Wordy Wednesday #234 “It’s Just a Photograph.”

“It’s just a piece of music.”—Richard Strauss

Late in his life Strauss was constantly being approached by adoring fans asking, “what is the story behind this music?” His reply is above. And so, as Freud once noted, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

I’ve always believed that photography was the universal language but that doesn’t mean that along these 150 years we didn’t evolve a language of our own. And every now and then it changes. Sometime in the 1930’s the meaning of ‘burn’ and ‘dodge’ swapped places. Don’t know how or why that happened but it did.

hunchbackAnd for reasons known only to Theia, Greek goddess of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky, some people have escalated the ‘take a picture’ or ‘make a picture’ argument by tossing around the epithet ‘nice capture’ as a way of complimenting a photographer’s image as if they were chasing butterflies instead of the light.

Anyway, all of this popped into my head as I was pondering a comment about one of my Wordy Wednesday images that I posted on social media and in which a commenter asked if he could see the photograph ‘straight out of the camera” and not the processed image I posted. The SOOC movement is one I really don’t  understand and seems akin to asking Edward Weston to look at his negatives so they could compare them to “Pepper #30” to ask why he couldn’t just make a straight print. My friend and co-proprietor of Mirrorless Photo Tips blog has answered the question this way and more eloquently that I could. My answer is simpler:

After all this blather what are we left with? Today’s Wordy Wednesday is just a photograph I made because I’ve always believed that photography should be fun. And that’s all there is to it.

commandbookOne of the influences for the above image is the late William Mortensen. His book on a completely different approach to photographic composition—The Command to Look—has been lovingly reprinted and while it contains some unusual, to say the least, supplementary material, Mortensen’s words and images are worth the detour.

Author: Joe Farace

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