What is a photograph?You know when you see it! I do not no.
Sun light takes 8+ minutes to arrive on Earth from the sun, and when it meets resistance, such as an object, it reflects based on qualitites of the object and if there is a camera pointed towards the object the reflection enters the camera and makes an image. Maybe too simple but
On film it is a latent image be exposed later using chemicals and specific procedures, but digital cameras record the light as digital information which means it can be read and processed by a computer. Digital information means that there is a standard space which is defined by a program (An OS is a program,).
Boston, downtown between Washington and Tremont, summer 1971, if you look closely in the top left window you can see the reflection of trees from The Common. This performer would sing old Appalachian gospel songs, he was missing a few fingers and playing an old Martin D-28.
The pixels in a digital image maybe so small that the brain does not understand the information from the eye as different from continuous tone. The human eye which also sends information which is interpreted by the “body in general‚” i.e, knows by feeling.
My shadow was waiting for an opportunity, to do what I was not sure or perhaps what I was not sure of doing, but I did that yesterday and probably will do it again tomorrow.
Why do people believe the things they believe?
What does it mean for a person to believe something?
What is the “something someone believes in?
How do we measure whether a person believes in something.
I like to jog fast-walk in Alameda Creek, I try to do four miles everyday, I take my small camera and wonder is this the way it really looks ?, really feels?,
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” I do not know who said it, should it be copyrighted? Mathew Brady and Winslow Homer brought visual images of the Civil War to a mass consumer market.
Gary Holt and wife , long time Berkeley potter, now retired
The body can understand and make decisions on information received through the senses. as can the brain. The body acts on a natural operating system, but the brain differentiates and defines and compares; it basically thinks based on acquired knowledge which is in words, or concepts, etc.
For a few years I was involved with the care of my mother, she had a stroke, memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. Me or my wife saw here everyday and I usually had a small camera with me.
What if the light was reflecting off of something we could not see, could we see the reflection? Yes! We make photographic image that the human eye can see from other kinds of waves, such as radio waves and images from space.
Hopes crushed by memories, at least its not a pay phone like I get in my dreams.
A friend sent me a link to a web site with one of my photos, for sale, it seems the “subject matter is “Alley Compassion.” Its the second row, column four, just below the “alley delight.” If I am in SF chinatown and if I walk by this alley I take tis photo, its different every time. It seems they are selling a low res of the web image,
And another page with four of my shado images, actually when you scroll down the page has more, it the point is made. Ha, ha, ha ha ha.
Is this a moment of the past brought to this present, without life?? A piece of Art is supposed to have some feeling in it? A common feeling, A human feeling? A common feeling happens to many people when they view the art?
Westley in his tractor, Salem, Maine 1970
Feeling, a way of knowing involving a general comprehensive response to information that you get through your senses. Often it may seem immediate.
Many people smoked, by the time I was this age, I had quit.
David in the comfort of a cheap apartment contemplating the meaning of The Autobiography of Malcom X, circa 1968
I do not know what happened to this edge, it was film I probably developed in my bathroom, years later scanned it and made this image. This would be after I met my wife and before I knew her.
I may offer this class again, but it always seems as if the students know more than me and then I want to give them their money back but I have already spent it and I live on a fixed income which in the end means I have to offer a new class to get the money to pay back the people from the previous class and its a never ending cycle.
Marshal McLuhan tells the story of two women approaching on a side walk, one pushing a baby carriage. They meet, stop, the single women says “What a beautiful baby!” The mother replies, “Oh, you should see the photographs.”
Professionally I was a graphic designer working both periods of pre computer and computer creating logos, corporate communications , B2B packaging and consumer packaging. Photographs were about visual representations of reality. Sometimes I made them myself, pre-computer I would sketch out the images, get client approval and then hire a professional and post computer royalty free images became the dominant source,
Even way back when, before I became a designer, circa1970, I wondered why was I here and not there, even though I did not know where there was, much less understood where was here.
I had not learned the word when or why yet, so I enjoyed meeting people I did not no . . .
and seeing friends through my lens lightly
Everyday I walk on the Alameda Creek trail, I enter at the Beard Rd staging area, mostly I go east but sometimes I go west, and I walk four miles at a fast pace . . .
but at 74 years the pace gets slower and slower. Its different every day,
But my memory gets sharper even while the reality becomes increasingly blurry.
Its fun when I am in a store and someone approaches me to say “You are that persoa who I see walking on the trail every day.”
I saw these Rune-like markings in San Francisco at what looked like a sleeping place for homeless people,
Perhaps a forgotten Rothko moment in San Francisco, South Beach area, and over the top of the wall which you cannot not see in the photograph, you can see the Sales Force building.
I read in a book that the reason I look at my feet is because it just makes me feel good inside to look down on other people or myself . . .
An at least its an acceptable reason for not doing the work on time
But some would say we live in a different time from when I grew up, a time calling for new answers to the same old problems . . .
Or old answers to knew problems or maybe just stop seeing problems.
an image created by passing light through a lens. Its process like silk screen or etching.
A moment in time, a visual record that I can see over and over again
I was told this young man died in a car accident in NYC shortly after this photo was taken in Western Massachusetts about 1972.
Almost everyday I walk along Alameda Creek trail, twelve years ago when I started I used to do four miles in about 50 minutes, now its about 70 minutes
Its still as real as it was then, but its a photograph . . .
of something, a photograph of a house is also a photograph of the sky, of trees, but people will generally, when they say its a photograph of _______ they say its a photograph of the most complete, comprehensive thing in the image,
Perhaps they say it that way because people commonly assume a photograph is an image of something , its really a thing.
What is a thing?? We all know what a thing is, daily we use the word even when we do not know what it means, or even when we do not share a common meaning..
Think of all the nouns we have in our language, and that languages all over the world have nouns.
Sky, clouds, and feet
People, usually hired by the government, put paint on the streets and as time goes by it wears expressing something different than its original purpose
There can be all kinds of things make up one thing — pottery
Loneliness is a thing,
A chance interaction?; a professional relationship?; neighbors meeting in the park?
There should have been moments when I took my self seriously when I could not connect future and present and was hiding from past.
The camera is a window to see into yourself or its just a joke or a sutra or Gutei’s finger.
It was said of Gutei:
Gutei cheapens the teaching of Tenryū, Emancipating the boy with a knife. Compared to the Chinese god who pushed aside a mountain with one hand Old Gutei is a poor imitator.
What is a photograph? There is not a definitive answer, you have to make up your own definition, and hopefully it is always maturing. Here are some examples where a visual element is used in advertisement design and this post will consider the options using a photograph or an illustration. If you think about whether a photograph or an illustraton does the job better you will understand photographs a little more how photographs work to communicate with people.
Disclaimer: This example is not my work, I am using it as an example for discussing the subject matter.
1. The viewer understands by feeling that this a photograph, that it is not a recording of reality, the animals are not real animals, but they are real plastic rubber things,, their relative size and color is not real, a shelf would not be angled like that, and still, as a photograph its sense of “real” communicates the feeling of unlevel, it creates an unreal image and you understand this is really a wall and a shelf, and its not real.The 90° vertical lines of the wall paper, the angle of the shelf work and the animals creates a visual tension which strongly attracts visual interest and the bottom elements unify the design.
The viewer experiences this at once. The photograph works to facilitate this visual knowing where as an illustration might be too fake—its not real, its fun, I get it, I enjoyed it ,it does not have to be real and still its a real shelf with real toy animals on an angle and I by feeling I get it, its fun and I am drawn into reading the ad.
The photograph works to set the feeling, the design works to unify the content or the message the ad. Some, such as David Olgiphy (RIP) might think the compelling visual attraction of the logo gets in the way of the product message of the ad
Ask yourself would a drawing have been as effective?
2. An advertisement I designed. Previously the company had marketed itself selling machines and their ads featured images of machines (like at the bottom).
The new marketing objective was to sell solutions, in this case being drug discovery. This ad shows a visual of the final consumer product , the drug. produced not by the company but by the customers of the company, i.e. customer solutions, emerging from a pipette, a tool used in the drug discovery process visually known to all in the business. Of course the idea that a final drug emerges from a pipette is ridiculous, but it feels like “solution” and its fun.
I made the illustration. it could have been made as a photograph with a lot of work and might have been a stronger initial impact, but I do not think anyone who sees this cares whither its a photograph not and illustration was much less cos. Its just a stupid fun imaginary visual, a joke or cartoon but it does, at the feeling level, position my client as providing solutions for the customers of their customers and not machines.
3. Two final ads my client liked, low hanging fruit metaphor, how easy for a child to get it. The illustration includes the image (the visual representation of the product) computers and again budget considerations, both of these images were RF (royalty free) stock although I had to modify the design of the illustration. The photo option was finally rejected as the client did not want the customer—an adult scientist— to misread the image and think they were calling the customer a child.
A NOTE: My professional philosophy concerning marketing communications design (I was a marcom designer, not a marketing agency which develops marketing strategy) was that the client determines marketing objective and marketing strategy and the job of designer is to visually implement the marketing strategy to realize the marketing objective.
Along Alameda Creek
I try to fast walk—at 74 I cannot jog anymore and when I moved my office home in 2007 I used to fast walk four miles in 50 minutes, now its about 60 minutes—everyday along the Alameda Creek which is at the end of the street. I take my little camera with me, as well as the Archers podcast for the day. Here some of the spring scenes this year.