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Author Topic: What Is A Photo?  (Read 3969 times)

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2014, 12:48:52 AM »
We all have our own idea of what a photo is

Dare I say that we probably do; and they are probably different ideas. Not what a photo means to us, but what is actually meant by a photograph. Where do we draw the line and say that photography ends (in terms of the tangible object in front of us) and a different art form begins? Different question, but the one that would most naturally occurs to me as the meaning of the thread title. Christine - this rather follows on from my post in the "other forum" on connotation and denotation.

OK - as you were. Back to the topic as developed...

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2014, 01:14:19 AM »
For me, a photograph is mainly a memory. A snapshot in time.

I guess it goes back to the debate over what's most important, for a photograph to be technically perfect, or to have captured a moment, a memory.

That's where we start to differ. I don't think of photography as solely (or even most importantly) as being a means of capturing a moment in time, of being a temporal snapshot. Photography can be a simple recording medium, and the skill then lies in selecting the instant to release the shutter. But many branches of photography put more stress on arranging the material in front of the lens, and arranging the lighting to suit. The result isn't really a memory in the conventional sense, except a memory of an arrangement deliberately made for a photograph. The photograph is primary; the "real world" that it records was an artificial creation on the part of the photographer to make the photograph.

For many photographers, a photograph should capture a feeling that the photographer had, using the outside world to represent an internal experience. On this view, what's being captured may be of longer duration that a moment in time, and may be almost unrelated to what is actually photographed.

Or perhaps you'd argue that a memory can be a memory of an emotion and not an external event? On this view, is an emotion tied to a specific point in time and space, such that it can only be represented by a specific image captured at a specific time? In the case of your example, it serves to recreate a memory for you, and thereby the emotion that you felt at the time.  And therefore exactly fits your definition. But a photograph can be much more than that; and needs to be to lift it to the level or art. If you don't want to produce art, fine; the question was what does a photograph (undefined object  :)) mean to each of us. What I've tried to express is a part of what a photograph means to me. What you said, certainly, because I have photographs that capture my memories. But I also have photographs that (whether I succeeded or not) were intended to go beyond that personal dimension. Just as in writing an essay might, like a diary, consist of words strung together, but should convey something beyond the purely personal.

Phew! I'll look at other posts later (not that it's not late now - see time stamp  :))

Offline ABERS

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2014, 03:53:16 PM »
A photograph has many facets and can appeal to many different tastes. As far as I'm concerned it engages and encourages attempts to produce images that express your feelings and communicate the different ways that you see the world. It's also a journey in improving the way you produce such images, and of late that has become more and more important to me.

Landscape, portrait, record, natural history, architecture, colour and monochrome are areas that appeal to different people. However the limitless possibilities that post processing now allows is an area that I find fascinating.

The family snapshot is something that is a personal endeavour and I keep to myself and close family in the belief that nobody is interested in what my family looks like, born of the fact that I'm not interested in what anyone else's family looks like.

Whether a picture falls into the categoty 'Fine Art' is always a mystery to me and perhaps one day I will see one. I know for some to make a fine art picture means that if it is a square format that makes it one.

Competition and exhibition entries make up a whole different bag and comprise what others think of your pictures, not what you think of them.


Offline Reinardina

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2014, 04:29:47 PM »
Whether a picture falls into the categoty 'Fine Art' is always a mystery to me and perhaps one day I will see one. I know for some to make a fine art picture means that if it is a square format that makes it one.

Do some people consider a square picture art? Never knew that. I often 'work' with the square format, without realising it was art.

I did this one for a competition once; quite an elaborate edit, and quite pretty to look at, I think, but is it art?

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Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2014, 05:31:52 PM »
All photographs are Art.

Photography is an Artform or form of Art. A visual semi permanent record created by the manipulation of light....bla de bla   ;)

Are X-ray images or MRI scan displays photographic ?

What is the full spectrum of light beyond that known through the use of a prism?  :legit:
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 05:36:24 PM by Beaux Reflets »
:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

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Offline Oldboy

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2014, 07:37:24 PM »

What is the full spectrum of light beyond that known through the use of a prism?  :legit:

As E=MC2 and all energy is light therefore it follows that everything is light!  :doh:

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2014, 07:39:37 PM »

What is the full spectrum of light beyond that known through the use of a prism?  :legit:

At the short end, ultra violet through X rays, gamma rays etc. At the other end, infra red turns into radio waves etc. But do you call it "light" when it's invisble to our eyes? Electromagnetic spectrum seems a better term.

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2014, 07:41:57 PM »

What is the full spectrum of light beyond that known through the use of a prism?  :legit:

As E=MC2 and all energy is light therefore it follows that everything is light!  :doh:

I'll accept that all light is energy, but I'm very dubious about the reverse. I can think of several kinds of energy that are not forms of radiation. All men are human, but are all humans men?

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2014, 07:56:48 PM »
Actually OB the equation is e2=(mc2)2+(pc)2.  P represents the momentum of the mass "m"

I know, pedantic to the last . . .

Here's a brilliant explanation.
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Offline DigiDiva

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2014, 08:09:58 PM »
All photographs are Art.

Photography is an Artform or form of Art. A visual semi permanent record created by the manipulation of light....bla de bla   ;)

Are X-ray images or MRI scan displays photographic ?

What is the full spectrum of light beyond that known through the use of a prism?  :legit:

I agree that most (but not snapshots) photographs are art.
Please visit my website @ www.sunderlandwallart.com

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2014, 08:52:32 PM »

I agree that most (but not snapshots) photographs are art.

Unless you define "snapshot" so as to exclude art as an attribute, I couldn't accept that. So for me that would depend on the definition of "snapshot".

Offline Reinardina

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2014, 10:35:42 PM »
Photography, painting and drawing are skills you can learn. It takes a lot more than just the skill, to turn out works of art.

It needs creativity, hard work, a vision, an eye, imagination, experience, feeling, emotion, originality and most of all talent.

Everyone can press the shutter on a camera, and with modern day cameras, everyone can turn out decent photographs. But will they stop people in their tracks? Will they lure people with exceptional beauty, or originality? Will their emotional power touch your soul?

But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so yes, any image you like the look of, you can all art. Others do not have to agree.
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2014, 11:48:25 PM »
Actually OB the equation is e2=(mc2)2+(pc)2.  P represents the momentum of the mass "m"

I know, pedantic to the last . . .

Here's a brilliant explanation.

No, it's only E = mc2

Thus, this mass–energy relation states that the universal proportionality factor between equivalent amounts of energy and mass is equal to the speed of light squared. This also serves to convert units of mass to units of energy, no matter what system of measurement units is used.
 
If a body is stationary, it still has some internal or intrinsic energy, called its rest energy. Rest mass and rest energy are equivalent and remain proportional to one another. When the body is in motion (relative to an observer), its total energy is greater than its rest energy. The rest mass (or rest energy) remains an important quantity in this case because it remains the same regardless of this motion, even for the extreme speeds or gravity considered in special and general relativity; thus it is also called the invariant mass.
 
On the one hand, the equation E = mc2 can be applied to rest mass (m or m0) and rest energy (E0) to show their proportionality as E0 = m0c2.[2]
 
On the other hand, it can also be applied to the total energy (Etot or simply E) and total mass of a moving body. The total mass is also called the relativistic mass mrel. The total energy and total mass are related by E = mrelc2.[3]
 
Thus, the mass–energy relation E = mc2 can be used to relate the rest energy to the rest mass, or to relate the total energy to the total mass. To instead relate the total energy or mass to the rest energy or mass, a generalization of the mass–energy relation is required: the energy–momentum relation.
 8)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2014, 07:21:56 AM »
I'm not taking the bait OB; the vid from minute physics gets past those 6 paragraphs 10 seconds in.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline ABERS

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Re: What Is A Photo?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2014, 08:33:34 AM »
I'll take all that into consideration before I next press the shutter. ::)

However a couple of points raised by Stephen and DD makes one think a bit more deeply about the original question.

Firstly the definition of a snapshot. Does it mean literally a picture taken on the hoof, a decision to press the shutter on the spur of the moment without any or much consideration as to content or composition, resulting in a mediocre image of not much interest other than to the person taking it. Or is it a pejorative term to damn with faint praise a picture that says nothing at all?

The old chestnut about photography and art. If you want it to be called an artist, so be it. I like to think of myself as a photographer, once I get the hang of that then I'll start thinking about being an artist. ;)


 

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