Krishna shoving his left arm into the mouth of the Horse Demon Kesi. Krishna is the good guy here even though if you not familiar with the Krishna story you might think of him as less aggressive than this image. His arm and fist are like a hot piece of expanding iron thrust into the mouth and down throat of Kesi as he kills the Horse Demon, sent kill him by the bad king Kamsa. Note the “frightened” gopas hiding in the trees
To know who the people are and what is happening you need to know the story. Compare a cave painting to a photograph or a movie. Everyone knows what is going on in the cave painting because everyone knows the story from oral transmission, spoken, not written. Most ‘Western ’ people would recognize an image of King Arthur, or Hercules, even though there was never such a person.
Modern media may include, and spread, visual information from less common, more specialized, more contemporary sources, such as news, fashion, or a popular movie or book and create is own “folk images, ” Santa Claus would be an example of a made up person by modern media whose image most Westerners as well as many around the world, would visually recognize.
Alameda Creek where I walk almost every day, we are at least 100 miles away from the fires. There would be blue sky except for the smoke and because of the heat from the fire, the smoke is above the clouds . Yesterday it was a little cooler, the smoke was pushed down below the clouds which made breathing difficult. Skin is covered over with a layer of something foreign.
The photographic image is generally considered to be a representation of some “thing” real, or a “real” thing. When camera exposure is different the images of the some thing made with different exposure settings will be different images.
The camera can make different images of the same thing using different exposures, the extremes on the exposure continuum from no light or too much light with different light exposures in between resulting in different images of the same thing.
Which one is the Real Thing ? The “Real” photograph is the one which shows us the same thing as it looks to our eyes. Eyes of other living things may experience something different but other living things do not have photographs nor do they have expectations of what is photograph.
We know people see photographs differently, and as well, we know people see “real” things differently. Philosophy explored this issues centuries ago.
There was enough commonality between how people sensually experience the universe to evolve a social structure enabling survival, society, trade, shelter, a body of skills and knowledge and a language.
The camera sees it not just differently, the camera can see the same thing in different ways, different being in non-human ways that produce an image we cannot experience with our eyes but the camera can show it to us ,or does it create it. Would you think a photograph made from digital information transmitted through outer space is “more real” than an image created by a NASA illustrator.?
Humans have five senses; sight, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. This is how we experience the universe. My own definition of empirical is the human process of knowing based on the experiences of the five senses.
This establishes a common human standard to compare “what is known” by comparing it to “how it is known.” If I see it and you see it and they see it and we all saw it and agree on what she aw (conclusion) while standing (methodology) next to each other, we will accept it as “Real.” And when you write it down so others in the future can do it again to check it, that is basic science methodology.
“There was a time when the wisdom of the men of old was perfect. When? When they were not yet conscious that things existed. Next, they knew that there were things , but did not attempt to distinguish them , Next, they distinguished things but did not try to label some “right” and “others” wrong. As soon as such judgements were passed, the integrity of the Tao was dilated and prejudice came into being.”
The Chang Tzu James Legge translation
One evening at a large business social gathering, inspite of the din of people eating, drinking, networking while passing out business cards, I found myself in a corner conversation with an engineer from India. Somewhere in the conversation I said that in the development of knowing religion came before scientific method.
If it were a painting would you think What is it?
He replied that logically empirical methodology (scientific method) had to come before religion because without it, religion could not deliver enough information for humans to survive.
This bird has amazing patience, it can stand there for long periods of time intently focused.
Which makes logical sense. By the time religion came around people already figured out how to survive without words or books. Language, instead of being a part of the “biological OS,” was developed over time in the very process described by The Chang Tzu above—the process of differentiating things and giving them names.
It might seem as if I am little abnormally obsessed with images of myself, however I do not have another model, often when I make the photographic image no one else is there except me and often if someone is there they may not want to be in the photograph. But as the song goes:
If you give me weed ,whites and wine
And show me a sign,
I’ll be willin.’
Willin’ Lowell George
At certain times, I believe certain things. But my beliefs are fleeting. That’s why I’m troubled when asked to state my policies, my beliefs. If I could express my beliefs in words I wouldn’t be making clothes.
Show me the me I am when I am not me?
And these are all people who may have different views of a same photograph. Can they have the same view of different photographs?
Its fun to make photographs of people . . .
First there is skepticisim.
This is what I think,
Creation begins when I doubt my own thinking
and question whether something is really so.
. . . and with people; When someone else is there you get two sides of the camera. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Is there question here? or just an answer?
Because photographs are just fun all by themselves, guess that’s an answer,