either / or ~ memory or art or both

WIldwood Pier ~ Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

picture window ~ Stone Harbor, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

bakery window ~ Middlebury, VT (embiggenable) • iPhone

Earlier today I listened to a LensWork podcast in which Brooks Jensen held forth on the difference between an image and a photograph. His conclusion was that an image is what a picture maker creates on his/her choice of light sensitive material. A photograph is a physically tactile thing. Which is to write, a photograph is a material thing (substrate) onto which an image has been afixed.

I am in agreement with Jensen's conclusion. However, as is often the case when opining about such things, Jensen goes all wonky and commences to introducing ideas such as ... a picture maker, aka: a photojournalist, makes images for publication. When those images are afixed on paper in a publication, are they photographs? My answer would be in the form of another question - what the hell else would you call them?.... hey, did you see those reproduced-by-non-photo-methods images in the recent issue of ....? Whatever.

In any event, in today's entry I am addressing the idea of picture making intent ....

To do so, I have placed 2 pictures of the same image side by side, albeit that the images have been processed and presented in different manners as related to my picture making intentions. In the case of these 3 pictures, my intentions were 2-fold:

intent #1: to create art
intent #2: to create memories

Everyone will have an opnion, re: whether or not my conventionally processed and presented pictures are art. Although, I am certain that most would concede that they represent (at least) an attempt to make art. In my defense however, I would like to note that the bakery window picture was accepted for inclusion in an art gallery juried exhibition.

That written, I believe that the snapshot presentation of the same pictures would be immediately seen and perceived as an attempt to create memories of things seen or experienced. While my intent, memory making wise, was to make pictures that would stir memories for me (and others who may have been with me at the time of their making), I also believe that those pictures are quite capable of stirring similiar memories in others who have no immediate connection to me or the specific depicted referent.

Based on my belief that others who have no immediate connection to me or the specific depicted referent could be incited by the depicted referenets to have feeling relative to their own experiences of similar places or events, and, considering the words of Joshu Reynolds ....

The great end of all arts is to make an impression on the imagination and the feeling.

.... is it possible that my snapshots are art?

An answer to the question could be had in my aforementioned comment that the bakery window pictures was accepted for inclusion in an art gallery juried exhibition .... I forgot to mention that it was the snapshot version of that picture which was excepted.

civlized ku # 5302-03 ~ right place right time

window blinds shadows ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

figures ~ Old Forge Hardware / Old Forge,NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

When it comes to making a good picture of the everyday real world, being in the right place at the right time is usually part of the picture making equation. A picture maker can be in the right place simply by happenstance / luck or as the result of careful planning and preparation.

FYI, the time honored expression for being in the right place at the right time, picture making wise, is the adage, f/8 and be there. However, iMo, there is a very important additional ingredient to the "being there" part ... that is, seeing. If you ain't looking at the real world with eyes and mind wide open, you'll never know when you're there.

In my experience and way of thinking, there (picture making wise) is a visual state of mind. That is to suggest that one must see, not just look, and grasp the picture making possibilities.

Simulated Polaroid # 50 ~ fakeu

Hotto Doggu ~ Montreal, QC. (embiggenable) • iPhone

While walking along a street in Montreal with the wife, I spontaneously broke out in a spasm of loud laughter. She stopped in her tracks, looked around for the cause of my laughter and, finding none (to her sensibilities), looked at me and said, "What?" The "what" for me was the Hotto Doggu sign across the street.

While I had never seen that nomenclature written but I had,in fact, heard it spoken many times during the 2 years (over 50 years ago) when I lived in Japan. At that time in Japan, when the Japanese (non English speaking) did not have a native language word or phrase for an English word or phrase, the letter "o" and/or "u" was most often tacked unto the end of the English word or phrase - the exception being when an English word ended in a vowel.

I and my English speaking friends thought that practice to be rather humorous in a quaint and somewhat enduring way. We often spoke to each other using that "o"/"u" insertion practice. And, just as I am certain that the signage in Montreal was not meant to be demeaning / condescending / hurtful in any way, my/our use of the "o"/"u" insertion practice was not meant to be so either.

That written, I am also certain that the signage was meant to self-deprecating humor. Because of my experience, I was able to get the jokeu.

the new snapshot # 248-51 (civilized ku) ~ a walk on the wild(wood) side

no walk thru ~ Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Wildwood, NJ ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

As coincidence would have it, I drew one of my brothers-in-law's (who has an interest in making pictures-Olympus M4/3 + a few lenses) name for the annual family Xmas gift exchange event/party. He, like the rest of the wife's family, is a South-Jersey-Shore-O-Phile. Hence my annual week at the Shore visit.

During this summer's visit past, I drove the teens to the very nearby Wildwood amusement piers for a a day of amusing themselves. After dropping them off, I spent some time driving around and making some pictures of the beautifully restored 50's/60's architecture and signage to be found in the area. I did not make a comprehensive survey of such but I did come back with some nice pictures.

So it was with great surprise, on the day I drew my brother-in-law's name, that I came across a book, EBB TIDE, by Tyler Hauchey. Gift giving solved. But then I thought, why not add a print of one of my Wildwood pictures to the gifting? Upon trying to decide which one to print, I decided to print 4 pictures ganged style.

In addition to the aforementioned coincidence, within a day or two of discovering the book and looking at my Wildwood pictures, I came across-coincidence # 2-a call for entries for an juried exhibition, A Color Moment at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, VT. According to the call for entries ...

The photographs in this exhibit will be chosen less for technique and more for the pure passion captured in a moment in which color is a key element.

Don't think I'll have much trouble finding 5 pictures-the submission fee of $35.00US covers 5 pictures-to submit. No more than 2 of my 5 submissions will be Wildwood pictures inasmuch as I have plenty of pictures "about color" to choose from.

FYI, during next year's Shore visit, my plan is to return (multiple times) to Wildwood to make pictures during the twilight hour when the architecture and signage is aglow with neon light.

civilized ku # 5301 ~ common observation

pumpkins ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

A quote from Joshua Reynolds:

Common observation and a plain understanding is the source of all art.

When the Royal Academy in London was founded in 1768, Reynolds, the leading English portraitist of the 18th century, was elected its first President.

civilized ku # 5297-5300 ~ auteur or nit wit?

Between the flu and Thanksgiving and some hockey travel I haven't been at my computer much. However, with my iPhone at my side, I have managed to make some pictures.

During my flu recovery time, I did visit some websites / blogs where, on TOP, I read Mike Johnston's entry wherein he stated his preference for viewing photographs ...

... For me—just for me, I'm not telling you what to think or do—the power of photographs comes from their connection to the real world. That's where their magic resides, and what gives them their power.

To which some nit wit (iMo), responeded ...

The point I am trying to make is that the more we try to connect photography to the "real world", the less magic and power it has. In that context, a photograph can never be more than a poor record of something magical and powerful.

The aforementioned nit wit tried to make his point by inferring that a ... painting has a painter, a person with an idea. He paints with a purpose; his painting embodies his idea .... A painter is an auteur. Whereas, a photographer ..."only" captured an instant in the real world. He did not make that instant. If a photograph is about the real world, then the photographer cannot be the auteur. Without an autuer, a work has no embodied idea, no permanent, broader meaning.

That specious reasoning is pure rubbish inasmuch as most "serious" picture makers, especially the "greats", make pictures with a purpose and an idea. Pictures with an embodied idea and broader meaning(s). Pictures which resonate with ideas and meaning, not because of picture making manipulation (pre, during or post), but as a result of those picture makers' heightened ability to see ... to see "an instant in the real world" which conveys their purpose / ideas(s) / meaning(s).

Just because the aforementioned nit wit is unable to fathom / intuit / understand a "straight" picture maker's purpose / idea / meaning does not mean that such qualities do not exist in those pictures that he does not "get". It just means that the nit wit has no intuitive or creative imagination or visual literacy.

Did I mention the guy is a nit wit?

civilized ku # 5295-96 (ku-ish) ~ investigating the psychological implication at the point of intersection of the external illumination and its interaction with the illuminated interior

grey day ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

recent show ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

Without providing links to the pictures which accompany the following statements from the picture makers, which picture maker, based on their respective staements, do you think made the most visually interesting pictures?

a. My practice for over twenty-five years has been to acknowledge and elevate existing culture using the intersection of subtle human gesture and a built social environment.
b. In [name of exhibit], I seek to better understand myself and to increase my awareness of how I react to challenges related to my experiences as a mother.
c. For [the artist], the title refers to, “decisions made by her parents throughout the course of their lives, and how their orientation to their lives have impacted my relationship with myself.”
d. "I drove thousands of miles to experience and document this most ‘American’ of American traditions, visiting fairs all over the country teeming with the people who call the surrounding area home."