Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just Lacks.... Something

All photos are accurate. None of them is the truth.
-Richard Avedon

I love photography. Amusingly though my own curiosity with the medium has begun to focus less on imagery, less on depicting a place or moment, and more concentrate on what's lacking from that moment or place that photographs record.

Take the image shown here, we see a person reading a menu at a table with red and orange lights painting the scene. Yet, I can't express through this image the smell of smoke that filled the air from an open fire, the brief smells of food cooking, can't express the sounds of the pool players, sounds of dishes clattering, can't express the smooth finish of the dark wooden table we sat at. I can't even guarantee the authenticity of this image - I could have easily grabbed the menu from another place because I liked the name, and brought it to this location because it was visually more appealing (I didn't, but it's an amusing prospect). The idea of photographs as truth is another concept I like to play with.

But how to represent these smells, sounds, or tactile stimuli? Well, text does the trick nicely but is also lacking, but text can help guide the idea, and that is what I like to work and play with: memory.

With a little text I can trigger someone's imagination. With my own work, at times, providing so little actual visual information the majority of what the viewer has to rely on is text, forcing them to rely on their own experiences, their own memories to complete the picture.

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don't be bitter because you can't record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!

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