Category Archives: Part 4 – Reading Photographs

Other Perspectives – Geoff Dyer

Unlike John Szarkowski, the curator (here) and Stephen Shore the photographer  and teacher (here) Geoff Dyer ‘s relationship with photography is as an outsider, he declares he doesn’t own a camera, professes no special expertise as art historian or critic … Continue reading

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Other Perspectives – Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore is not the only highly acclaimed photographer to also be a respected educator but it this combination that makes his written work especially interesting. The Nature of Photographs (1) is based on his lectures at Bard College, New York State … Continue reading

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Other Perspectives – John Szarkowski

If we restrict ourselves to the perspectives of philosophers such as Barthes, Sontag or Berger our reading of photography runs the risk of becoming formulaic where we stop looking at the photograph in our concentrated search for the signs or socio-political … Continue reading

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Symbolism

Semiotics defines a sign as having two components, the physical form and the concept that it triggers; the signifier and the signified. Where there is no natural connection between these two components the sign is considered to be arbitrary or symbolic. … Continue reading

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Semiotics

Introduction Paddy Whannel, the media critic, wrote “Semiotics tells us things we already know in a language we will never understand” (1). Semiotics, the study of signs, is a modern science that, like most fields of study, has created its own … Continue reading

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Henry Fox Talbot – The Haystack

In April 1844 William Henry Fox Talbot set up a camera loaded with light sensitive paper and photographed (i) a haystack on his country estate at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. The haystack had presumably been constructed in the summer of … Continue reading

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The Language of Photography

Introduction In 1977, thirteen years before the dawn of the digital age of photography (i), Sue Davies, the founder of the Photographers’ Gallery (2), presented Reading Photographs, an exhibition of urban photographs with the intent of “helping people to a better … Continue reading

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