Thursday, February 14, 2013

It Was The Best Of Times...

Two interesting essays on today's photography, one from ARTnews  concerning disaster photography and documentary exploitation via Duckrabbit, the other from Joerg Colberg concerning the overwhelming saturation of images we now live under.

I think the very fact that more of us now demand and expect context, background and explanation to complete and complement documentary and even many forms of “fine art” photography is actually quite the step forward- and I’m hardly the optimist. It is now a large part of what differentiates “serious” photography from the immeasurable clutter that perpetually clouds our peripheral view.

Of course, there are now not only photographers who provide relevant background and history to their work, there are also the magnificent mavericks who take it that crucial step beyond and try to directly do something positive to better said situation(s).

Meanwhile, Joerg seems pretty stressed by the current "avalanche of photographs," how we make sense of it all, and how we separate the wheat from the chaff. He also suggests one possible "solution" to help us find our way through the ever proliferating muck and mire, and a very valid one at that. 

Perhaps, if I too made my living immersed in photography, dealing with it the majority of each and every day, I'd also be seeking out more viable filters and solutions. We are inundated by a tidal wave of junk images via every image making (and storing) piece of technology imaginable (with yet more to come), and truth be told- there's an incredibly wide variance of good imagery out there as well, and we no longer have the necessary time to make sense of it all before the new batch comes flooding in. We no longer have the luxury of time to savor, examine and fall in love with much of the photography that would naturally, or eventually, appeal to us the most. We've been stripped of adequate time for reflection- the next images await! We are now making photographs, both bad and good, faster and more plentiful than ever before, faster and more plentiful than the time it takes to sort them all out. We now view, as well as shoot, photographs in fractions of a second.

Since before I picked up a camera, photography has strived to make both its language and technology accessible to all. It has succeeded, and in the process made most everything redundant- each of us to make peace with it in our own way...

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