anger – through your work “You need to be that angry.

Photography is not just about taking good pictures but understanding the people. Be involved and make an impact.

The constructed nature of photography is even more of a fact in the digital age. In many ways, while the digitisation of photography has been understood as transformative, I don’t think we have full appreciated quite how radical the change has been. We have conventionally thought of photography as a practice that makes images directly. This is largely the case with analogue processes, which produce observable or latent images on film or other media. In this context, the camera is understood as a picture-making device.

In the digital era, we still think of the camera of a picture-making device, but this needs to change. In the digital era, we need to understand the camera as a data-collection device, a device which, according to Kevin Connor, is “gathering as much data as you can about the scene, and then later using advanced computational techniques to process that data into the final image. That creates a much more slippery definition of an original, because what is defined at the time of capture is not necessarily a fully formed picture.” With this understanding we need to appreciate much photography has become “computational photography.

This is where we need to change the conversation about photography – meaning news photography, photojournalism, documentary or editorial photography, however your want to name these visual accounts of our world. The change involves understanding the integrity of the image in relation to its function, rather than its philosophical status as an object. We need to focus on the process of photography rather than just its products, and consider the issue in terms of what images do rather than what images are.

Images can have lots of purposes, and there will be many we want to just entertain or please us. For them, we can have more relaxed standards. However, if we want some pictures to be able to function as documents and evidence, we have to ensure certain things so those pictures can function as documents and evidence.

What is truth? Photography certainly isn’t. Photography is artifice. We can underexpose and overexpose the same image, neither version is “true” or “untrue” — it is just a different interpretation of the world in front of us.

What is a Photographer?

What is a Photographer?

What is a Photographer?

A photographer is a professional that focuses on the art of taking photographs with a digital or film camera. Photographers use artificial and/or natural lighting to snap pictures of various people, places and things in a variety of settings. Some photographers focus on studio work, while other explore the natural, outside world. There are a variety of photography niches that one can choose from and be able to uniquely showcase their artistic ability with.

What does a Photographer do?

A photographer generally works in a freelance capacity, and is hired for specific jobs by numerous clients. Some photographers work exclusively in certain segments of the industry, such as wedding, graduation and other event-type settings, while others do mainly corporate work, and spend most of their time taking photographs that will appear on business websites and other promotional material. Still others, however, focus more on the artistic side of photography, and choose their own subjects and material that they wish to shoot.

Types of Photography:

  • Landscape, Aerial, Underwater
  • Fashion, Architecture
  • Wildlife, Pet
  • Sports, Action, Vehicle
  • Real Estate
  • Medical, Scientific
  • Food, Travel, Advertising
  • Wedding, Graduation, School, Baby, Event

For the most part, a photographer is a part-time employee that works either on weekends for weddings and events, or whenever he/she can find clients willing to hire them for one-off shooting jobs. A part-time or freelance photographer who is hired by a client is responsible for following the client’s wishes down to the finest details, as well as for setting up a business model that makes pricing and options clearly visible and accessible.

A professional photographer who works full time often does studio work that involves taking pictures in a controlled interior setting, with professional or amateur models. These photographers can be freelance, or can also be kept on retainer by certain magazines and fashion companies. Other forms of professional, full-time photography involve taking stills for motion pictures, taking pictures for crime scenes in cooperation with local and federal law enforcement agencies, and taking pictures for digital and print newspapers (photojournalist) – though often newspapers will work with a photographer on a freelance basis rather than hiring him or her full time.

Finally, photographers are responsible for the digital or physical development of their pictures, and may also be responsible for small or heavy editing of their pictures. For physical prints, a photographer will be required to know how to best develop their film, or will be expected to hire other professionals to develop their film for them.

The editing process of photographs, on the other hand, may include simple cropping, or could include changing colour schemes, lighting, and adding or removing objects from pictures to ‘clear them up.’ Some clients will choose to edit the pictures themselves, while others will expect the photographer to do the necessary photo editing.

What is the workplace of a Photographer like?

A photographer will be asked to work in any number of settings and environments. This can include working in comfortable studios in a big city, or working in the frozen forests of a remote country. A photographer is one of the few professionals that could be wearing shorts and a t-shirt one day, wearing a tuxedo the next, and a winter coat and boots the day after that. Most photographers that are serious about their craft will also have a home office or studio that will include a place to work on digital or physical photographs for the purpose of development and/or editing work.

After photography

After photography

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Now brewing, a conversation between a virtual entrepreneur with a professor.

The challenge to the Photography profession is the thousands of armature photographers taking photographs.

Commerce has shaped the forms of news that we’ve become used to.

Stephen raises the issue of photo essay which he describe as the commercial photography.

challenge is to negotiate the “hybridisation” of the media – involving the communities of context in story telling.

The biggest challange right now is figuring out the hybridisation of media journalism.

The structure of the photo essay was essentially born of tech, which was itself the product of a commercial process.

Fred Ritchin’s book After Photography endorses these theoretical assumptions in tracing the consequences of the analog–digital shift in the field of photography. The book uses a broad range of examples that illuminate the cultural and aesthetic implications of digital technology and manages to entwine the theoretical argument with a practice-based research in a way that renders the book accessible to the non-specialist yet, without reductively oversimplifying matters.

In the first chapter of the book Ritchin delineates the main characteristics of the analog/digital shift and thus provides the conceptual schema that will inform his project. He acknowledges the radicality of digital technology by stating right from the beginning that “photography, as we have known it, is both ending and enlarging” [15]. In the course of the book, he argues that even though digital photography is commonly configured as “a seamless, more efficient repetition of the past”, that is as the optimization of the functions of its analog predecessor, in reality it collapses the latter’s aesthetic foundation which relies on its indexical character. Yet, it opens up a new range of possibilities, which shift photographic value from the appreciation of a photo’s singular, inherent qualities to its connectivity with a series of photos or informational resources. Digital technology removes the age-long function of the photograph as a document but offers us much greater control over the individual contents. It opens up to non-linear connections and transforms photographic practice from an act of the intuitive mind to an omnipresent communication strategy.

The following chapters will explore how the above-mentioned ideas become concretely expressed in photographic practice. Chapter 2 deals with the common practice of photographic manipulation, extensively used to correct, enhance or create a composite image. The author identifies two major consequences resulting from it: namely, the diminution of photographer’s autonomy in favor of editing control and the erasure of the photograph’s ambiguity in order to safeguard the reception of a single, clear and intended meaning. The example of the Meiselas/Garnett dispute [32-34] on the latter’s aestheticized appropriation of the former’s photos on the Nicaraguan revolution reveals a shift in broader cultural assumptions. In the case of appropriation, the photographer can have no moral claims upon her images, determining their exclusive meaning and usage, but only legal and economic rights upon her product. Her role is no longer transcendentally conceived as a creator of the image and its singular meaning but as a provider of a content that can be put into new contexts. However, the author also argues in a Benjaminian way, that the massive appropriation of images in a digital pastiche serves and promotes a consumerist ethos that flattens the image’s ambiguity in favor of one-dimensional meanings that can be easily consumed.

The following chapter addresses the issue of the standardization of experience by (analog) photography, exemplified in Suzan Sontag’s critique of photography, and examines how the digital version might subvert this paradigm. As Ritchin argues with digital photography “the originality and spontaneity of experience is at stake, with a chance to be revived” [55]. Rather than supposedly testifying to the event as it occurred (thus confusing its partial point-of-view with an absolute Eye), the digital photo offers only one perspective, which may work with several others in order to re-contextualize the event while safeguarding a multiplicity of views. The question then becomes not whether the event is correctly or falsely recontextualized but rather the level or complexity offered in such contextualization, which opens up and sharpens our insight. However, the disconnection from reality’s reference severely challenges photography as a reportorial medium and spreads total disbelief as the only attitude able to cope with a synthesized universe. It affects our capacity of being touched by what we see and thus the proliferation of images may “end up making us blind” [67].

In chapter four Ritchin envisages the possibilities opened up by the non-referential character of the digital product. Analog photography has been used as a means of exploration of the world or of self-expression; in both cases emphasis is placed on singular photographic vision. The digital photograph, however, introduces the new logic of the hypertext that creates “mosaic connections”, [69] links to other visual or textual information that amplify our initial understanding. It emerges more as a conceptual rather than visual medium and expands our understanding of a situation more than it provokes an insightful knowledge [76]. Probably, however, the most far-reaching consequence of the non-referentiality of the digital is not the latter’s lack of credibility but its independence from the human observer, an event with multiple, unprecedented cultural implications.

An expression of this remark is to be found in the field of war photography and it is symptomatic with the gradual “diminution of the eye-witnesss” [88] argued in the fifth chapter. Whether one considers the smart-bomb vision introduced during the first Gulf war, or the cinematic terms – but real in its effects – of the terrorist attack’s execution on 9/11, or even the urge for digital photographers reporting conflicts to quickly edit and upload their photos rather than ‘to be on site’, all examples testify from different angles to how digital media feed into reality to transform it into a mega-reality, a cinematic, sensational yet, at the same time, alienated reality.

Taking into account the danger and the promise enveloped in the virtual, namely that it can have “very powerful real-world effects” Ritchin sets as his task in the following chapters the exploration of how can virtual media be used constructively. Thus in chapter 6 he provides concrete examples of on-line projects that bring into light virtual, collaborative communities as producers of the content. New media appear to bear a great democratic potential as they dispense with professionals and institutional filters, which restrict accessibility and support a hierarchical structure. Nevertheless, a complete removal of any sort of mediative filter, which would provide the framework and contextualize the information provided risks to end up masking real democracy by rendering the bulk of information practically inaccessible and irrelevant.

In the field of social photography (ch. 7) digital technology offers more possibilities for an engaged photography. It is now possible for the amateur to provide her photos of the event, which are less stylized but give us the view of the insider and empower the community. Bypassing institutional filters a documentary photo may now report the event raw without the aesthetic pretext that neutralizes the communicability of the pain.

The last three chapters of the book delineate the principal tendencies of digital photography that open it up to the future, linking it to parallel evolutions in the cultural and scientific fields. Chapter 8 traces the new possibilities of a hyperphotography: by testifying to a new relationship to space, time, authorship and other media, digital photography becomes “a component in the interactive, networked interplay of a larger metamedia” [141]. The frame is no longer conceived as the container of an image but as an informational storage, prismatic and extendable.

Chapter 9 presents and reflects upon aspects of a technological enframing of life, in a way that renders all reality lived a technologically mediated one. Whether one considers the increased visibility provided by street cameras or the human-machine intersection from mobile phones to the possibility of plugged-in micro-computers, or the research undertaken on artificial life at all cases digital technology opens up the way for an undistinguishable human-machine symbiosis in a way that expands the human scope of action but also threatens our capacity to judge or interpret the events of our life.

Finally, the last chapter concludes by implicating digital technology in a quantum world of probabilities. The digital universe freed from the burden of referentiality, of space-time continuity and linear time engages in a spiral dance of probabilities without certainties. Digital photography might work more holistically, opening up, analyzing and synthesizing reality’s complex layers in order to deepen awareness of ours and others’ condition.

This is an insightful book recommended not only to the specialist but anyone interested in photography and the cultural consequences of the digital revolution.

Metapsychology.mentalhelp.net, (2015). Review – After Photography – Art and Photography. [online] Available at: http://metapsychology.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=book&id=5787 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2015].

We have entered the digital age and the digital age has entered us

We have entered the digital age and the digital age has entered us

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photograph is a recording of activity.documentary photography is frame st, not moving in or taking out figure.

Photography shifting because of technology, called photoshop.

Digital photography makes the world malleable – to conform to our own image.

photograph has lost much of its credibility.Fred is trying to be fair to tell ppl what is going on.

“Photography is a quotation of peoples’ work”. This means, photographs should not be distorted.

Photography is not to celebrate itself but to make an impact in the world.

The first two sentences of your book After Photography are: ‘We have entered the digital age. And the digital age has entered us.’ Entered us how?

The concept is that all media change us. The media change us, we create new media, they change us ‑ it’s dialectical ‑ but it puts us on different pathways, so the fact that we created the telegraph machine or the camera then affects succeeding creations, and us.

The other issue is that the digital age is about an environment, it’s not just about tools. I think many people misperceive this revolution. You can’t have a revolution solely of tools. It’s not the transition from the pistol to the submachine gun that we’re talking about. We’re talking about a whole new environment in which we are going to reconceive ourselves and the world, and so when we create these digital machines, tools and so on, what we’re actually doing is creating a new environment for ourselves. But it’s largely unconscious. So the digital age entering us is about the idea that being surrounded by digital media is accelerating a reconceptualization of a worldview.

Photographers in the conventional analog sense have seen the medium functioning as cause and effect: the light comes down and the negative is exposed ‑ that’s Newtonian; that’s billiard balls. But in the quantum universe, the digital universe, you have these discrete pixels, you have these zeros and ones. Each can be changed independently. My sense is that 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now, the world is going to wake up and say: My God, the digital revolution was largely about reconceiving the world as quantum! The code‑based digital revolution was also about reconceiving the world in terms of genotype instead of phenotype! Phenotype is appearance, that’s what analog photography is about.

You’ve spoken about the revolutionary potential of digital and the opportunities out there, but university photography programs, generally speaking, seem to be rather traditional and pointed toward the past. How do you teach photography in an environment in which people are beguiled by digital but fundamentally afraid of how it’s changing the world they know?

Photography at its root means writing and drawing with light. It’s not about cameras. It’s not about tripods. It’s really about an attempt to describe and communicate what is important to the observer. In that sense, it’s not a mechanical age medium. It has the freedom of drawing, poetry, of meditation. It has as much freedom as the human spirit is capable of. So if you start with the human spirit ‑photography is an intermediary and an amplifier, and often a limitation as well ‑ then you’re starting in a place where anything is possible.

Having photographed at the White House, I saw how its Office of Production works to set up photo ops. Don’t a lot of people have a lot invested in maintaining the illusion?

I agree. This exposure of the manipulation doesn’t cost anything to do but nobody does it. Publications too often share in the sometimes fake authority of the politicians and the governments and the celebrities. They’re not always being honest.

How did we end up invading Iraq when there were no weapons of mass destruction there? How did we wind up basically kowtowing to those in power and photographing the invasion of Iraq as if it was a World War II rerun with a Mission Accomplished photo opportunity on top of it all?  Journalists really have to be wondering, to what extent are we doing public relations or are we doing critical investigations? The idea of doing public relations is you’re in with the power. If you’re exploring things critically, then you’re always outside the power. It’s actually quite painful to position oneself outside the power. It takes a lot of personal strength to look at things, evaluate them, and report on them from a position of curiosity, of questioning as opposed to wanting to participate. It’s like going to a banquet.  You don’t want to stand back and photograph it. You want to be part of it. You want to eat.

I think that photography, particularly photojournalism, lacks sufficient intellectual inquiry. It lacks intellectual frameworks. It gives prizes for all kinds of work that looks like other work but doesn’t really bring us somewhere else. At the end of the day what’s most important to me is the world, not photography. Often what happens in the business or the industry of photography is that photography usurps the world. The image itself becomes more important than the world. But we must ask, what’s the impact of the image? Did it change anything? Did it help the people being photographed?

So you’re essentially planting these seeds in students so that they develop tools and skills?

Students may think that they are entering this field and if they follow its traditions everything will be fine. Then you hear you’re at this extraordinary point in history where the possibilities and challenges have never been greater. It requires enormous confidence in your own intuitive abilities, your own belief in what’s authentic, to go and find pathways that are the most meaningful while knowing that we have all kinds of wonderful predecessors. But they are predecessors. You can’t necessarily do what other people did.  You as an individual are going to have your own needs and aspirations.

Maryellenmark.com, (2015). Foam – Fred Ritchin Awakening the Digital – 934P-000-001. [online] Available at: http://www.maryellenmark.com/text/magazines/foam%20magazine/934P-000-001.html [Accessed 16 Aug. 2015].

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Really what is important now, if your picture not good enough, you’re not reading enough.

We are slowly emerging in an era where pictures provide us with some history.

Everything is located in series of context..

Theres no automatic link between the story and an event. We are the one who make the connection.

Alan Feldman: “ The event is not what happens , the event is that which can be narrated”

Not sure if I agree with Fieldman’s comment that we only know what event we are in, after it has happened

Storytelling is something that is directly related to the idea of context.

Friedman concluded it’s the amount of thought&research that goes into a story,as much as compositions that enable a maximum outcome.

Steward freedman ‘if we see to it and change our work, we have to speak a language that the majority of our audience understands.

The way individuals see images are very different and we have to be careful what we portray.

Professor David Campbell
Professor David Campbell

The purpose of photography

It’s been quiet in these parts again…June was spent working on a video project for the West End Refugee Service in Newcastle, and July was spent doing research on refugee images in the Australian media at the University of Queensland.

Now that I’m back I’ve been catching up on reading, and the “Coming of Age” cover story on creativity in the British Journal of Photography’s June 2013 issue (although not online in its entirety) was interesting. In truth, many of the constructed and stylised images of the featured photographs left me cold. But there were some notable exceptions, especially if the intersection of politics and photography is your concern – Don McCullin, of course, with Vanessa Winship, George Georgiou and David Goldblatt the standouts.

David Campbell, (2013). The purpose of photography – David Campbell. [online] Available at: https://www.david-campbell.org/2013/08/12/the-purpose-of-photography/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2015].

To record a moment.
– To enhance the memory of an experience.
– To document an event.
– To have some fun doing any of the above.

Going beyond the verb and into the noun of photography:

– To visually interpret the subject.
– To visually interpret light (Very few reach this level).
– To create a work of art.
– To meditate.
– To immerse oneself in some beauty.
– To chase perfection, and when good sense prevails, excellence.

There may be other motivations like:

– To win a photography competition.
– To be the “one” who caught “the” moment – like an explosion, a tsunami, a volcano, etc.
– To acquire evidence.
– To strengthen an argument.
– To look where eyes may be awkwardly placed.
– To spy.

Further, and these are the worst:

– To use that expensive camera I bought.
– To feed my ambition of becoming a photographer.
– To satisfy an urge.
– To justify having bought a fancy cellphone.