reading response 1

Zinnia Upson


Photo 2

Reading Journal 1

In the reading for today Emerling talks about Jacques-Mande Daguerre and how he “evinces the desire to fix and retain an image that was conceived as a given rather than to create or construct a representation. This willful attempt to deny the photograph and by extension, the photographer, any creative role is, however, not to downplay any cultural and historical importance.” (Emerging, 18) I found this quote really interesting because I explored the idea of fixing and retaining an image in my first photo class in my final project where I attempted to freeze energy within a frame. I did this by taking pictures of wind being caught in a sail showing the energy of an element. I found it neat to only take fractions of the sails in my picture because I wasn’t trying to recreate the scene of a sail boat floating on the lake but rather focus on a certain aspect.

Photography has been scrutinized for years and years for not being a real art form but rather a method of documentation and representation as seen in this quote “Justifies placing a nineteenth-century photography alongside one by Lee Friedlander from the early 1960’s: everything is subsumed in the medium’s attempt to construct a “usable tradition” for itself this is also why he consistently included his 1989 historical overview of Photography Until Now.” (Emerling, 26). For years photographers have been fighting to prove their worth to the art world with the new concept of graphic design now photographs can be altered and added too to make them more interesting or more pleasant to look at.

At the beginning of photography photographers started with camera obscuras taking dark pictures of their studios full of still life objects. “Picture taking had no framework or guidelines in the mid-nineteenth century, it was a formless and accidental” shotgun start in which the excitement and wonder produced by the new technological means allowing nature to reproduce herself” (Emerling, 27). This quote talks of photography being formless and accidental and as we go through this class i expect we steer away from accidental and aloof exposures but aim to be meaningful and focused. “The shift from natural beauty and a biological metaphor premised on artistic “vision” to a more skeptical, less ambition, desire to see what the world looks like as a photograph,” (Ansel Adams, 28) The meaning of this quote i found aims to highlight the goal of photography being to find what you’d like to show or prove in your art.


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