the new snapshot # 186-87 / civilized ku # 5135 / kitchen sink # 44 ~

exhibit statement

dead flies ~ restaurant bathroom / Ogdensberg, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

random arrangement ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

A few days ago on TOP, Mike Johnston wrote:

Here's one small way that smartphones are better cameras than other cameras, which no one seems to ever talk about. What if you see—recognize—pictures better on a screen than through a squinty eyepiece viewfinder? ... it's perilous to my ego to consider that I might "see" (compose) better with a flat screen than with a more lifelike and dimensional eyepiece view ... because they tend to "flatten" the scene, that is, make it look more two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional, which (I suspect) aids me in visualizing what the picture will look like as ink on paper.

Ever since I purchased my first Olympus (E-P1) digital camera, I have been using the LCD display as my sole picture making reference. Even with my purhchase of an Olympus OM-D series camera, I still use LCD displays as my primary picture making reference - although, I do use the EVF for fast moving sports (hockey) picturing. I use the LCD display for the very reason Johnston mentions, its flattening effect.

FYI, I should write that, in my commercial picture making life, I spent a lot of time under a focusing cloth, both for my 4x5 and my 8x10 view cameras. In addition, I also spent considerable time looking down onto the viewing / focusing screen of various medium format SLRS. In each case I experienced a heightened awareness - relative to OVF viewing - of a picture's structure (some might say,"composition").

Why is the flattening effect so important to my picture making? The simplest answer is that printed pictures - why make pictures if not for printing them? - are flat 2D objects. And, that intrinsic characteristic (together with my eye and sensibilities) dictates and directs my attention - both in picture making and picture viewing - to a picture's form, i.e. the manner of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result.

Consequently, I perfer the 2D experience, as viewed on an LCD display, in the making of my pictures.

RE: Johnston's statement, " small way that smartphones are better cameras than other cameras, which no one seems to ever talk about. iMo, the reason no one talks about the flattening effect of viewing a referent on a display / focusing screen is quite simple ... very few picture makers, even "serious" ones, think of or perceive printed pictures as 2D objects. For most, a picture is a window which allows a viewer to perceive, albeit faux, a 3d world.